The Apache -- A 19th Century Personal Protection Gadget

The Apache was a combination dagger, pepperbox, and knuckle duster manufactured and sold in the United States from 1870 through 1900. More pictures and history of this unique pocket weapon at the link.

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These little toys were quite popular with the opium and absinthe set in late 19th century Paris. The stereotype of the guy in the beret and striped shirt, slapping and throwing around his girlfriend as they danced something like a tango was a reflection of the urban Parisian thugs who carried this appliance. Some of the wilder gangs were dubbed "Apaches" by the gendarmes--partly for the weapon and partly for their behavior. About then that slap-dancing tango became known as the "Apache Dance."
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