Body Armor History

Body Armor History
by Jacob Williams

In the history of the world there have been many disputes that have led to world wide wars. Starting with the use of metal as a weapon, men have also discovered that metallic structures can save lives. Throughout recorded history, man has invented various different body armor structures from several different materials. Body armor is mainly created to protect the wearer against projectiles while at war, or to protect in any other dangerous situation.

During the Middle Ages, evidences have shown that soldiers and knights have then used metal body armors. Due to the advent of firearms during the year 1500, these body armors have become ineffective as a protective barrier against the harm caused by the enemy. During those times, the only effective protection against firearms was stone walls, rocks, trees, ditches and other natural barriers.

When many knights and nobles have purchased their new breast plates, they demanded the kind that is bullet-proof. In this light, armor makers tend to sell armors with dent on it as a proof that the armor has been tested to effectively protect against early bullets. Francesco Maria della Rovere is the man behind the very first bulletproof vest. In 1538, he was commissioned by Filippo Negroli to create more of his prototype vests. In 1561, a man named Maximilian II, who happens to be an emperor, was recorded to have tested this body armor against actual gun fire.

The creation or idea of bulletproof vests is believed to have originated from soft body armor used by medieval Japan armies. This soft armor was created froBuild Stuffm silk fibers. In the 1880’s Dr. Goodfellow of Arizona tested and investigated the weaknesses of the silk vests. He compared this to the gambesons 18-30 layers of material which was used as protection against arrow penetration during the medieval times. The oldest tested bulletproof or bullet resistant clothing was created from silk. Due to Goodfellows research, Rev. Zeglan of Chicago, IL developed a silk bulletproof jacket that was capable of stopping rounds from the standard black powder rifle. This clothing was very expensive with each jacket costing apx $800 in 1914. This type or version of bulletproof jacket has been recognized all over the world for its ability to save human lives. As the years have passed, the design, materials, and technology used to create bulletproof clothing has improved. But with the advancement in weapons at the same time there is still no truly bulletproof vest. With the spider silk study going on in 2005, we can expect lighter and more effective bulletproof vests and clothing in the future.

Modern body armor is called bulletproof or bullet-resistant clothing. Today’s protective vests have been designed to protect the wearer from shotguns, handguns, and some rifles. This clothing type is typically worn by police officers, security officers, civilians, but more notably the military. There are no legal issues with body armor as bulletproof jackets have dictated the jurisdiction of the state law and other Govt. agencies. The recent rise of urban problems has created a higher demand for bulletproof clothing. It can offer a wearable and affordable degree of confidence and security.

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