Source: Created by Nichole Carter
Source: Created by Nichole Carter using prezi, screencastomatic.com, and uploaded to youtube.
The history of armor has fascinated me ever since my uncle, who is a security guard, had his life saved by a bulletproof vest. While armor was used back in ancient times, the materials used to make it have changed a great deal over the centuries. From chain mail to steel suits to Kevlar vests, armor has protected people for centuries.
Even though armor had been around for more than 2,500 years, the first important change in armor took place around 1000 C.E. That was when soldiers began wearing chain mail. Chain mail was made of thousands of little metal rings hooked together. It was lighter than a metal plate and could cover large areas of a soldier’s body. However, chain mail was not perfect. It did very little to stop the impact of a blow from a sword. The chain mail wearer still could be injured or killed.
The next type of armor, the steel suits worn by knights in the 1400’s, was a step up from chain mail. A complete suit had the following parts: a breastplate, a back plate, flexible arm and leg covers, gloves, shoes, and a helmet with a hinged door that protected the face. Besides being extremely heavy, the armored suits were expensive to make. Only the rich could afford to wear them. A knight needed people to help him get dressed and mount his horse for battle. Although these steel suits offered excellent protection from weapons, they made movement very awkward. If he was knocked from his horse, a soldier in a suit of armor was as good as dead.
Today, the newest armor is made of plastics and man made fabrics. One of these is Kevlar, invented in the 1970’s Kevlar is a lightweight fiber that is stronger than steel and more flexible than chain mail. With enough layers’ Kevlar can stop a speeding bullet. The protective clothing items helmets, jackets, vests, and boots worn by today’s soldiers contain Kevlar.
People have always needed to protect themselves in battle, and through the years, they found newer and better ways to do it. Types of protection have evolved from chain mail and metal suits to man made materials. Battle armor will continue to evolve as long as it is needed. Science fiction suggests that someday we may be protected by invisible force fields. In the meantime, people like my uncle will continue to rely on the latest forms of armor.
Source: The Write Tools