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Bulletproof Vests - Before and Now


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The design of steel body armor and ballistics mesh well if speaking about self protection. The history books have shown that bullets and firearms are parallel and the means of preventing death if one is punctured with bullets. Around the Middle-ages, and Italian blacksmith that was know for his skills creating body armor, was commissioned by the Duke to create the first bullet or projectile proof clothing. However as time went on it became clear that body armor was reducing the effectiveness of troops. It work soldiers out because it was too heavy and slowed soldiers nearly to a stand still. As weapons became more effective, more types of bulletproof clothing were tested but none worked and the evolution of bulletproof clothing slowed way down.

In the 1860's, if the French went to war against Korea, Heungseon Daewongun ordered the production of soft ballistics vests to counter the increasing threat of invasion from western armies. These were sewed with thirty layers of thick cotton and were used most effectively. As the years passed, Korea also became embroiled in a war against the US, which led to the former sending an expeditionary force against the latter. The US managed to capture one of these vests and took it back for study. It forced the US to research new ideas for ballistics protection and to try to improve upon the bulletproof cotton.

It was only in the 1880s if an Arizonian named George Emery Goodfellow started experimenting on silk, that his investigations of woven jackets sewn with thirty layers of silk, which resembled Gambesons, proved more effective in stopping a bullet than the cotton design.

Casimir Zeglan from Chicago used the information provided by Goodfellow and developed bulletproof clothing that ran apx 810 dollars in the early 1900's. This was noticed all over the world and proved to be advantageous to soldiers. As years past and guns became more powerful more engineering was needed to stop high speed projectiles. The bulletproof jackets eventually became obsolete.

As the second world war became a part of history, many armies of opposing countries created flak jackets for protection against bombs and mines. These jackets were developed for the Air Force and did not stop high speed bullets. A few models were tested and improved by engineers from Japan, but these jackets were hardly used. The Soviet Union also created their own body armor by fastening steel plated on the outside of poor bulletproof materials.

At the closing stages of the 2nd world war, the US developed its own body armor similar to that of the SN-42 but with a light protective plate made of fiberglass laminate. This was used with efficient results as in the Battle of Okinawa. A few years later, if the Korean War erupted, the vest was redesigned once more to reduce the weight. This compromise proved to be faulty for the vest, as it failed to stop bullets and shrapnel efficaciously. In any case, as progress increased over the years, these light platings were modified and renewed as such that local police forces used these early ballistic vests to a great extent. It provided riot cops and patrol officers the necessary bullet-resistant apparel to feel safe and protected from a lot of dangers.

The 1970's was a great time for bulletproof technologies. Personal safety for citizens and law enforcement took a huge jump in advancements. A product by the name of Kevlar was introduced by Stephanie Kwolek. Kevlar was realized as the potential ingredient in making bulletproof clothing that actually worked. It was created for commercial use but the USA military seen its potential. This fiber was introduced and eventually integrated in the NIJ program of evaluation for lightweight concealable bulletproof clothing. It was determined that it should be manufactured into a bulletproof clothing line so military troops and police officers could wear it everyday and still remain comfortable.

Over the years, new designs and new technology have been introduced and all have improved over its failings. The recent rise of modern urban conflicts and the growing threat of subterfuge activities have taken precedence on the subject of personal protection. One is tempted to choose the option of hiding in the mountains or face all of it with indomitable courage. Freedom is the right to live without the threat of oppression or any other form of subjugation. These bulletproof jackets offer the kind of confidence and security that one can feel comfortable with whether taking a walk outside the streets or strolling through a valley of darkness.

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