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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Armour

The word "armour" came into use in the Middle Ages as a borrowing from the French. It is dated from 1297, as a "mail, defensive covering worn in combat" from Old French armeure, itself derived from the Latin armatura "arms and/or equipment" with the root arma "arms or gear".

Chainmail made of interlocking iron rings is believed to have first appeared some time after 300 BC. Its invention is credited to the Celts, the Romans were thought to have adopted their design.

The craft of the armourer in Europe reached its height in design in the 15th century, when knights were completely encased in plate armour that still allowed freedom of movement.

The full plate armor of a medieval knight was about the same as the weight of the gear of a modern infantry soldier (30-50 pounds).

Medieval Japanese armour was articulated, made of iron, gilded metal, leather, and silk.

Soldiers in the American Civil War bought iron and steel vests from peddlers (both sides had considered but rejected body armour for standard issue).

Stephanie Louise Kwolek (July 31, 1923 – June 18, 2014) was an American chemist, whose career at the chemical company DuPont spanned over forty years. She is best known for inventing the first of a family of synthetic fibers of exceptional strength and stiffness, Kevlar, which is used in bullet-proof vests.


The Kevlar Survivors Club, founded by police officers whose lives were saved by Kevlar body armour, has more than 3,000 members.

Suits of armour in the Tower of London were studied by US designers of astronaut wear.

All of the chainmail in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy were made by hand, link by link.

It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour.

Sources Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2011. Helicon Publishing is division of RM, Wikipedia

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