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BY f1# OHHO concealed weapons hassles.
An Inexpensive, convenient, and legal pocket weapon has long been known In the guise of the ordinary household scissors. However* the new folding type In stainless steel wor/t rust if gotten wet, are compact, handy, fit any budget at under $3, and they are available from most any camping, hardware, or dlscount store. Host importantly, the folding feature insures against inadvertant misadventures such as castration or dfsem- > bowel merit when sitting down qiHckly (it pays not to be your own most dangerous enemy,belleve me)« What Is more, they should pass riuster at airport or police shakedowns. While
•which, seems the only way to »top this game of Everlasting.
But the powers of invention are most wonderful. Whal do you think of a steel-pointed bullet tliat penetrates two feet six inches of solid oak being stopped by a stiff pad of felt and some other composition; not only stopped, but all crumbled out of shape T Thia has beet) done, and a little tailor of Manheim, Germany, is the inventor.
His name it Dowe. Like almost all inventors no one believed him at first, and every one was too busy to listen to his talk. When ho wished to put on his bullet proof vest, and stand up to be shot at, they all laughed, and thought that the tailor was crazy. At last he persuaded some one to take a shot at him, and lo, and behold, there
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE .tone it. im THE SAME THING OVER AGAIN.
by jam£9 barnes.
I' ONG year» ago a knight who rode forth to battle was J supposed to be the bravest of the brave. Perhaps he was. We read of valorous deeds in every old bit of verse, and the history of the age of chivalry is full of him. He slew foemen by the score, he. was always in the thickest of the fray, and there was only one thing he could not do—get up if he fell down. Some of the deadly blows that struck him rang bff his heavy armor in much the same way that the blows of a hammer would ring off
Yjnripa it ok tus nonas was Herr Dowe bowing through the smoke of the rifle all unharmed, and as smiling as an Aunt Sally at a fair. Of course people believed him after that, and everybody said, 44 We thought there was something ia it; but we did uot know." Lota of other people wrote letters saying that they had invented the same thing years before, and an Iron boiler. Now perhaps all this had something to do with his valorous deeds, and. may account for the many foemen slain, and it certainly does account for his remaining alive so very often. They say that a knight In armor was as good as twelve men wiihout it, and that as long as he could stay on his horse or keep his feet he was safe from the ordinary weapons of thosfe days. It is proof enough to say that in a battle in Fiance fifty armed knights on a side-fought throughout an afternoon, and not a single one was killed. Therefore we must infer that they stopped from lack of breath, or perhaps the game may havfe been called "on account of darkness ,r; -who knows?
With the advent of gunpowder things changed. Armor gradually went out of fashion. It was no use. Bullets rrent through it, and came out the other side; so helmet and cuirass, shield, targe, buckler, greaves, and chain-shirt were used only for show, or to decorate armorial halls. Nothing could stand before the swift-speeding unseen bullet—and perhaps the knights became braver than ever—many more were killed in battle.
In naval circles, after the little iron-clad Afomf or fought the iron-clad Merrimctc wooden ships of war practically ceased to be built. Every nation turned its attention to building impenetrable bulwarks, and then guns were built to pierce them, and then thicker armor was made, and. then heavier guns, and so on, hammer and tongs, they are'fighting it out to this day. Now they are building ships fast enough to run away from eaoh other, scores of imitators Btarted up on every side. Before very long the army people—who hate to have other per sons invent things—took up the subject» and Herr Dowe was given an official trial before prominent German officers. They were most sceptical, and.would not let the anxious little tailor don his heavy waistcoat, and make a target of himself. They carefully put it on u l>l aster statue, and blazed a way. ' * Acli!" said the German officers, when the smoke cleared—44 achl the tailor dues not lie.*1 Then they put the shield on. a horse, and fired directly at his side. Tin* animal went on -eating, all unconscious that n great many si)ectators expected him to pitch forward and die oh the spot; he was as unmoved as a deaf man at a pathetic sermon. It was Mr. Dowe's turn after that, and they shot at him, and he smiled, and they shot again, and he smiled again.
The breast-plate that Heir Dowe invented is made of felt and metal, it Ib supposed, but of course he doesn't tell any one just how it is made; it weighs about ten pounds, and is inflexible. The bullet does not glance, but tears itself to pieces in the cloth, and tile blow is softened by the gradual impeding of the speed, so that there is little shock lo the wearer; in fact, Horr Dowe says he ¿now* when he is hit, and that is all. What the German army will do with the shield remains to be seen. Its inventor is now in England, and the other day gave an exhibition in London. Several Englishmen wished to try their own pet rifles,.and many supposed that a bullet that would go through the tough hide of an elephant v/ould certainly pierce three inches of anything but solid steel. Elephant rifle, express rifle, Martini-Henry, and Lee-Metford (the two latter being the army rifles of Great Britian), each one proved ineffectual, and the experiment (so far as HeiT * Dowe goes) was a great success. The Duke of Cambridge, who was present, refused to allow any one to be shot at, although Admiral Suumerez, one of tlie committee, volunteered to stand up like a man and run the risk. The little tailor almost shed tears of disappointment because they would not let, him take his favorite role. The horse, however, was again brought on, and I suspect wondered what it was all about, for he never seemed to know whether to go to sleep or to prance about; and the bullets did notalurm him.
What they will do with this new invention is a problem; if they can make it light enough to wear, it may change the style of fighting, and they will have to build rifles to pierce it. Then comes the thicker armor again, you see. In Berlin in the great army museum there is a cuirass (a breast-plate and back-plate) that is perforated through and through by thirteen bullets. They took it off a poor French cavalryman, who was dead on the field where his squadroit had charged on a line of intrenched infantry. I( he had had on a Dowe shield he might have thought it a joke. Perhaps they may get tired speuding money on war, and armor, and great guns, and stop fighting. I say again—who knows?
popular SCIENCE monthly 1537
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