1495: Mechanical breastpiece of Emperor Maximilian I for the Bundrennen contest.

Mechanical breastpiece of Emperor Maximilian I for the Bundrennen contest. It is designed to throw off a breast-mounted shield if hit with the lance.



Sources & Info:

KD: Thoughts? Normal for 1495 or not?
Found this, this breastplate (and similar) are discussed starting at 8:33 (the whole video is fairly interesting):

The curator states that items like this were partially designed to add to the "spectacle" of the tournament (can't help but think of the similarity between this and the "ancient" gladiators). Also, he says that the mechanical aspects of this breastplate were likely the result of collaboration with various clockmakers of the day. Which makes total sense given some of the clocks KD has featured on this site.
I don’t know how easy it would be to make something that immaculate, at least based on how they are saying things were made back then.
  • How did a Medieval Blacksmith Make Weapons?
Two central components of the mechanism of making weapons by a medieval blacksmith were heating and hammering. The iron to be moulded into the shape of a specific weapon or instrument was heated in the furnace and then shaped by constantly hammering it on the anvil. A medieval blacksmith also had a forge wagon used for the transportation of the blacksmith’s forge and instruments.

R: how are you going to get that immaculately smooth, even surface that works like a machine when touched, using the above method? It’s flawless. I don’t buy it.


Medieval Period
During the Medieval Period, blacksmithing was considered part of the set of seven mechanical arts and was a staple of every town... Along with their useful skill, blacksmiths were often highly regarded in their community and would serve in other roles of leadership within the village. However, in some villages, they were viewed as workers of witchcraft and evil because of the nature of their work.

R: this is off topic, but this idea of blacksmiths being viewed as wizards, reminds me of your magic mirror post.
It’s likely that blacksmiths were able to create things like the OP, clocks, and things like this:


but imo they were def not doing it by hammering a hand held piece of metal over a fire all day.
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