Dziennik Chicagoski -- July 12, 1897Brother Casimir Zeglen Volunteers as Target to Demonstrate Efficacy of His Bullet-Proof Vest
Brother Casimir Zeglen, inventor of a bullet-proof material, volunteered as a target to demonstrate the efficacy of his invention. The test took place Saturday, July 10, at 5 P.M., on the roof of a building at 685 Ogden Avenue.
In order that the tests might be of educational and authentic value, the staff of the Chicago College of Dental Surgery was invited to act as judge. This body of men, who had previously witnessed the tests on a corpse and on a live dog, did not wish to take the responsibility of the present tests for fear of a serious accident.
However, Dr. L. C. Borland, one of the professors of the above-mentioned institution, was not only interested in this discovery but also considered it as one of the most humanitarian inventions of the nineteenth century.
Because of his enthusiasm, he arranged to have the tests on the roof of 2his own home and invited a group of outstanding professors, doctors, and reporters to witness the demonstration.
In order to safeguard the tests as much as possible from any danger, a wall of heavy boards was erected and covered with tin. An opening of fourteen by twenty inches was cut out. Behind this opening was exposed the chest of Brother Zeglen protected by his bullet-proof vest.
Before the tests began, Dr. Borland arranged for a photographer to be on hand, who took pictures of the entire group. Next, the doctor requested that Brother Zeglen save him the first bullet, not only as a souvenir but as a reward for his efforts. After this, the inventor put on the vest and placed himself behind the opening of the screen after shaking hands with all the guests.
Lieutenant Sarnecki, of the Austrian army, loaded a thirty-two caliber revolver, took his position ten paces (seven meters) from the target--and 3fired. The bullet was repelled and everyone ran toward the inventor, who was not only smiling but overjoyed because the only feeling he experienced was that of being prodded with a stick.
Other tests were also tried. Lieutenant Sarnecki fired again from the first revolver and then took a thirty-eight caliber gun and fired. The firing was also done at ten paces.
In each instance the results were the same. A part of the outer cover was penetrated but not that of the bullet-proof material. Brother Zeglen felt each impact but did not experience any serious pain.
At this point of the demonstration, Dr. F. H. Westershulte announced that he was willing to have the next test tried on him. A protest was made on the grounds that he was not properly dressed, that is, his undershirt was too thin,while Brother Zeglen wore heavier underwear. But Dr. Westershulte insisted on having his way and instructed that the test continue with him 4as the target.
The Austrian officer fired from a thirty-two caliber revolver at ten paces, and the results were the same. The doctor stated that he did not experience any other pain except that of being prodded on the chest with a stick. He exposed his chest for examination and no mark was found.
In conclusion, Brother Zeglen gave orders to have a bullet from a forty-four caliber pistol to be fired while he was behind the target with the vest. The impact was much greater, but the human target said that he could stand six or ten such shots before he would lose consciousness.
Lieutenant Sarnecki took the vest alone, hung it on a board and fired a volley of shots from a forty-five caliber gun. The bullets were repelled like beans from a wall without penetrating the material. Impressions were made on the vest which made it look like a sieve.5
The inventor was congratulated, and when all returned to Dr. Borland's office, the doctors examined Brother Zeglen's chest and after a careful diagnosis stated that there was not one piece of evidence indicating that he had been fired at from a gun. A statement was prepared to the effect, signed and notarized.
The following signed the report:
Dr. L. Copeland, Professor of Anatomy, Chicago College of Dental Surgery; William S. White, M.D., Professor of Dermatology and Demonstrator of Anatomy at the Chicago Homeopathic College; A. L. Clark, from the New York Journal; Joseph H. Finn, from the Chicago Chronicle; Kenneth Brown, from the Chicago Interocean; N. A. Maeterland, M.D.; P. T. Burns, M.D., Assistant Demonstrator of Anatomy, Chicago Medical College; Joseph Prendergast M.D., Lecturer and Demonstrator of Histology, Chicago College of Dental Surgery; G. Alonzo McDowell, M.D., Assistant Demonstrator of Anatomy, Chicago College of Dental Surgery; William Boyd, Sergeant of Police; P. A. Schaedler, A.M.;6
Stanislaus Szwajkart; L. C. Borland, M. D., Professor of Practical Anatomy, Chicago College of Dental Surgery, Lecturer on Surgery, Post-Graduate Medical College of Surgery; Dr. F. H. Westershulte, Demonstrator of Anatomy, Chicago College of Dental Surgery; and T. P. Chrzanowski.
II A 2, IV
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