Vintage Video Shows Man Shooting at Wife to Test Out Bulletproof Glass
In the ultimate trust exercise, a husband shoots at his wife, who’s holding a pane of bulletproof glass close to her face. You can see her flinch, but seemingly miraculously, she’s fine.
If this couple was around today, they would be killer at making content for the ‘gram. Considering the product they showcased — bulletproof glass — hopefully they would be killer only in racking up views.
A black and white video of them did just that when posted recently to Reddit this week, titled “1952 Testing bullet proof glass,” amassing more than 45,000 upvotes and about 1,400 comments. The original video is hosted on eFootage.com, a repository of modern and vintage stock footage.
But the submissions title, “1952 Testing bullet proof glass,” is a little misleading.
First, the video is actually from 1931. The site eFootage.com offers this description, “In Toledo, Ohio a pane of bullet-proof glass resists a 25-20 rifle. A man tests it by shooting his rifle at it while his wife holds the glass.”
As the first patent for safety glass was registered in 1909 by chemist Edouard Benedictus, the technology was present by the time the video was shot. Like many inventions, Benedictus discovered it by accident after dropping a plastic-coated beaker, which only cracked instead of shattering.
Going back to the 1931 video, “testing” may be accurate enough, but considering the seven bullets the husband lands on the pane, redditor charomega points out, “Testing? Look[s] more like demonstrating.”
Finally, the term bullet-proof glass itself might make glass enthusiasts everywhere twitch. Technically, no glass is bullet-proof if enough pot shots come its way, so bullet-resistant is a more accurate term. Plus, the material isn’t even always glass.
Today, bullet-resistant glass is created in two ways: Some is purely acrylic, a plastic glass-alternative known commercially as Plexiglas or Lucite (Lucite went through a jewelry boom in the 1940s and 1950s, often used for costume jewelry). The second method involves lamination, aka sandwiching and bonding the materials together with heat. More layers, more protection. For bullet-resistant glass, polycarbonate is often the filling of choice.
When the bullets encounter either of these materials, the material absorbs its high-speed energy enough so that it cannot — hopefully — pass through the material. This reduces the risk regular glass poses of sending shards in the direction of an unfortunate bystander.
Even understanding the science, a stunt like the video still requires high trust in both someone’s aim and that the glass was properly manufactured.
“Not a lot of people had faith in bulletproof glass, but she really stood behind the invention,” commented one redditor. Nice.