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Jack of Plate

A rare 16th-century defense known as a jack of plate is the centerpiece of a Jamestown Settlement exhibit on the 1622 Powhatan military offensive on the Jamestown colony.

The period garment, following conservation, offered JYF team members the opportunity to examine it across disciplines to further understand its construction, use and effectiveness. Historical tailors and armorists worked to replicate the multi-layered garment. Once complete, the reproduction garment’s strength was tested against a bullet fired from a matchlock musket and an arrow from a Powhatan-style bow. A ballistic test, shown here, revealed the damage of a musket ball driven through the jack of plate and the impact of an arrow.

 

Read more about this story in INSIDE JYF, a publication of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.