The Higgins Museum If one was to compare the designs of armor that are used today, and the designs of armor used back in the Middle Ages, Greek and Roman times, we can see the similarity of self-protection. If you are curious about this transformation, then a visit to Higgins's Armory Museum should be on your 'to do' list. It is one of the most impressive collections of actual armor and artifacts, and the biggest private collection in the world! To think, something of such historical importance is right in New England, just a quick ride off the highway in Worcester, Massachusetts. The founder, John Higgins, began to find his fortune in his steel company. Later, when he gained enough money, he and his wife spent the rest of their lifetime collecting armor, weapons and information. In 1929, he built a four story building to store everything after he and his wife had been living with the armor in their house. The building itself was designed in a Gothic style. This form of architecture allows in more light, and is pointed upward because the people wanted to go to heaven. On John Higgins' death in 1961, the building was given to the public. Information in the Higgins's Museum is plentiful, from the types of armor that were used, to the designs of each type, and to the weapons used by and against the knights. There are three major categories. First, for show, second for tournaments such as jousting, and third for battle. Usually when a rich lord or king wanted to show off their wealth, they would turn to "parade" armor. This type of armor was heavily decorated, and usually was up-to-date with the latest fashion. Some went as far as engraving the metal with various stories, or pictures, like one of the Lords of Germany in the 1600's. This specific piece of armor is the most valuable in the entire Higgins Museum. It is worth nearly eighty million dollars, as well as considered priceless. Armor was also used for tournaments. Jousting was one of the most popular games in the Middle Ages. Two men on horses, covered head to toe in what was around 100 pounds of armor, would come running at each other on horses while pointing wooden sticks at one another. The players were most likely to fall off the horse, so, they needed a lot of protection. Their helmets or helms had just a sliver of visible area and if the wooden sticks, also known as polls, pierced through, the splinters from them go flying every were. And their chest plates were double plated because the wooden poll was to hit them there. Armor was mainly used for battle. Mostly the rich, or people who could afford the armor wore it. During the sixteenth century, the wealthy would wear decorative armor to battle so enemies could tell them apart from the poor peasants. Unfortunately, this tactic didn't always work as well. Since the enemies could tell the rich from the poor, if they captured the rich, they would get a higher ransom for the family. By the 1680's, there wasn't any armor worn to battle at all. In order to protects the vulnerable points of the body that the armor had not been able to cover, knights covered gaps with chain mail. Some put steel plating over the chain mail to make it extra durable and have less of a chance of penetrating to the skin. Both the chain mail and steal plating alone were weighed up to 15-30 pounds, and 40-50 pounds in the thirteenth century. Chain mail had both it's pros and cons. A good side to it would be that it last through sword slashes, and it was light weight compared it the steal armor. As everything, it had a bad side, fauchards, or spears could go right through the mail if were thrown hard enough. Steel plated armor, on the other hand, was not light weight, and spears had less of a chance of piercing through. This type of armor was easy to work in, it had joints that over lapped each other so the knight would be able to move around. Because of these handy abilities, steel plated armor was used for nearly three hundred years. Fonding just the right weapons to kill a knight was difficult. They had thick and strong armor, and rode on swift horses. Footmen had to adapt their weapons to this challenge. Then they came out with different ways to hook onto a knight and pull him down off of his horse, and techniques of keeping a weapon strong. An example of this would be when a knight needed to find a way of stabilizing or strengthening the spear, they would stick it into the ground and step on the ground that was bracing the spear. That way when the enemy knight came charging toward him, he could jump away so he wouldn't get hit. In the 15th Century, knights used cross bows, although they weren't very affective, groups of men carrying these would shoot at the same time making a shower of arrows on the enemy. Also, three pronged infantry spears were used. They were the tool that hooked onto the knight so the attacker could yank him off of their horse. Glaves were used in battle as well. They were long spears with a knife-like blade, these spears could pierce through steal armor and kill the knight, making the job of killing the knight easier. The knight on horse back used many similar weapons against others. Although it might have seemed hard to hold a spear while riding a horse, well it was. The riders had made it easier by wearing a holder under their arm so they could have the spear stay put and not have to divert as much attention to it as before. It wasn't easy to kill a knight as you may now know. All of these weapons were modified to kill the knight, one of the most important jobs of a battle-man. Armor and weapons were essential in the Medieval times. The weapons and sharp and effective, and did their job. Armor back then was like owning your very own Ferrari nowadays. You could deck it out in practically anyway.There certainly is a difference between the armor used today and the armor that was used "back in the day". Full body armor is not used, and spears and swords aren't a common as before. This information is just a mere example of what can be seen and learned a the Higgins's Museum, from the fascinating exhibits to the great tour guides. Go see for yourself! TJJO
Higgins Museum Essay
3 -- Outstanding 2 -- Ok, but could use some improvement 1-- Needed improvement 0 --- Missing
3 Gave the reader background and general information about the museum --- set the scene.
1 Transitions to the body of the essay. (Three things that can be learned by a visit to the museum)
3 Three topics were addressed, each with its own paragraph
2 Topics were clearly explained and used researched supporting details & vocabulary
2 Restated topic --- What can be learned at the museum?
3 Brought closure to essay (Summed up essay)
3 Essay format followed the directions for assignment
3 Capitalization (Used correct capitalization)
Comments: Good overall format to the essay. Excellent supporting details, but you could have used more research vocabulary to add depth to the piece. The introduction give the background, but you should have stated the topic of the body paragraphs at the end of the paragraph You have some organization issues in the first body paragraph. Deal which each sub-topic one at a time, don't jump back and forth. The conclusion brings good closure, but bring in new information not stated in the body (Never new info in a conclusion.)