I was able to find some more information of another manufacture of a ballistic shield from during this period. Information from these articles don't seem to be to forthcoming with any production of these shields.
(North Otago Times, Otago NZ, Tuesday 20 Feb, 1900)
and another article.....
(Timaru Herald, Timaru NZ, Saturday 3 Feb, 1900)
and a story from the lighter-side.......
A "BULLET-PROOF" BREAST-
IT'S CONFIDENT INVENTOR.
MAJOR PARNELL MAKES A TEST.
The other day (says the Melbourne "Argus") a man walked into the Victoria Barracks, and asked to see the commandant. He had a parcel in his hand, and described himself as an inventor. What had he invented? Oh, it was just a little thing of his own. Would the General look at it? No, he had no time just then. The visitor should call again -or, better, let him see Major Parnell. Yes, the inventor could see him. He did.
"It is a breastplate, I have invented," said the man, as he drew out a thick, oval-shaped sheet of silver-like, metal. It looked solid, yet it was light. The major expressed his astonishment. The inventor smiled, "That is my secret," he said "That shield, sir, is bullet-proof. A Victorian soldier with one of those on his breast can face-"
"It seems extraordinary," said the major. "How do you know it will do all you say? There is only one way to test its powers." "Any test you like," said the inventor, proudly "We will try it with the revolver first," said the major, as he put a full round of cartridges into his Webley repeater, and led the way to the shooting alley. The breastplate was hung up at a range of about twenty-five yards, and as the major raised his tiny weapon to fire the inventor looked on confidently.
Bang! The Victorian soldier behind that breastplate would have had such a stream of daylight let into him that his bones would have remained in South Africa. " Try it again," said the inventor, slightly crestfallen "Hit more in the middle."
Bang! It was fair through the centre, a hole I that you could put your finger into. The inventor's jaw dropped Bang! bang! bang! His bulletproof breastplate was more like a colander now.
"I don't think we need try the rifle," said the major " You see, one of these .303 bullets will penetrate 12in of solid teak at 100 yards and then kill a man on the other side Would you like to see it-"
The inventor was satisfied, as he lifted down the remains of his breastplate and examined the ruin. From each hole puffs of white cotton-wool protruded. "Hello' what's this?" asked a bystander, as he dragged the wool through with his fingers. "Oh that was my secret," answered the inventor, with a sigh, as he walked away.
(The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney NSW, Thursday 4 Jan, 1900)
Trev and any other interested Forum member
An obvious conclusion from the Timaru Herald of 3/2/1900. And, if a lead .455" projectile would punch through whatever it was that the inventor provided for Maj. Parnell to test at Vic Barracks, the shield was not up to much.
Over the years, the Forum has seen a couple of topics about the inventors of body shields etc., and what those inventors all those years ago have failed to realise is that the striking energy of a .303" Mk.2 or 7mm Mauser projectile at say 400y is upwards of 900 foot-pounds. For an individual wearing such an encumbrance, imagine the effect of a nine hundred pound weight trip-hammer striking upon it. Apart from knocking that unfortunate on his back, it would break every bone in his rib cage at least.
These days, with modern materials and ceramic plates, body armour is commonplace. But it is never as effective as it is on TV dramas.