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Restoring Brodie helmet


spconnolly007
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Good Morning Gentlemen, thankyou once again for your replies and advice, paddy60th bought it to my attention in a PM the other evening re: liner, so I contacted MHW and they explained that when ordering from the on-line service, there is a comment box, and you can specify the earlier liner although it does not appear on the products page. I ordered it yesterday and they have e-mailed me back giving a 4/5 week delivery, so its unlikely that I shall be posting a fully restored Brodie this side of christmas. In answer to Dave, Leo and Andrew's question of the chin strap, we will have to wait and see what turns up!! After making such a wild statement last night regarding Leadbeater & scott more than likely stamping these early shell's, I half expected to find my account blocked this morning or a few of you standing outside my front door asking me to explain myself :P. Im off to source some Bifurcated rivets now, regards Sean

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I have to admit I keep losing sight of the fact that you have a particularly early shell on your hands and that via MHW it looks as if they can supply a suitable liner for it - I didn't think this early type was reproduced. As Andrew points out the very early type is quite different from the later original type I keep referring to and as you can see from Andrew's picture the bales you have produced look pretty well spot-on for the task you have undertaken. Do you know if MHW's repro liner will have the chin-strap fasten direct to the bales or not?

MHW did use to have the correct earlier type pictured on their site, so they should be able to do it. I am not a big fan of some of their work myself, but have always highly recommended the Prairie Flower Leather Company in the USA:

http://www.pflco.com/militaria.htm

Not cheap, but excellent quality and I've had no problems with them. They're no longer listed on their site but they did use to make an excellent copy of the early liner as well, so a word to them to see if they could make up another might be in order?

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Good evening all, whilst surfing around the net, came across this, Ranmoor War Memorial, showing 2 Leadbeater's that fell in the Great War, possible connection? http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=ranmoor%20ww1&source=web&cd=3&sqi=2&ved=0CDIQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsheffieldsoldierww1.co.uk%2FMemorial%2FRanmoor.html&ei=u_DPTriKOYrw8QOw3KX2Dw&usg=AFQjCNEA0gr_EfFd4tAHfE7WdBAlcPbjbg and a couple of adverts for said Brodie manufacturer.

Leadbeater (L & Scott), Edwin (, Steel manufacturer).

Residing at h. 12 Claremont Crescent, in 1911.

Recorded in: Whites Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham - 1911.

180px-Im1882POLon-Lead9.jpg180px-Im1876POWor-Lead4.jpg Regards Sean

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yes please Paul, I was looking around earlier for MLS but no joy so far. Just e-mail it over and will save to Brodie file, which is growing by the day!! Regards Sean

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  • 1 month later...

At long last!! Repro liner turned up today, and Im quite impressed with the quality. Had my doubts after a couple of comments were made as to which was the better of the repro manufacturers, but it looks fine to me. Hopefully over the next few days I will post the completed item and start looking for a WW1 Adrian(already got a WW2 one)for my next project. Regards Sean

post-79848-0-64221400-1327163209.jpg

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At long last!! Repro liner turned up today, and Im quite impressed with the quality. Had my doubts after a couple of comments were made as to which was the better of the repro manufacturers, but it looks fine to me.

Which maker is that Sean? Is it possible to see a few better pictures from various angles?

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Military History Workshop, hope these are ok as I dont have a Flicker type account, but if you would like better PM me your e-mail address and I will send you the original photos, regards Sean

post-79848-0-36303900-1327166539.jpg

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Those are fine Sean, thanks for taking the trouble to post them.

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If you need to order from them, you need to put a note on order form that you require the 6 tongued version as they only show the later version on-line. The cost is £40 plus £5.50 delivery, regards Sean

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Just been trying to send you more book pictures but file is too big. I'll have to try a page at a time. What material is the main body of your liner -a light brown felt? Regsrds, Paul.

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Hi Paul, you should of just posted me the book :D, it looks like felt/baize, would it be moleskin originally? Regards Sean

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PM between Paddy60th and myself-The helmet debate is getting more interesting by the minute. As your helmet is magnetic it is most probably an early type 'A' like mine although recent research by Marcus Cotton, an expert on Brodies, now defines them as early 'War Office Pattern' as opposed to type 'A'. His research states that 25,000 magnetic steel helmets were ordered by the War Office on 24/9/15 of which approx 4,000 were made before the decision was taken on 12/10/15 to manufacture helmets from non magnetic manganese steel which had a far superior ballistic resistance. It would appear from this that both yours and my magnetic helmets could be from this intial 4,000 batch but who knows !!

Just to complicate and confuse things, Cotton's research states that the possible manufacturer of the first helmets was the Army and Navy Cooperative Society. The steel supplier at that time is stated as Thomas Firth and Sons. Miris did not start supplying steel until March 1916 - again according to his research. The plot thickens !!

Some more dimensions of the early patterns which may be of interest are :- Front to rear 317 mm and side to side 295mm. Brim at front and rear 40mm and 50mm at the sides.

I'm not sure whether the darker - black ? - would have seen service on the front line but again this is anyone's guess.

I really look forward to the results on the paint stripping on the outside of the helmet - be very gentle with this as you may reveal more original paint than is on the inside.

Do feel free to post our conversations on the Forum if you would like to.

Kind RegardsRoger

I'm sorry but I don't believe only 4,000 helmets were made of magnetic steel, all of the Brodies I have owned, only five I admit, raw and rimmed have attracted a magnet.

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Then the repro seems true to type, felt outside, lint on inside and what feels like cotton wool in between the two. Again, not sure about original liner, but on every other segment of the leather band there appears to be rolled leather/rubber fitted inside to add to comfort(I presume), not sure if you can see it in the photo? Regards Sean

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So it is, just been looking at a later one and noticed it. Were they leather or rubber originally? Sean

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I'm sorry but I don't believe only 4,000 helmets were made of magnetic steel, all of the Brodies I have owned, only five I admit, raw and rimmed have attracted a magnet.

HI there

In my original PM conversation with Sean the basis of my assumption that approximately 4000 mild steel helmets were made was linked to the article by Marcus Cotton in a 1994 issue of Militaria Magazine. This is how that part of the article went "......War Office pattern - Mild Steel. Approval had been given during the middle of September (1915) by the Commander in Chief, to the adoption of the "Type A" Helmet, the helmet became known as "Brodie's Steel Helmet War Office Pattern". At this time enquiries were made with the Director General of Medical Servies as to what scale of issue should be adopted. In his opinion, and based on the reorts of the trials with the Adrian helmets during August, 50 helmets per Batallion would be sufficient to meet requirements. This scale of issue was communicated to the War OFfice, who as a result, placed demands with Ministry of Munitions on 24 September, for 25,000 "Type A" Helmets to be pressed from magnetic mild steel. The contract for the manufacture of the helmets is believed to have been placed with the Army and Navy Co operative Society Limited, and by 2 October, 557 helmets, on top of the experimental demands have been manufactured. Output was expected to vary between 2000 and 3000 per week.

These helmets differed slightly from the trial helmets in that the chin strap securing lug was attached to the helmet with round-headed split rivets as apposed to machine rivets.

By 12 October 1915, production of steel helmets had reached 850 per day. On that date, the War Office informed the Ministryof Munitions that a further 10,000 helmets were required but that they should be manufactured from non-magnetic hardened manganese steel. The Ministry were further informed that production of mild steel helmets should cease and that the remaining 20,600 helmets from the previous demand should also be pressed from the new steel. This change of steel type came about because the samples of milled steel originally submitted were superior to those now being supplied for steel helmet production. Further to this it had been discovered that the steel firm of Thomas Firth and Sons Ltd of Sheffield were able to supply thin sheets of high quality non-magnetic manganese steel which possessed nearly 3 times resistance of the mild steel then in use........."

Hope this information is of help.

Regards

Roger

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Roger, it has been discussed on the forum before on a few occassions.

Bearing in mind the millions of of steel helmets manufactured, I would expect a magnetic helmet to be an extremely rare animal but I am aware that I am not the only collector has come across them, and dealers certainly don't put a premium on them (a gauge of cynicism if ever there was one).

I wonder if the incorrect materials were being used, either accidently or on purpose.

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Fair point, and as is mentioned earlier in the thread, MIRUS used Leadbeater(we presume)during the production, and if the order was cancelled after a short run I very much doubt that the steel was written off. If 25000 blanks were cut, they must surely of been used, even if on a later production run? Regards Sean

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Fair point, and as is mentioned earlier in the thread, MIRUS used Leadbeater(we presume)during the production, and if the order was cancelled after a short run I very much doubt that the steel was written off. If 25000 blanks were cut, they must surely of been used, even if on a later production run? Regards Sean

I agree - I'm sure the blanks wouldn't have been discarded.

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Doubt these photos do it justice, but finally its done! Thanks for all your advice and comments, on to the next project, regards Sean

post-79848-0-71107800-1327340385.jpg

post-79848-0-33323800-1327340575.jpg

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