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Restoring Brodie helmet


spconnolly007
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AHH success Using some 4-0 steel wool I was able to uncover an M over S and what I thought was a Z was actually a 2 and the process didn't really disturb the finish too much.

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Mirus Steel. Look back over the thread and you will find plenty of info on your helmet.

Regards,

sean.

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Thank you Sean. I was almost starting to wonder, that if this helmet was indeed a US helmet, were we witnessing a WW1 version of US Lend Lease, since Windsor Ontario, where helmet owner Harry McGhee enlisted in the 99th Battalion, is a two minute drive over the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit, Michigan. :unsure:

Just joking. But then again.

Tom

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Leo, whilst this is true for the later pattern liner, it is not correct for the very earliest helmets which are generally being discussed here - these did indeed have the chinstrap (of two piece construction joined by a tongued buckle for adjustment, as opposed to the later one piece chinstrap with a sliding buckle) which was fitted directly to the chinstrap bails, the liner at this time not being connected to it and being retained only by the rivet at the top. Although the chinstrap is possibly a period replacement of a similar style the general format is clearly shown in the following picture of an original (which has had the black six-tongued part of the liner removed, a popular but unofficial modification often encountered on originals). This is why the earliest loops are very narrow compared to the latter, wider, loops:

http://www.helmetsan...mages/B91-3.jpg

I bought an early shell with the smaller fixing bales ( same as the one in your attached photo) on e-bay a few weeks ago Andrew, you posted up the link to it on facebook, it was the black helmet with the white letters on the front.

Couldn't believe my luck when I saw the size of the bales when I got it.....now, I've got a nice little project......making up an early liner for it..

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I bought an early shell with the smaller fixing bales ( same as the one in your attached photo) on e-bay a few weeks ago Andrew, you posted up the link to it on facebook, it was the black helmet with the white letters on the front.

Couldn't believe my luck when I saw the size of the bales when I got it.....now, I've got a nice little project......making up an early liner for it..

I saw that one Dickie as well - thought it was like buses, you wait ages for one...

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  • 1 month later...

Perhaps a little late to this thread, but thought I'd add anyway. I definitely think that leaving the helmets in as original state as possible is the best way. In my opinion, by repainting etc you are destroying their history. I you have one which clearly has had a modern repaint and want to see if the original paint is underneath I would suggest nail polish remover pads to take off the modern paint. My brother had a ww2 American M1 which had been painted black. Using nail polish remover pads we removed the black to reveal its original paint beneath without harming it.

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  • 8 months later...

Ok, new member and first time post. Not sure if I put this in the right place.

I have a WWI helmet that I have had for several years. I originally bought the helmet thinking it was a WWII M1917A1 Kelley helmet. It was trashed and I mainly bought it for the liner frame. I replaced the leather and put the frame in another helmet. The empty shell I hung on the garage wall for the last several years. I never did anything with the shell because the rim was half rusted away.

Recently, I decided I wanted to restore the helmet. Regretfully I did not take any pictures of the shell before I stripped it. The paint looked like brush painted light olive drab. I checked and could not find any markings on the rim of the helmet. The helmet had a good bit of surface rust with some light pitting. The chin strap bails were also missing. To strip the helmet I immersed the entire helmet in a solution of muriatic acid for a couple of hours. When I took the helmet out, the paint easily scraped off. To neutralize the acid, I used a mild scrub pad and dish soap. The entire helmet was now a light silver gray bare metal color. What was left of the half rusted away rim now easily came off.

I then carefully checked the shell and noticed several interesting details. The outside of the shell displayed the stress marks and striations form being pressed during the manufacturing process. Also noticed were several small dings and dents, and the light pitting. When I inspected the interior side, I again noticed the stress marks and striations. I then also discovered the origin of the helmet.

It is a British Brodie and is lightly stamped BURY'S D/O 16 I tried to post a picture of the picture but the image is too big on my iPad. I will try to reduce it later on my computer to post it.

I read a lot of great information on the forum, but didn't see much about Bury's made helmets.

Shortly before discovering the forum, I mailed the helmet to Prairie Flower Leather Company ( pflco.com ) to have the rim replaced for $10.00 U.S. Now to my dilemma with the helmet. I had planned to restore the helmet back to Kelly configuration since that is how the helmet was when I originally got it. I am also considering restoring it back to WWI configuration. PFLCO makes an excellent liner. I have the WWI liner, and also the Kelley liner. I am eagerly anticipating the Collector Grade WWI liner. The photos on the web site look excellent. They are not cheap and the price is not for the faint of heart but the quality is second to none. I have another WWI shell that I have already restored that I am considering putting that liner in.

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Personally, Bury's is a new one on me, but I'll wager they are the Sheffield based company you can read a little about here: http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;s18644&pos=2&action=zoom I can't think what the D/O would stand for. An interesting find if you ask me.

David

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I don't know if this serves a purpose or not, but having looked at the various Trademarks of Bury's - usually incorporating a lying down lion, this is what I think the stamping might have looked like originally. I also think the D/O is actually a D/0 (zero).

Dave

post-23614-0-67915000-1384800277_thumb.j

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Ive no idea how you did that, but well done Dave :thumbsup: I would also agree with 0 rather than O.

Regards,

Sean.

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Dave that was outstanding how you did the outline. Dave/Sean you are correct it is an O and not a 0 zero. Also the logo is very difficult to see because of the straitions and pitting but it is a lion.

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This is right up your street Dave;

"Edward Bury Between 1852 and 1860 Hillsborough Hall was occupied by the family of Manchester born Edward Bury F.R.S. (1794-1858), pioneer locomotive builder with the London and Birmingham Railway (1838-1846), one-time locomotive superintendent and general manager of the Great Northern Railway, and subsequently co-founder of Sheffield steel firm Bedford, Burys and Co, of the Regent Works. Bury invented the bar frame locomotive, universally adopted by American railroads, and was a pioneer of standardisation in engineering."

Must be the same man?

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This is right up your street Dave;

"Edward Bury Between 1852 and 1860 Hillsborough Hall was occupied by the family of Manchester born Edward Bury F.R.S. (1794-1858), pioneer locomotive builder with the London and Birmingham Railway (1838-1846), one-time locomotive superintendent and general manager of the Great Northern Railway, and subsequently co-founder of Sheffield steel firm Bedford, Burys and Co, of the Regent Works. Bury invented the bar frame locomotive, universally adopted by American railroads, and was a pioneer of standardisation in engineering."

Must be the same man?

Yes, I spotted this entry earlier and I too think it is the same company.

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burysco.jpg
Burys & Co.

Not sure what D/0 is, but 16 could be 1916?

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burysco.jpg

Burys & Co.

Not sure what D/0 is, but 16 could be 1916?

The only thing I would say about the 16 = 1916 is the old issue of what these sort of numbers actually mean. Personally, I've always felt the numbers were some sort of batch number, otherwise it would impossible to tell exactly which batch a given helmet was part of. If the 16 = 1916, then all anyone would know was it was made some time during that year. If by chance one of them proved to be defective, possibly not coping with shrapnel, quite how it should, then they would want to do a recall on all from that batch and the number would be the only way of identifying the batch concerned. The other possibility is that the numbers are still 'batch numbers' but this time for the purpose of proving how many were actually produced - for the purpose of billing the War Dept. If it was beforehand agreed a 'batch' consisted of 1000 pressed shells (for example) then 16 might just refer to that particular batch and the fact the helmets bear the numbers, would be the companies way of proving how many 'batches' they had supplied. Just a few thoughts; quite prepared to be shot down on them.

Dave

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Dave, we have always been in agreement regards the batch numbering, whether correct or not, so maybe D/0 is the 'batch' and 16 the year? As Bury's seem to be another unknown producer (to us at least) maybe AH28TH is in possession of a rarity? http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=102642 Edit; Just found this topic on the forum from 2008 which identifies Bury's as a known steel manufacturer and D as James Dixon & Sons? (post 1, 3rd picture)

Regards,

Sean.

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I think as regards bearing the Bury's mark, that helmet is potentially quite rare - I've never seen one before, and even reference to them as makers are hard to find. The D/0 16 could quite possibly refer to 1916, I accept that, but the D/0 is still a bit of a head-scratcher. I can't quite figure why Bury's would want to also carry a reference to James Dixon (D), another recognised helmet maker, and I personally don't think the 0 would refer to the O of Osborn as per the list in the post you've pointed out because as I found when doing my above post, the D/O is actually D/0 (zero) (in my opinion). The listing also makes the point that Osborn's were steel suppliers, so in theory, they could have supplied Bury's to stamp the shell's out, but as I say, I think the O is a 0.

Dave

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Dave, maybe I didn't explain myself properly. What im suggesting is that Bury's supplied the steel, as they are listed on the link at 'steel suppliers' and James Dixon 'stamped' the shell, as they are listed as Brodie manufacturer. The /0 could therefore stand for 1st batch(?) although you would expect /1. Maybe it was part of a pre-production run(?) during 1916. As we have moved on a long way since identifying my shell, you may remember that it has LS with MS stamped over it, therefore providing the marks of steel producer and shell manufacturer. Your thoughts?

Regards,

Sean.

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Put that way round, it does make a good deal of sense. One can imagine that the steel 'blanks' or squares were first supplied by Bury's, who would possibly stamp each one accordingly, and then maybe Dixons, or some other press & trim them into shape before fitting the liners etc.

Dave

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Woo hoo if I got a rare one.

Sean / Dave I believe you are both on track with your stamping theories. I pretty much tend to agree with 16 as being the year of manufacture. The D/O as possibly batch or another manufacturer. I was pretty much thinking the same thing when I discovered the marking. The basis for my belief is my other hobby of WWII jeeps. Having restored both the Ford GPW and Willys MB both were made under contract to be interchangeable. Henry Ford went to great lengths to mark his jeeps parts with the distinctive F script. Being very frugal much of that was based on him not wanting to pay for a broken Willys part. Also documentation exists to support parts and batch runs. I would speculate that with the several different helmet manufacturers and suppliers, companies would mark their goods accordingly. After all companies are in business to make money, nobody wants to pay for a substandard product or take blame for failure. Especially if the failure isn't theirs. Hopefully someone is in possession of some documentation to clarify.

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As I posted earlier, I got the helmet with a WWII Kelley liner which now has replaced leather and chinstraps. I would speculate the helmet was used by the US Army in the trenches, then retrofitted and upgraded in the 1930's. Or Should I put a WWI liner in? Either way I will add the bales with the split rivets.

Any suggestions?

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I think if it were mine and how it has now been taken back to bare metal, I should complete the process and try to restore it, however you would like to imagine it would have looked when it was very first made. I can't see that doing this will adversely affect its overall value as a shell in its own right, - by virtue of the restoration process you have brought to light this very interesting makers mark, which otherwise may well have been lost under paint forever? Now it has been revealed, it's an aspect of the shells history which cannot be taken away from it, choose what you decide to do with it.

I think I would mix up a suitable khaki drab paint, get a broad paint brush, of the type I believe they were originally hand painted with at first, and go for it, perhaps being a bit sparing under the rim, when you come to the stampings.

As regards a liner, I can well imagine it was upgraded/converted in the 1930's or whenever, but again, if it were mine, I think I'd put a first pattern repro British liner in it, on the basis that this is quite probably what it originally started out in life with?

Happy restoring.

David

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