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JMB1943

Helmet----UK or US ??

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JMB1943

Here is some information on a recently-acquired helmet shell in relic condition.

 

1. The brim is rimmed, so not Type A Brodie; overlaps about 10 mm at weld.

 

2. Body is non-magnetic (so manganese steel, Hadalloy); rim is strongly magnetic.

 

3. The only visible markings are the letters X H and possibly D located front dead centre under the brim.

 

4. Chinstrap D-loops are 2-3 mm thick; they are strongly magnetic, as are the flanges that hold them; no split rivets

 

5. Dimensions: L = 315 mm; W = 291 mm; H = 115 mm; Brim = 45 mm both sides, about 35-40 front/back; Weight = 792 g

 

6. The suspension rivet at crown of helmet looks like an 8-armed starfish in the mud; under a glass, copper streaks and verdigris are apparent; non-magnetic.

 

7. Three layers of the liner are present in a small remnant held by the suspension rivet.

 

8. Quite a coarse, rough-feeling paint finish in places.

 

Can an incontrovertible identification as to British or American be made, based on the information and photos (to follow) ?

 

Crucially, is the remnant of the liner likely to contain asbestos or not ?

 

Regards,

JMB

 

 

IMG_3225.JPG

IMG_3218.JPG

Edited by JMB1943
Add info.

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JMB1943

Here are the other photos.IMG_3219.thumb.JPG.7ed5f8bb305dd53725bbe0b65e38637a.JPGIMG_3227.thumb.JPG.e3739f5f7eb0b9858ea0122f1e15afc0.JPGIMG_3226.thumb.JPG.4fc6cbce3bfa9b3eae819879d3c8d00a.JPG

 

 Any help would be very much appreciated.

 

Regards,

JMB

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wainfleet

It's American as per your Point 4. I'm sure there have been discussions of asbestos in these. It seems a strange thing to use for no obvious reason but I seem to remember someone posting a spec specifying its use.

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Jools mckenna

I believe the American brodies didn't contain asbestos. Also all american brodies all have a Z at the front the serial number (e.g. ZXVB)

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aef1917
20 hours ago, Jools mckenna said:

I believe the American brodies didn't contain asbestos. Also all american brodies all have a Z at the front the serial number (e.g. ZXVB)

 

The m1917 specifications do call for an asbestos pad.  Despite years of research, I still haven't located anything that gives any sort of reasoning for the pad, but it's definitely there in both British and American helmets.

 

Z is the most frequently encountered first letter in the lot stamping, but it's not the only one.  U, W, X and Y also exist, and as with British helmets the letters denote the manufacturer of the steel.

 

The X-marked helmets are a somewhat unusual case.  The Ordnance Department usually assigned the lot numbers, which were numerical codes of 1 to 3 digits and could be traced back to a specific heat of steel.  Early in production, the company that pressed X helmets stamped them with its own set of alphabetic lot codes, a practice which was retroactively approved by the Ordnance Department.  Later production helmets followed the standard Ordnance Department format of XH##.  Z also supplied steel to H, and those helmets are marked ZH##.

 

H helmets are relatively uncommon, since the factory burned down in early 1918, before the company's contract for 200,000 helmets was completed.  Remaining steel sheets were transferred to C, who completed the contract.

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Paddy 60th

Certainly appears to be an American helmet but what is rather strange are the chinstrap brackets and loops. The shape of the brackets is unusual as normally they would be square shaped with the outside corners chamfered as in British Brodie's. Also the loops themselves would be more rectangular, again more like the British ones.

 

 

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aef1917
59 minutes ago, Paddy 60th said:

Certainly appears to be an American helmet but what is rather strange are the chinstrap brackets and loops. The shape of the brackets is unusual as normally they would be square shaped with the outside corners chamfered as in British Brodie's. Also the loops themselves would be more rectangular, again more like the British ones.

 

 

 

The helmets pressed by H all had the rounded chinstrap brackets.  The loops were provided to the pressing concerns by the Ordnance Department, which purchased them from multiple suppliers.

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JMB1943
3 hours ago, aef1917 said:

 

The m1917 specifications do call for an asbestos pad.  Despite years of research, I still haven't located anything that gives any sort of reasoning for the pad, but it's definitely there in both British and American helmets.

 

aef,

 

Since starting this thread, I have done some additional searching on the web. This link

https://archive.org/details/helmetsbodyarmor00deanuoft

contains a description of the manufacture of the M1917 helmet.

Page 196 states,

(b) Description

"The American helmet is a faithful copy of the British one; it has the same inverted bowl, a similar border of metal, the same type of chin-strap and lining;.....In thickness the helmet shell is precisely that of the British....."

 

Page 207 shows the interior with an annotated liner; felt, oilcloth, net but no mention of asbestos.

 

Based on your comment and the p.196 statement, I accept that asbestos is present and will use a sealant to contain it in place.

 

Certainly appears to be an American helmet but what is rather strange are the chinstrap brackets and loops. The shape of the brackets is unusual as normally they would be square shaped with the outside corners chamfered as in British Brodie's. Also the loops themselves would be more rectangular, again more like the British ones.

 

Paddy,

 

This link shows a photo of an M1917 helmet made by the R.H. Long Co.; the chinstrap fittings and loops are very similar to those shown in the photos in post #1.

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?844866-Wts-wwi-doughboy-m1917-brodie-helmets&highlight=M1917+helmet

 

Regards,

JMB

 

 

 

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aef1917

Found my info on the pad in US helmets.  This is from the last specification before the Armistice, but the June 4, 1917 specifications are the same regarding the pad.

 

Ordnance Department Specification No. 92-2, "Standard Specifications for Helmet Linings", revised Nov. 7, 1918.

 

Top Pad

 

...

 

c) Asbestos Pad:

        G.C. 41C Asbestos paper, weighing 14lbs. per 100 square ft., to have 3/16" hole punched in center.

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Paddy 60th
4 hours ago, aef1917 said:

 

The helmets pressed by H all had the rounded chinstrap brackets.  The loops were provided to the pressing concerns by the Ordnance Department, which purchased them from multiple suppliers.

Thanks for that information. aef.  I'm now that little bit wiser re. American Brodie's.

Kind regards, Roger

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JMB1943
On 30/01/2018 at 08:40, aef1917 said:

 

The m1917 specifications do call for an asbestos pad.  Despite years of research, I still haven't located anything that gives any sort of reasoning for the pad, but it's definitely there in both British and American helmets.

 

Z is the most frequently encountered first letter in the lot stamping, but it's not the only one.  U, W, X and Y also exist, and as with British helmets the letters denote the manufacturer of the steel.

 

The X-marked helmets are a somewhat unusual case.  The Ordnance Department usually assigned the lot numbers, which were numerical codes of 1 to 3 digits and could be traced back to a specific heat of steel.  Early in production, the company that pressed X helmets stamped them with its own set of alphabetic lot codes, a practice which was retroactively approved by the Ordnance Department.  Later production helmets followed the standard Ordnance Department format of XH##.  Z also supplied steel to H, and those helmets are marked ZH##.

 

H helmets are relatively uncommon, since the factory burned down in early 1918, before the company's contract for 200,000 helmets was completed.  Remaining steel sheets were transferred to C, who completed the contract.

 

aef,

 

Thank you for the info that you supplied regarding the different steel & shell manufacturers.

 

Are you able to identify company X and company H ?

 

Regards,

JMB

 

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