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WWI AMERICAN EXPERMENTAL HELMETS ANATOMY AND CONSTRUCTION


The United States experimented with several helmet designs during WWI and shortly thereafter. Some of the prototypes created ressembled the ones employed by the Greek and Roman soldiers of long ago. The experimental helmets were produced in small quantities. Not many of them remain today.

The following is an analysis of one of those helmets. Detailed photographs and terminology are given to provide the enthusiast and collector with a better understanding of this fascinating aspect of militaria.

While the item discussed here may not be available for sale, you can see our inventory of Spanish helmets that are by going to our web store.





The liner for the Liberty Bell type helmet is shown in the next photo. Some of its characteristics include the use of a cotton net in the crown section. This feature distributed the weight of the helmet more evenly over the head of the soldier.



One interesting aspect about the construction of one of the experimental helmets is the use of springs to attach the liner suspension to the main body.

The crown has a structure in the shape of a cross riveted in place. This is how the liner is held in place.

The tip of the leather fingers on the liner have metal gromets. A lace is threaded through them forming a circle to support the weight of the helmet on the top of the head of the soldier.





The following photos show some of the variations of the US Army experimental helmets. Full production of these pieces was never realized. One example shows a face shield. This was attached to the sides of the helmet by using rivets.



This type of helmet is known as the "Liberty Bell" since its profile ressembles the shape of a bell.

This is one of the most interesting designs found. The helmet was not adopted because the face plate proved to be too cumbersome under combat conditions.

The helmet shown here is the Model 2 type. Its shape is reminiscent of the Greek helmets used in previous centuries.







Some of the liners used with the experimental helmets are very similar to the liners that were used in the WWI and early WWII helmets. In contrast, some of the other liners fall in their own category. They are more closely related to the European helmets than any other American helmet.



This style of liner is very similar to the WWI and early WWII liner. Utilized with the Bell helmet.

This is a three leather pad design. More similar to the helmets employed by European countries.

This is a four pad liner. Of leather construction. A lace ties the tips of the fingers in the crown area.





If you have an interest is seeing other American headgear, you can do so by going to our Spanish helmets identification guide. Where we cover Army, Navy, Air Force and other organizations from various time periods.

This service is provided free of charge to the visitor/enthusiast courtesy of MilitaryItems.com , a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.



 
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