US WWI "Liberty Bell" Experimental Helmet -
This is a a variation of the "Liberty Bell" helmets produced for the
US army in the later part of WWI. The exact number of helmets produced is
not known but they were produced in relative quantity. The helmet was
never adopted by the US armed forces. It never left the
There are no markings found in the helmet.
The paint finish is very smooth.
The particular version shown here has several interesting aspects. Among them are:
- The liner employed was the style commonly used during WWI.
- The liner is attached to the body of the helmet via the use of springs.
- The liner has a padded "crown" which is attached to the helmet with a rivet that can
be seen on the top of the helmet.
- The crown is secured to the frame of the liner using 4 brown snaps.
- The ridges that are formed around the perimeter of the helmet are caused by
defects in the manufacturing process. After having mastered the process
the bumpiness was smoothed out.
A rubberized liner was placed around the circumference of the headliner. Below
that there is felt like material also following the contour of the circle.
of the helmets were equipped with a WWI chin strap. This particular sample
has a non-opening strap made of the same type of canvis as the WWI chin strap.
The chin strap would attach to a fixed D-bail which was welded to the body of the
This is a closer look at the spring suspension built into the helmet. The idea
was that the coils would mitigate the bouncing of the helmet as the soldiers
ran and would provide more protection when hit by an object.
The top of the helmet has a cross member to provide additional support. This is
where the padding would be placed to make it more comfortable to wear. There
are traces where the pad was affixed but it must have come off previously.
The Liberty Bell experimental helmet is one of the most commonly found examples
among experimental helmets.
This page is a recognition and identification guide for US hats and helmets. Multiple
detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined
points that should be noted.
One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my US headgear worth?".
A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the hats and helmets
is reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth
of US militaria in the collector's market is illustrated.
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US headgear is currently being
It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because
the quality of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with
the construction style and materials employed in the manufacturing of this headgear.
Attention to the details is critical in order to be able to determine the authenticity of
If you have an interest is seeing other American military headgear, you can do so by
going to our US Military headgear
identification guide. Where we cover Army, Navy, Army Air Force and other organizations.