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WWI US Army Third Division Painted Helmet -
During the first year of World War I, none of the combatants offered steel helmets to their troops. The soldiers of most nations went into battle wearing simple cloth caps that offered virtually no protection from modern weapons. German troops wore the traditional leather Pickelhaube, also of little protective value.

The huge number of lethal head wounds that modern weapons were inflicting upon the French Army led them to introduce the first of the modern steel helmets in the summer of 1915. The first French helmets were bowl-shaped steel "skullcaps" worn under the cloth caps. However, these rudimentary helmets were soon replaced by the Model 1915 Adrian helmet. The idea was later adopted by numerous other combatant nations.

A design patented in 1915 by John L. Brodie of London offered advantages over the French design as it was constructed from a single piece that could be pressed from a single thick sheet of steel, giving it added strength.




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.

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.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?
  1. FAQ's
  2. Brodie helmet anatomy
  3. Identifying fakes and reproductions
  4. Stamps and manufacturing markings
  5. Construction materials
  6. Pins, hinges and other
  7. Perspective view
  8. Purchasing WWI US Headgear






The United States Armed Forces when entered the war in 1917. The United States government initially purchased some 400,000 helmets from Britain. From January 1918 the U.S. Army began to use helmets manufactured in the U.S. and these helmets were designated M1917. The steel helmet was known to the troops as a "tin hat" or for the officers a "battle bowler" (from Bowler hat).

The item featured here is a WWI US helmet.





The outer design of the helmet was identical to the British helmet. The differences came in the form of the suspension. An aluminum ring was riveted to the inside. A leather suspension was secured to the ring. The suspension is missing from the example photographed here.

A metal bracket was welded to each side. They were used as a means to attach the leather chin strap.

the crown had a suspension piece bolted. A set of paper instructions was normally found here. The instructions described how the suspension could be adjusted.





The front of the helmet has a Third Infantry Division emblem painted. It was not unusual for the soldiers to paint the unit to which they belonged.

The 3rd Infantry Division (nicknamed the Rock of the Marne) is a United States Army infantry division based at Fort Stewart, Georgia. It is a direct subordinate unit of the U.S. Army Forces Command, and boasts a storied history of valorous service in World War I in France and World War II in Italy.





US headgear in general is currently being reproduced. 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 the collectible.



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.



PRICING GUIDE INFORMATION

The value for the US Army helmets and other military antiques and collectibles is provided as a means to educate the collector community and individuals who have a general interest on the field. The following is an estimated value. Prices may vary in every state and every country. This service is provided courtesy of MilitaryItems.com . The source for military antiques and collectibles in the web.

Year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
Value $200.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Availability Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare
Invest Grade A A A A A


While the item featured here is not for sale, similar items like it are available for purchase in our website MilitaryItems.com


 
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