Helmets of WWI

Marion went over to France before the troops arrived in 1917. She was given a French helmet to wear for protection as she drove her vehicles along the Western Front. So typically Marion, she named her helmet – Tin Derby.

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“In June, 1917, the United States Army selected the standard British helmet design for its use. This was the British MK 1 steel helmet. There were three main reasons for the selection of the British MK 1 helmet design: “the immediate availability of 400,000 ready-made helmets from England, the simplicity of manufacture from hard metal, and the superior ballistic properties.” When the British MK 1 was selected by the United States Army, its United States production version was designated and standardized as the Helmet, M-1917. Until United States production of the M-1917 could begin, the United States purchased the 400,000 available British MK. 1 helmets in England and issued them to the American Expeditionary Forces already in Europe. Production was begun on the M-1917 helmets in the fall of 1917. By the end of November 1917, large quantities of M-1917 helmets became available for the United States Army.” (worldwar1.com)

Helmet Factory

Manufacturing helmets. Large power press for shaping helmets in the plant of Hale & Kilburn Corporation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hale & Kilburn Company., ca. 1918

(Photo credit: NARA https://catalog.archives.gov/id/533469)