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WW1 British / US Issued Camouflaged Brodie Pattern Steel Helmet Mk.I (AEF Used) – 1917

WW1 British / US Issued Camouflaged Brodie Pattern Steel Helmet Mk.I (AEF Used) – 1917

$1,575.00
Product code: 74

Availability: SOLD

Quick Overview:

AN ORIGINAL BRITISH MANUFACTURED, UNITED STATES ARMY ISSUED FIRST WORLD WAR BRODIE HELMET, STEEL, Mk.I PRODUCED BY HARRISON BROS. & HOWSON LTD IN 1917 AND FITTED WITH ITS ORIGINAL LINER. THE HELMET IS FINISHED IN ITS ORIGINAL WARTIME CAMOUFLAGED PAINT FINISH WHICH INCORPORATES A STARS AND STRIPES MOTIF.  THE HELMET IS ORIGINAL, HAS NOT BEEN REPAINTED AND IS UNRESTORED.This is a good example of a British manufactured, US Army Issue Size 7¼ Brodie Pattern Helmet, Steel, Mk.I manufactured by Harrison Bros. & Howson Ltd in 1917 from steel supplied by S. Osborne & Co Ltd of Sheffield.  The helmet is still fitted with its original Mk.I helmet liner and is almost certainly one of those issued to US Troops during World War 1.

Details

AN ORIGINAL BRITISH MANUFACTURED, UNITED STATES ARMY ISSUED FIRST WORLD WAR BRODIE HELMET, STEEL, Mk.I PRODUCED BY HARRISON BROS. & HOWSON LTD IN 1917 AND FITTED WITH ITS ORIGINAL LINER. THE HELMET IS FINISHED IN ITS ORIGINAL WARTIME CAMOUFLAGED PAINT FINISH WHICH INCORPORATES A STARS AND STRIPES MOTIF.  THE HELMET IS ORIGINAL, HAS NOT BEEN REPAINTED AND IS UNRESTORED.This is a good example of a British manufactured, US Army Issue Size 7¼ Brodie Pattern Helmet, Steel, Mk.I manufactured by Harrison Bros. & Howson Ltd in 1917 from steel supplied by S. Osborne & Co Ltd of Sheffield.  The helmet is still fitted with its original Mk.I helmet liner and is almost certainly one of those issued to US Troops during World War 1.  it’s worth noting that while British servicemen were never issued with American helmets, American troops were issued British helmets. The A.E.F. arrived in France in 1917 wearing wool campaign hats, which would have been unsuitable for trench combat. Helmets were procured from British supply until such point as the Americans could supply themselves with their own helmets. So a large number of American dough boys wore British made helmets though out their service in France.

As Roger Lucy describes in his excellent article on First war Brodie Helmets, Britain began to examine the need for a trench helmet in June 1915. Experiments were made with early French Adrian helmets, but the design adopted was one submitted to the British War Office by an inventor with a very chequered history, John Leopold Brodie. Brodie's helmet design was one that could easily stamped from Managnese steel with the pressing technology of the time, and offered good protection from descending projectiles. It went into series production in October 1915. With the exception of the first 4,440, produced in mild steel, it was made of non-magnetic manganese steel.  A superb Australian War Memorial (AWM) picture is also attached of Diggers and Doughboys of the AEF sharing a brew during the Battle of Hamel in July 1918.  A second picture shows an American soldier of the AEF wearing his camouflaged Brodie. A number of similar helmets are held in the collection of the AWM, the most famous being the one worn by Sergeant W E Brown VC DCM, 20 Battalion, AIF.  That helmet which is listed as item REL/00985.001 can be viewed at: https://cas.awm.gov.au/item/REL/00985.001 .

This particular example is one of those produced after a number of changes were approved in April, 1916 to the original design. These included fitting a mild (magnetic) steel rim and larger lugs with wire loops to the body. A new lining was designed, comprising a top pad of fire retardant material, lint and felt, attached by a copper rivet to the interior of the helmet body along with a leather strap. The strap ends were riveted to hold a basil (reddish brown) leather headband, padded with cotton wool and covered by lint and canvas. Twelve tubular rubber buffers were inserted around the edge of the head. To the headband was sewn a crown made of America Cloth, it had no tongues, instead, an adjustable cotton net fitted it to the wearer's head. The ends of leather strap, which attached the lining to the top of the helmet body, were riveted to two small brass wire loops, to which were riveted, in turn, the ends of a one piece leather chin strap with a plated steel slide buckle. The linked straps passed through larger brass wire loops attached to the chinstrap lugs. The helmet also displays the 1917 improvements that were characterized by the introduction of the rubber crown ring that was designed to prevent impact shock being transmitted directly onto the wearers skull.  

In September, 1916, this modified helmet received the designation Helmet, Steel, Mk.I  As these changes were phased-in between April and September, 1916, combinations of old and new features can be found on helmets manufactured in this period.  The helmet bodies were marked by large letters and digits stamped on the brim to indicate the manufacturer, the steel maker and the production lot number. This example is very clearly stamped with the makers code HH/O 274 that indicates that this Mk I was produced by Harrison Bros. & Howson Ltd in 1917 from steel supplied byS. Osborne & Co Ltd of Sheffield. The Linings (made by the Army and Navy Stores, in which Mr Brodie had an interest) were marked BRODIES STEEL HELMET Registered No 65199 WAR OFFICE PATTERN PATENT No.11803/16, this example has a clear stamp in red inside the lining.  Some 7.5 million Mk.I helmets were produced during the war.

This particular example is still finished in an original textured camouflage painted finish which incorporates a stars and stripes flag and is patinated consistent with age and use.  The helmet body does exhibit the usual wear and compression marking characteristic of operational use. The original Size 7¼ Mk.I helmet lining, leather crownstrap and chinstrap are still present and in excellent condition. The helmet has not been restored, re-painted or refurbished.

This British manufactured American issued First World War Helmet, Steel, Mk.I is cracking example of its type.  The textured camouflaged paint finish is particularly good and while the helmet has clearly seen use it’s patina is all the better for it.  If you are after a really good unspoiled example of a genuine American camouflaged WW1 Brodie, this helmet is it.

Additional Information

Weight (kg) 2.0000
Country of Origin British, United States
Pattern Brodie Pattern Steel Helmet Mk.I
Maker Harrison Bros. & Howson Ltd
Year of Manufacture (circa) 1917