Original Japanese Early 20th Century Hardhat Miners Helmet With WW2 Japanese Style Gauze Liner
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a first for us at IMA. This is an interesting Post WWI era three piece constructed helmet. It appears to be made of a low-pressure fiber material, topped with a steel cap, all painted black. There are loops on the rear skirt, the same set up you would see on early fireman's helmets to attach a leather nape protector to. The liner is held in by 3 split pins, with the liner band being what appears to be wicker. The liner itself is very similar to the WW2 Japanese helmet liners, but is made of a burlap type material. There are 3 panels with 2 fingers each and a pocket on the back for padding, but they have been removed long ago and are no longer present. Unfortunately there are no markings on either the helmet or the liner, making the country of manufacture unknown. There are swivel bales on the left and right side for a chinstrap, but is no longer present with the helmet.
There is no damage present on the inside or outside of the helmet. It makes for a very interesting and unique display piece! Comes ready for further research display.
The Evolution of the Hard Hat
The hard hat was designed more than 100 years ago as protective gear for miners and other laborers, but it has grown to become a symbol of status and masculinity. The original Bullard Hard Boiled hat was inspired by World War I infantry helmets.
In 1919, when Edward W. Bullard had just returned to the United States after serving in the cavalry in France, he saw skyscrapers going up all across the country, and dams and bridges were growing ever larger. These projects brought new life to cities after World War I, but they also presented new dangers for the construction workers who placed girders, poured concrete and pounded nails.
Mr. Bullard, whose father had a business making carbide lamps and other supplies for miners, had an idea: What if the company built a helmet for miners and other laborers, modeled on the metal helmet he and the other soldiers known as doughboys had worn overseas? The Bullards cobbled one together, and that was the birth of the hard hat.
Bullard’s first hard hat was called the Hard Boiled hat. It was made of steamed canvas and leather (metal was too expensive), was covered with black paint and featured a suspension system. Orders surged in the 1930s when engineers building the Golden Gate Bridge required workers to wear Bullard hard hats, which were upgraded to protect against falling rivets. Standard hard hat design has evolved over the years, from canvas to metal to fiberglass and, eventually, to plastic.
In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which required that hard hats be used on many job sites. As the industry grew, Bullard faced more competition from companies like Honeywell, Kask, MSA Safety and 3M.
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