Original U.S. WWI M1917 SBR Gas Mask with Carry Bag named to USGI in 381th Regt. 80th Division

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Of the 5,250,000 gas masks of all types produced by the U.S. during the war, 1.6 million of them were the improved version of the British SBR. This mask was officially known as the U.S. Corrected English Small Box Respirator or the U.S. Corrected English Model (CEM). Produced in six sizes (1 through 6) from January to March 1918, the CEM was one of the two most commonly worn American made gas masks used by the AEF.

Despite complaints from France regarding the British SBRs uncomfortable mouthpiece and its despised hated nose-clip, American gas experts determined that this type of respirator provided the best protection. Ever since the failure of the ASBR, American gasmask designers toiled to modify, improve, and ultimately make the American version of the SBR more comfortable, more reliable and stronger than the English mask that it mirrored. After numerous revisions, by October of 1917, the design had been perfected. Upon passing a comprehensive battery of field tests, the CEM respirator went into full scale production in January of 1918. It would be the very first U.S. made gasmask to see service in the gas soaked trenches of the Western Front.

This is an excellent example complete with the mask, connection hose, filter, and carry satchel. It also still has the metal "spring" in the bottom that goes under the filter, and even has the original packet containing instructions and repair tape.  The mask is in great condition and still soft, though the rubber connecting hose has hardened over time. The celluloid eye pieces are also now deteriorated, especially the right side.

The best part about this example is definitely the markings on the back of the satchel. It has the soldiers name, regiment, and operating number on the left side:

Co. E. 318. INF.
No. 1321221.

The right side even has a drawn in 80th Infantry Division insignia, which was the division that the 318th Infantry was under during WWI. This division was deployed overseas in June 1918, and saw action at the Battle of the Somme (1918), Meuse-Argonne, and the Battle of Saint-Mihiel.

Genuine examples in this overall very good condition are always hard to find, especially ones with markings like this with great research potential. Ready to display!

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