Original U.S. WWII M1 Schlueter Swivel Bale Front Seam Helmet with Westinghouse Liner and Net

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. In World War II the production of the M1 helmet began in June 1941 and ceased in September 1945. The total production of M-1 helmet shells during the war reached 22,000,000. Of these about 20,000,000 were produced by the main contractor McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company of Detroit. Although McCord was supposed to be the single source of M-1 helmet shells, by the summer of 1942 a second company was enlisted to help the production effort. This was Schlueter Manufacturing of St. Louis, Missouri.

Schlueter began production of its M-1 helmet shells in January 1943. Schlueter produced only 2,000,000 M-1 helmet shells during the war (both fixed and swivel). They placed an "S" stamp on their helmet shells above their "heat temperature stamp".

Aside from the markings, there are some subtle differences between a McCord and Schlueter M-1 helmet shell. This can be found on the rims. A Schlueter helmet shell has a much straighter profile than the classic McCord brim. Also the weld marks for the fixed bales and rim are small and round on a Schlueter, while they are oval and wide for a McCord.

This nice mid war production helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WWII parts and paint, with some light wear from service. The steel shell is stamped 322 along with a large S, indicating Schlueter manufacture and dating from late 1943 to mid 1944, when the rear seam was introduced.  M-1 helmet shell has an stainless steel rim with seam in the front. Stainless steel rims were both rust resistant and had "non-magnetic qualities" that reduced the chance of error readings when placed around certain sensitive equipment (such as a compass). In 1944, due to issues with paint flaking off the bright stainless steel, a "rear seam" design was implemented, using non-magnetic manganese steel, which retained the paint and was not shiny. This helmet features the correct front seam rim and mid war production swivel bales.

Covering the helmet shell is an original OD Green helmet net, which is in very good used condition. IT does have some tears in areas, but has a great "battle-worn" look that collectors love. It still has an intact draw string on the interior, which is not used to secure it.

The liner is correct "high pressure" WWII issue and stamped with a W for the Westinghouse Electric Co Manufactured in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed "W" in the crown (which is still Westinghouse's logo to this day). Westinghouse was the largest M-1 helmet liner producer and had two production divisions; Micarta and Bryant Electric. The Micarta Division produced about 13,000,000 M-1 helmet liners and the Bryant Electric Division about 10,000,000. Westinghouse Electric Company started M-1 helmet liner delivery in May 1942. Westinghouse did have a contract to produce airborne liners and converted an unknown amount to airborne configuration. Westinghouse discontinued production around August 17, 1945 when the war ended.

This true US WWII M-1 helmet liner be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WWII features include cotton OD Green #3 herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in very good shape, with a bit of rust staining from the fittings. This HBT suspension is held tightly within the M-1 helmet liner by rivets and a series of triangular "A" washers. The three upper suspension bands are joined together with the correct OD green string. This way the wearer could adjust the fit. The sweatband is in very good condition, showing light wear and just a bit of staining. There is a bit of rust around the rear securing buckle. There is a name written on the rear strap, but we cannot quite make it out.

Both the shell chin strap and liner chinstrap are present and intact, with the light wear from age and service. The shell strap is the correct OD Green #3 from a mid war helmet, with a stamped steel buckle. It shows light wear, but is really in great shape. The shell chinstrap is the correct leather, with a brass buckle, and is still soft and pliable.

Schlueter helmets have become extremely difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine front seam example. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year.

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