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AEF Gasmasks & Respirators 1917 to 1919


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#226 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 10:41 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section VII - Ravenna-Tissot, Model of 1918, Dipped Type

 

Also sometime after April of 1918, the Ravenna Rubber Company, in conjuction with the Mechanical Research Section, U.S. Army, developed their own amendment to the BoM American-Tissot. This mask, commonly referred to as the 'Dipped Mask' was unique in that the facepiece was a solidly-molded piece of rubber with no seams or patches. This was achieved by dipping an aluminum form into a solution of natural latex rubber dissolved in naptha until the required thickness was built up.

After semi-curing, the outer stockinette layer and reinforcement strips were adhered before the entire faceblank was vulcanized in dry steam. Like the Whittlesey-Tissot, it used the same eyepieces as the BoM American-Tissot, as well as an improved angletube with simplified flutter guard bracket and smaller internal chin rest. Unlike its predecessors, the Ravenna-Tissot introduced a 6-point head harness, similar to the recent Richardson-Flory-Kops (R.F.K.) Type Box Respirator recently adopted for service with the AEF alongside the older C.E. Type.

It is noted that the design and its concepts were turned over to the Gas Defense Division for production, but it is not known if production came to be or if the design only had its concepts taken to be utilized by W.C. Geer with his own designs. No record of production figure exists for the Ravenna Dipped Tissot.

Pictured Below: Interior View of the Ravenna-Tissot, Model of 1918, Dipped Type. This concept came very close to what would ultimately become the Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type 'B'. [Source: U.S. National Archives]
tissot11.jpg


Edited by DukeNougat3d, 19 January 2019 - 10:42 PM.


#227 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 01:59 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section VIII - Miller-Tissot, Model of 1918 (First and Second Type)

 

Also a design from April of 1918, this peculiar concept was developed by Elton W. Miller of the Miller Rubber Company (later a subsidiary of B.F. Goodrich. Whether or not this merge was present in WWI is unclear, but likely.) as a novel way to eliminate the need for the complicated Y-shaped clarifying tubes used on the BoM American-Tissot pattern masks. The mask went through several notable changes throughout its lifespan, none of which were known to be adopted.

 

In its first rendition, the Miller-Tissot was constructed similar to a Whittlesey Mask, in that a sheet of rubber was given a stockinette outer coating, die-stamped into the rough shape, folded along the seams and vulcanized as one piece with reinforcement strips of rubber along the edges. Unlike the Whittlesey Mask, it was constructed of a much thicker rubber, and used the standard C.E. Type pressed aluminum eyepieces, albeit installed inside-out. Like the BoM American-Tissot, the platforms to which the eyepieces were fastened was a separately patched-on component of the faceblank.

This initial concept used a modified American-Tissot, Navy Shoulder Type angletube in which the internal port for the clarifying tubes was blanked off, the flutter valve post was angled downwards instead of at a rear angle that may strike the throat, and an additional port cast above the hose stem, connecting to a large rubber channel leading up between the lenses, where the air enters the facepiece. A simple bridge of rubber across the intake opening was enough to splash incoming air over the eyepieces in the same way that the normal Y-shaped clarifying tubes did. However, this initial design was criticized, not only for its ungainly back canister that would interfere with a soldier's equipment, but also the difficulty in which the mask was produced and the redundancy of having two openings on the facepiece for both the angletube and the inlet channel.

 

A second and third type made in direct response improved things slightly. The second model Miller-Tissot molded the intake channel into the angletube port, thus removing the need to have two separate holes on the faceblank. This model also made use of the earlier American-Tissot crimped eyepieces as well as the improved angletube design used on the Whittlesey and Ravenna Tissot Masks, albeit now with a left-angled hose stem like the first type Miller-Tissot.

This second model was also the first Tissot mask to utilize an insanely complicated and convoluted carrier-harness setup known as the 'Geer Carrier' (presumably designed by W.C. Geer, alluding to B.F. Goodrich collaborating with the Miller Rubber Co. on these masks). This carrier system was interesting in that unlike early shoulder-type masks, the harness was equipped with a pouch for the mask as well as the filter, and these two pouches were independent from each other and could be shifted anywhere across the upper torso at will. While this carrier system was less obstructive in the sense of having a giant, rectangular bag on your chest with 10" of hose freedom, it was found to be constrictive in the sheer amount of strapping used to secure it to the body, and seemed confusing for even the officials working with the setup.

 

Pictured Below: Front and Interior Views of the Miller-Tissot, Model of 1918 (First Type). The last photo shows the Second Type with the central air channel molded as an integral component, so as not to require two separate openings for this channel as well as the angletube. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot12.jpg

Pictured Below: U.S. Patent #1,348,819 for Elton W. Miller's Second Type Miller-Tissot, Model of 1918, better showing the principles of operation. [Source: Google Patents]

tissot13.jpg


Edited by DukeNougat3d, 20 January 2019 - 02:14 PM.


#228 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 02:42 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section IX - Miller-Tissot, Model of 1918 (Third Type)

 

The third and final type of Miller-Tissot, Model of 1918 was developed under the assistance of Paul W. Carleton and Arthur B. Lamb. This model was overal similar to the second type, except that it did away with the concept of utilizing a central angletube, and instead separated the air intake channel as the point to which the hose was fixed and lead over the shoulder. The flutter valve stood alone as a central, removable stamped brass component.
 

In addition to this, the faceblank was molded so as to reduce dead space inside the mask as well as to no longer require an internal chin rest for reinforcement. Miller-Tissot, Model of 1918 (Third Type) introduced what could be considered the forerunner of the modern internal oronasal cup - a large cushion made of sponge rubber formed a dam between the eyes and the nose, which prevented air from venting up and fogging the lenses. Two curved rubber tubes were built into this nose-bridge that directed air up towards the mouth and nostrils, with the idea being that because the tubes faced upwards, exhaled air would more easily be forced down and out the flutter valve, instead up back out through the oronasal dam.

Like the previous model, it used a Geer Carrier assembly and the American-Tissot style crimped eyepieces. While this concept worked very well, was comfortable to wear, and had features ahead of its time, it ultimately was never produced due to the sheer complexity of the design. The Miller-Tissot series, however introduced a lot of features that would become standard on the later Akron-Tissot Masks.


Pictued Below: Front and Interior Views of the Miller-Tissot, Model of 1918 (Third Type), showing a good view of the sponge rubber nose dam and curved 'ventilation tubes'. [Source: Chemical Development Section [and] Mechanical Research and Development Section; Summary of Achievements, 1917-1918]
Last Two Photos show U.S. Patent #1,352,818 for E.W. Miller, A.B. Lamb, and P.W. Carleton's Third Type Miller-Tissot Mask. [Source: Google Patents]

tissot14.jpg



#229 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 04:42 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section X-a. - Goodrich-Tissot, Model of 1918, Navy Head Canister Type

 

It should go without saying that most of these private developments took heavy influence from W.C. Geer's concepts. One of which was a last-ditch attempt to make use of the American-Tissot platform to develop a compact, self-contained mask for the U.S. Navy. This being the Goodrich-Tissot Navy Head Canister Mask, which was developed between February and March of 1918, being finalized on April 11th of the same year (well before the Whittlesey, Ravenna, and Miller Tissot Masks).

 

It should also be noted that after this point, due to the proliferation of Tissot concepts among various private companies, the designation 'American-Tissot' became only applicable to Goodrich/BoM designs predating April of 1918, seeing as they were the only collaborating industries making an effort to domesticate the French Tissot design. From April of 1918 onwards, the American Tissot, Model of 1918, Bureau of Mines Type became referred to as the Bureau of Mines Tissot, and all subsequent Tissot mask designs would be named after their fostering designer(s), companies, and/or regions of manufacture. To lessen the chance of confusion, I will continue to refer to the American-Tissot series as such.

 

The Goodrich-Tissot was Geer's first entry and a trend-setter into this period of attempting to think outside the parameters of the conventional American-Tissot design - even the Miller-Tissot, which Geer had likely been contracted for production assistance on after, was heavily influenced by this mask. As mentioned before, it was primarily aimed at a Navy contract, submitted alongside the American-Tissot, Navy Shoulder Type Mask, which was delegated to the role of a special purpose mask. Overall, the Goodrich-Tissot Navy Head Canister made much use of the final pattern BoM American-Tissot, but with several obvious changes.

 

The facepiece now in corporated an external, curved airflow deflector channel, similar to the subsequent Miller-Tissot, running over the top of the left lens and towards the back of the head. Also like the Miller-Tissot, the Goodrich-Tissot did away with the Y-shaped clarifying tubes and used a simple bridge of rubber over the inlet between the eyepieces. The outet valve was a crude modification to the BoM American-Tissot angletube in which the hose stem and clarifying tube port were blanked off entirely, leaving only the flutter valve and guard bracket assembly.

The head harness was a unique and revolutionary concept for the time, this being a mesh stockinette material in the form of a skull-cap which covered and cradled the entire head, being attached to the facepiece at all the normal attachment points. A padded cushion and leather pouch supported a cut-down box-type canister on the back of the head, eliminating the need for a corrugated hose or carrier of any sort. This canister reportedly had one-half the life of the standard Type 'H' canister, and weighed a total of 16.5 ounces.

 

The leather pouch the canister was contained in had a stud and flap closure assembly, and the breathing tube of the mask furnished with a French Tissot-style hose latch, so that the canister could be removed from the mask and harness for ease of replacement or inspection. The canister was noted on it's light weight and the facepiece for its general comfort and good seal, however the significantly short life span of the filter and its poor protection for smoke lead the Navy to rejecting it and ending the contract around May of 1918 in favor of another mask which placed a larger canister on top of the head. 

Pictured Below: Front and Side Views of the Goodrich-Tissot, Model of 1918, Navy Head Canister Type [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot15.jpg



#230 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 04:52 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section X-b. - Goodrich-Tissot, Model of 1918, Navy Head Canister Type

 

Pictured Below: Rear View of the Goodrich-Tissot Navy Head Canister Type, Showing Filter Pouch [Source: U.S. National Archives]

The last two photos show confidental documents regarding the development of the Goodrich-Tissot Navy Head Canister Type. [Source: Fort Leonard Wood Archives]

tissot16.jpg

 

Pictured Below: A section of this same document referring to the end of the Navy Head Canister Type's contract, due to the development of a mask with a superior canister on the way. [Source: Fort Leonard Wood Archives]

tissot17.jpg


Edited by DukeNougat3d, 20 January 2019 - 04:54 PM.


#231 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 10:58 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XI-a. - Navy Gas Mask, Mark II, Helmet Canister Type

 

Around the time the Goodrich-Tissot, Navy Head Canister Type was being rejected, work was progressively being made on another type of gas mask which places the filtering canister on the head in order to have more freedom of movement in the confines of a ship. It was a Mr. Coe of the U.S. Rubber Company assisted by a Lieutenant Squiers of the U.S. Navy who devised a radical shift in design from the American-Tissot platform. This new type of mask placed the canister directly on top of the head on a felt-lined aluminum helmet, rather than behind it on the skull-cap, to provide for a more balanced arrangement that can afford to accomodate a larger canister comfortably.

The mask was made of a red-brown 'non-blooming' rubber, coated in stockinette, which employed a skull-cap hood of the same material over the top of the head, with additional straps for suspension. It used the American-Tissot crimped eyepieces, and did away with complicated air channels, die-cast angletubes, or other such arrangements by simply leading two, non-corrugated tubes off the top of the lenses directly to the canister(s). Expired air was forced out an upwards-facing flutter valve positioned between the tubes.

 

The mask went though several distinct changes until it's final design in June of 1918. *Note: The chronological development of the 'First' and 'Second' Models are rough estimates based on relative design trends, and the former may have been developed before the latter. Further citation is needed on the timeline of this mask.*

  • The first* model placed one canister behind the head, with the inlet tube crossing to the side of the eyepiece behind the ears. A central, pillbox-shaped felt smoke filter on top of the head, secured with additional, vertical straps with no aluminum helmet. *This could more than likely be the first model, due to the lack of aluminum helmet and presence of canister behind the neck, similar to the Goodrich-Tissot.
     
  • The second* model had a crude, bucket-like helmet and used twin, cylindrical canisters on either side of this assembly. Inlet tubes were positioned above the eyepieces, rather than the sides.
     
  • The third model placed the filtering canister directly on top of the improved aluminum helmet, and provisions were made to produce an L-shaped smoke prefilter that plugs into the rear of the canister. The deflector tubes join together at a brass Y-tube with a latch to secure to the down-angled neck of canister.
     
  • The fourth model kept the general arrangement of the third type, the main revisions being that the position of the inlet tubes was shifted to the sides of the eyepieces to reduce pressure on the eyebrows, adding an extra set of temple straps to the facepiece above the ears, as well as improving the arrangment of the felt smoke prefilters, this time being bilaterally-mounted to each side of the canister.

The fourth rendition of the mask was adopted as the Navy Gas Mask, Mark II, Helmet Canister Type in June ​of 1918 and slowly began replacing the older Navy Gas Mask, Mark I, Mouth Canister Type, which had been in service since late 1917. The Mk.II was also unique in that it used a similar sponge rubber oronasal dam to the Miller-Tissot, Model of 1918 (Third Type), but with non-curved ventilation tubes. The mask had no carrier, but a wooden box in which it was stored in a readily-accessed location for when they were needed, similar to the doctrine used with the older Mk.I Mask.
 

Pictured Below: First*, Second*, Third, and Fourth (Final) Variants of the Navy Gas Mask, Mark II, Helmet Canister Type. [Source: U.S. National Archives] 

tissot18.jpg


Edited by DukeNougat3d, 20 January 2019 - 11:12 PM.


#232 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 12:31 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XI-b. - Navy Gas Mask, Mark II, Helmet Canister Type

 

Pictured Below: A Navy Gas Mask, Mark II, Helmet Canister Type with the installed Bilateral Felt Smoke Filter Pads [Source: "Breathing Apparatus (Rescue and Protective)", 1920]

tissot19.jpg
tissot20.jpg

 

Pictured Below: A Navy Gas Mask, Mark II, Helmet Canister Type with the Mississippi Telephone Attachment - an early integrated headset and microphone built into the facepiece. From the last photo you can view an interior shot of the Mk.II, with sponge rubber oronasal dam partially visible. [Source: Naval History and Heritage Command]

tissot21.jpg



#233 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 03:05 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XII-a. - Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type A

 

By now, W.C. Geer had a front-row seat to all the developments being made among various private industries, and the first thing that was done after the failed attempts to secure a contract for the BoM American-Tissot and Goodrich-Tissot Navy Head Canister Masks was to take a step back, digest the scattered good ideas among the several private developments, and compile them into a simple, familiar, and reasonably inexpensive concept using as much existing production hardware as possible. And thus, the Akron-Tissot, or A.T. Gas Mask was born, beginning devlopment in May of 1918, being completed on June of the same year.

 

The A.T. was named for the fact the contract given to it fell under the production of both B.F. Goodrich and the Goodyear Rubber Company, both of which were based out of Akron, Ohio. There were also two main facepiece variants of the Akron-Tissot, the Type A and the Type B. The Type A took the material and basic construction principles of the Miller-Tissot while retaining the general layout of the Whittlesey Mask.

 

Like the Miller and Whittlesey Tissots, the Type A Akron-Tissot began as a calendered sheet of black rubber, with the semi-cured eyepiece pockets molded in place on the flat sheet aligned with a flat aluminum building form with raised bumps to center said pockets, before the rubber was die-cut to shape, the stockinette layers and reinforcement strips adhered to key areas, the faceblank template folded and chin seam formed, and cured in dry steam on an aluminum curing form before turning the completed faceblanks over to the Gas Defense Plant at Long Ilsant, New York for final assembly of hardware.

The Type A used the same angletube and chinrest as the Whittlesey mask, and initially used the same clarifying tubes as the BoM American-Tissot, but later switched to the more rounded type used on the Ravenna-Tissot. Issued examples of the Type A used the same pressed, olive-painted eyepieces used on the C.E. and R.F.K. Box Respirators, but some variants used an experimental lens system known as the 'Besse Eyepieces' (named for Lt. Col. A.L. Besse, who was in charge of organizing the contracts and delivery of gas mask components) - this being a black-painted 'C'-shaped ring with a half-circular clip to fasten it around the eyepiece pocket and sandwich the lens in place. The Type A also used the same 5-point harness, 10" hose, and Type 'H' Canister of the C.E.-Type Box Respirator.

 

The Akron-Tissot masks seemed to be a rousing success, and a contract was placed in July of 1918 to procude both the Type A and B Variants for the U.S. Army, where they would be further tested and experimented with, and limited numbers even going overseas to be issued to specialty personnel.

 

Pictured Below: The Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type A [Source: Department of the Interior Bureau of Mines Technical Paper 248 - "Gas Masks for Gases Met in Fighting Fires", 1921] 

tissot22.jpg



#234 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 03:20 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XII-b. - Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type A

 

Pictured Below: Two Soldiers undergo Gas Training at Fort Myer, Virginia. The soldier on the left is donning an Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type A with Besse Eyepieces, while the man on the right is wearing an early C.E. Type Box Respirator. [Source: Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine]

The last photo shows a group of soldiers at Lakehurst Proving Grounds wearing Type A Akron-Tissot Masks, some of which have Besse Eyepieces, while others have the normal, pressed C.E. eyepieces. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot23.jpg

 

Pictured Below: Side and Internal Views of the Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type A. Notice the Besse Eyepieces on the specimen in the side view. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot24.jpg



#235 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 03:42 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XII-c. - Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type A

 

Pictured Below: Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type A Masks with C.E. Pressed Lenses and 'Simplexene' Fighting Suits, an early effort to issue gas-protective suits to the general doughboy. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot25.jpg

 

Pictured Below: A Type A Akron-Tissot (Rare Size 4, most A.T. exmaples were Size 3) with Besse Eyepieces and an experimental Flat Plate Felt Filter. Notice the modified MI Chest Carrier with the opening flap extending all the way down the front. [Source: U.S. National Archives] 

tissot26.jpg



#236 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 03:55 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XII-d. - Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type A

 

 

Pictured Below: An Akron-Tissot Model of 1918, Type A with Besse Eyepieces and an experimental integrated transmitter (microphone) assembled in-line with the breathing hose. Pictured with a Model #1325B Field Telelphone Set. Likely rejected due to the windy breathing sounds that would have been heard whilst in operation. Photographed at the Signal Corps Research and Inspection Division's Photo Labs, Paris, France. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot27.jpg  



#237 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 04:37 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XIII-a. - Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type B

 

Developed alongside the Type A and also finalized on June of 1918, Type B directly copied the principles of the Ravenna Dipped Mask, in this being that the faceblank was manufactured by successively dipping an aluminum curing form into black liquid rubber until desired thickness was built up, the rubber semi-cured, stockinette layers and reinforcement strips applied, and the whole assembly cured to produce a seamless, one-piece mask with no points of failure. The Type B also was the first Goodrich design to utilize a 6-point head harness and Type 'J' Canister, similar to the R.F.K. Mask. Like the Type A, it can be found utilizing pressed C.E. Type and Besse Type eyepieces.

 

Around 197,000 Type B's are estimated to have been produced, totalling both Type A and B variants to an estimated total of around 364,000 Akron-Tissot Masks produced by December of 1918. Due to the superior ergonomics of the molded facepiece, which improved the angle and distance between the lenses, as well as the addition of a 6-point self-centering head harness with adjustable temple straps, it was a much better fit on most faces than the Type A, however both variants suffered from an inability to seal on men with high cheekbones and cavernous dimples. Nevertheless, both types were issued sparsely and used for testing beginning July 11, 1918.

 

The Type B did not see as much experimentation as it's chin seam counterpart, and seems to have been issued in lesser numbers by comparison of existing photos, however this may be due to the Type B being immediately approved for irregular issue, rather than being mostly delegated as a testbed experimental mask. For a while, the Akron-Tissot seemed to hold the most promise of being America's standard-issue protective mask, however other industries were still trying to advance and offer their own concepts of a mask utilizing the tissot principle, and this combined with the A.T. series being still very difficult to manufacture in large numbers put a strain on it becoming adopted. 

 

Pictured Below: Front and Side Views of the Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type B. [Source: U.S. National Archives]
The last photo shows a Type B's Internal View, showing the improved clarifying tubes, internal chin rest, and molded contours of the facepiece. Interesting to note is this example does not have harness stitching going through the rubber and a Type A-style patched-in set of eyepiece pockets. This may be a pre-production or experimental specimen of a Type B. Also worth mentioning is the rubber is in fact black, but appears white due to the heavy coating of talcum powder to prevent the fresh rubber from sticking together. [Source: Unknown, possibly Fort Leonard Wood Archives]

tissot28.jpg

Pictured Below: A Type B Akron-Tissot with Besse Eyepieces. Last photo shows a Type B with C.E. Pressed Eyepieces, showing the rear view of the head harness with adjustment buckles. Also make note of the faint 'AT' stamp on the lower portion of the chinpiece. [Source: Unknown, possibly Fort Leonard Wood Archives]

tissot29.jpg  



#238 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 04:52 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XIII-b. - Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type B

 

Pictured Below: Two Aluminum Dipping and Curing Forms used in producing Type B Akron-Tissot Faceblanks. The Flat Building Form used for producing the Type A is pictured to the right. [Source: "Gas Defense Equipment and the Rubber Industry", India Rubber World Vol 59-60, March 1, 1919] *Note - I am in need of a higher-quality copy of this image, if one knows where to source it, please inform me!*

tissot30.jpg

Pictured Below: Many unfinished Type B Akron-Tissot Faceblanks being inspected, likely at the Gas Defense Plant in Long Island, New York awaiting final assembly. Note that the holes for the eyepieces have not yet been cut. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot31.jpg



#239 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 05:05 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XIII-c. - Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type B

 

Pictured Below: Major General E. Helmick Inspects Troops wearing the Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type B. [Source: Unknown Press Photo]

tissot32.jpg

Pictured Below: The Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type B worn with an early Impermiable Gas Protective Suit for chemical munitions workers and handlers as well as for decontamination squads. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot33.jpg



#240 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 08:17 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XIV - Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918 (Pressed C.E. Eyepieces)

 

While the Akron-Tissot was underway, a famous CWS officer and gas mask developer had been taking notice and was ready to impliment his design for a tissot mask. Waldemar Kops formerly worked as a corset designer for the Kops Bros. Company that he and Daniel Kops both ran. During WWI, he applied to the gas defense division, offering his expertise in the textile industry to try and improve the fit of existing masks. Together with Ralph Richardson, the head of the Gas Defense Plant and E.L. Flory, a CWS Officer, they had improved the C.E. Type Box Respirator in February of 1918 with the introduction of the Richardson-Flory-Kops (R.F.K.) Mask, which went on to be the most produced mask of the war, totalling in at around 3 million produced before December 1918.

 

By the time the Akron-Tissot masks had any serious intrest, Kops (by now the rank of Major in the CWS) had developed his own design, which became known as the Kops-Tissot. Instead of molded rubber, it used a multi-layer laminate sheet of rubberized cotton sailcloth backed with layers of stockinette that was die-stamped with the proper holes and cuts, sewn along 4-5 key seams, an in-turned cotton peripheral seal and chin strap sewn onto the edge, sailcloth tape cemented over the seams, and the various hardware affixed to their proper, corresponding holes. Rather than a complicated die-cast angletube, the Kops-Tissot used a single brass elbow for the hose, with the flutter valve positioned at the chin.

 

This design arrangement was very solid and much simpler to produce than the A.T., however being mostly fabric later gave note to serious permiability problems, as gasses like chloropicrin and mustard would absorb through the layers if heavily saturated. In its early configuration, the K.T. used the olive-painted pressed aluminum C.E. Type Eyepieces, and the tissot deflector was either a conical piece of rubber that was flattened and curved, or an internal brass Y-Joint with separate clarifying tubes for the airflow deflector system [further research needed on the one existing example known with this latter form of deflector]. The flutter valve guard bracket was also clamped into place, rather than being bolted onto two lugs as it later would be.

 

These early K.T.'s also used the earlier, yellow Type 'H' Canister and often the undyed stockinette C.E. hoses. Like the R.F.K., the K.T. used a 6-point head harness arrangement which distributed pressure evenly and comfortably. Also notable among early K.T. variants is a Small-Medium-Large-based sizing system, rather than a numeric one. This is a doctrine/feature that would not re-emerge until the late 1930's.

Pictured Below: Front and Side Views of a very early Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918. In addition to the C.E. Pressed Eyepieces, the cut of this particular example's faceblank seems to be much rougher than the final production versions. Note the flutter guard bracket and clamp are missing from the valve. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot34.jpg

Pictured Below: An existing example of an original model K.T. with the C.E. Eyepieces. Notice the Flutter Guard Bracket clamped in place and the name of the former user written on the layered stockinette portion of the facepiece. [Source: Unknown]
Last photo shows the interior of an early K.T., showing the peculiar separate clarifying tubes on a brass Y-joint. I am still uncertain if this feature is original to the early K.T. model, as period photos show it with the typical flattened rubber cone deflector. Given that the specimen pictured is a postwar reconfiguration for industrial usage with modified hardware, it could be possible the deflector system was changed out for whatever reason, but I am not entirely sure either way. [Source: Collection of Moulage from gasmaskbunker.com] 

tissot35.jpg


Edited by DukeNougat3d, 21 January 2019 - 08:27 PM.


#241 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 08:46 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XV - Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918 (Threaded Eyepieces)

 

The next stage of development for the K.T. was improvement of the cut and fit of the faceblank as well as upgrading the eyepieces used. For quite a breif period, an early set of threaded, replaceable eyepieces were used, and despite how innovative of a concept they were, they were not adopted into the final design and the mask was later re-upgraded again. This transitional threaded lens model still utilized the same clamped flutter guard bracket, S-M-L size system, and Type 'H' Canister of the previous model, changing essentially nothing but the eyepieces.

 

Unfortunately, there is little to no information on this threaded eyepiece variant, and I have no confirmed period photographs of it, as all potential matches in photos are too blurry to confirm. Christopher T. Carey featured a very good example in his book "Chemical and Biological Defense Respirators: An Illustrated History", and I hope to think there is still a collector with one of these extremely rare threaded K.T.'s still out there. If you own know of these examples or have more photos/information, please feel free to respond to this thread.

Pictured Below: Two suriving specimens of threaded eyepiece K.T. Masks, the last two photos being of the same example. Note the faint 'MEDIUM' stamp on the forehead and 'KT' stamp behind the eyepiece in the last photograph. [Source(s): Unknown, eBay]

tissot36.jpg



#242 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 12:02 AM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XIV.a - Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918 (Pressed K.T. Eyepieces)

 

The final variant of the Kops-Tissot, which was approved for production on September of 1918 upgraded the eyepieces once more to a black-painted, pressed brass type, as well as improving the Canister to the newer Type 'J'. Later variations also replaced the clamped-on flutter guard bracket with a bolted type. This variant is the type that was the most widely produced, totalling the K.T.'s production at around 337,000 Masks before December of 1918.

By this point in the game, the Army was beginning to play favorites with the K.T. for its lower cost of production and slightly higher rate of manufature and seemed more inclined towards adopting it over the A.T., essentially making the year's worth of research, trial, and error they had put W.C. Geer through ultimately pointless. Despite the Army's enthusiasm, Kops was not confident in the design, feeling as if the design was still too complicated to produce with its multiple seam design, and began working on a new mask to replace it later that month. There was also being discovered problems with the K.T.'s susceptibility to gas permeation due to its cloth-based facepiece with a bare minimum of rubber.

Nevertheless, sparse amounts of K.T.'s made it overseas for testing and limited issue to specialty roles.

Pictured Below: The Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918 with Pressed K.T. Eyepieces. Notice the early, clamped flutter valve guard still present. [Source: Unknown]

Last photos show U.S. Patent #1,395,837 for Waldemar Kops's Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918. [Source: Google Patents]

tissot37.jpg

Pictured Below: Soldiers Play Baseball while wearing Kops-Tissot Masks at the Gas Defense Plant, Long Island, New York. Most appear to be the type with the pressed K.T. eyepieces, however it is quite possible earlier threaded types are present. [Source: U.S. National Archives]
tissot38.jpg

 



#243 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 05:00 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XIV.b - Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918 (Pressed K.T. Eyepieces)

 

Pictured Below: An Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type B alongside a Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918 (Pressed K.T. Eyepieces) in use with field telephones, demonstrating the advantage of not requiring a mouthpiece. The last photo features a Browning M1917 Machine Gun crew training while wearing K.T.'s. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot39.jpg

Pictured Below: A typical example of a Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918 with the pressed K.T. Eyepieces. [Source: Collection of Bart Wilkus] Last photo shows the interior of a K.T., exposing the conical rubber clarifying pouch as well as the chin rest strap, reminiscent to the design of later WWII German masks. [Source: http://www.maski.poszukiwania.pl ]

tissot40.jpg  



#244 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 05:39 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XV - Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918 (Shoulder Type, Flat Plate Felt Filter)

 

This peculiar experimental arrangement uses an early Kops-Tissot facepiece with pressed C.E. Type Eyepieces, with the inlet elbow tube angled to the left to lead a hose over the shoulder to another variation of the Flat Plat Felt Filter that was experimented with around this period. Not much is known of the details of this experiment and the concept likely never progressed much further past this initial concept. Date of introduction is unknown, but is likely around or sometime after September of 1918.

*Edit - This concept likely existed sometime after October 11, 1918, as the non-corrugated section of the hose attached to the elbow tube is the same type used on the Goodrich-Lakeside Tissot Mask from that month and year.

Pictured Below: Kops-Tissot, Model of 1918, Shoulder Type with Flat Plate Felt Filter. [Source: U.S. National Archives]
tissot41.jpg
 


Edited by DukeNougat3d, 24 January 2019 - 05:46 PM.


#245 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 06:14 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XVI - Kops-Tissot-Monro, Model of 1919

 

Not pleased with the low rate of production plaguing the Kops-Tissot, Waldemar Kops quickly set to work developing another mask, which would set his legacy as a gas mask developer. Working with CWS Officer Randolph Monro, the pair took the best features from the A.T. and K.T. Masks and combined them into what became the Kops-Tissot-Monro (K.T.M.) Mask. The superior fit, protection, and comfort of this design would serve as the U.S.'s main basis of gas mask design, with variations of the design lasting as far in service as 1944.

The facepiece took influence from the Whittlesey-Tissot and Type 'A' Akron-Tissot, in this being a flat sheet of rubber furnished with a stockinette layer on the outside, folded and assembled with a seam at the chin, and assembled with its hardware. On the K.T.M. however, the rubber was thicker, and instead of forming and vulcanizing the sheet as one piece, the faceblank was sewn in a zigzag pattern along the single chin seam, which was reinforced with fabric tape. The elliptical-shaped holes for the circular eyepieces was sufficient enough to form the rounded profile of the eyepiece platforms through stretching of these holes warping the material into shape.

 

The K.T.M. used the same pressed, black-finished brass eyepieces as the K.T. Mask, and a similar angletube to the Akron-Tissot, however the pitch of the flutter valve post and guard bracket was lowered, so that said bracket would not strike the throat as the A.T. did. Like the K.T., it used a similar, cone-shaped tissot deflector pouch, rather than the complicated, molded Y-tube of the A.T. Mask. The same MI Chest Carrier and 11" Breathing Hose were used, but the filter was the upgraded MI Filter, which had dual inlet valves, protected by a rain guard at the top of the canister so that a filter support spring would not be needed in the carrier.

 

The new MI filter was painted a bright blue color and was the first officially adopted standard service canister that added felt as a filtering agent to protect against smokes. The K.T.M. was approved for production in October of 1918, and plans were made to mass-produce them for a proposed 1919 Offensive (similar to how the E6-3-7 (M5-11-7) Army Assault Mask was rushed into service for the D-Day Landings). This plan would never surface, as the war would end a month later, putting a meager total of 2,000 K.T.M. Masks produced by December of 1918.

Pictured Below: Front, Side and Internal Views of the Kops-Tissot-Monro, Model of 1919. [Source: U.S. National Archives]
tissot42.jpg



#246 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 12:15 AM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XVII - Goodrich-Lakeside Mask, Model of 1918

 

Down, but not out, W.C. Geer decided to take a step back and analize the shortcomings experienced with the A.T. as well as the K.T. and K.T.M. Masks. Working together with Major R.G. Pearce, Medical Division of the Chemical Warfare Service, working out of the Physiological Laboratory, Lakeside Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, the two teams collaborated to develop, test, and endorse what they considered a superior design to all masks in service. This mask, which employed the best features of all previous designs, was finalized on October 11, 1918 as the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask.

 

From its initial appearance, the mask at first appears to be a reworked Goodrich-Tissot Navy Head Canister Mask, using the same, over-the-lens forehead intake tube, to which a central hose was connected, leading to the canister, which was slung in a Geer Carrier Harness. Unlike the Navy Head Canister Mask, the Goodrich-Lakeside was made similarly to the Type B Akron-Tissot, being dip-molded on an aluminum curing form until sufficient thickness of rubber is acquired, which then is semi-cured, coated in stockinette and reinfoced with rubber strips, and the external hardware applied. Like the Navy Head Canister Mask, the Goodrich-Lakeside uses a 'skull-cap' head harness made of the same stockinette material coating the facepiece, reinforced with vulcanized rubber strips and adjustable with a lace system down the center.

 

The Goodrich-Lakeside Mask also utilized the Besse Eyepieces and an improved outlet valve assembly, known as the Geer Valve. Also like the Navy Head Canister Mask, the Goodrich-Lakeside had no internal clarifying Y-tube, but instead a simple sheet rubber baffle over the inlet port to deflect the incoming air over the eyepieces. The concept of reducing cost by eliminating the need for a conjoined inlet/outlet angletube assembly as well as to push the idea that a back mounted carrier provided minimal restriction of a soldier's mobility was pushed hard with the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask.

Pictured Below: Front, Side, and Rear Views of the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask, Model of 1918. One can get a good understanding of the clumsy nature of the Geer Carrier Harness and the remarkably expensive nature of this design from appearance alone. [Source: "Presentation of the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask and A Study of the Principles Involved in Mask Design"]
tissot43.jpg

While testing this mask, careful observation was paid to the fit and seal of the mask, the rate of gas permeation through the rubber, the general comfort and pressure in which the mask and its harness applied to the user, the weight and fatigue of the assembly, the field of vision permitted through the position and size of the eyepieces, and of course, breathing resistance. During these tests Geer was critical of his own A.T., noting its large area of deas space inside the facepiece, poor range of vision, inability to fit perfectly without comprimising the level of comfort due to over-tightening of the harness, its relatively high permeability to certain war gases, and most of all, its high rate of breathing resistance caused by the small channels of the die-cast angletube assembly. In reference to his competetor's mask, the Kops-Tissot, Geer was even more critical, claiming that the mask does not seal under any circumstances and called for the immediate discontinuation of its production.

Pictured Below: A rather brazen statement by W.C. Geer and R.G. Pearce calling for the disbandment of production regarding the Kops-Tissot Mask. [Source: "Presentation of the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask and A Study of the Principles Involved in Mask Design"]
tissot44.jpg

Despite claiming that the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask supersedes all previous masks in comfort, vision, seal, breathing resistance, etc, it was ultimately found too complex for the average soldier to manage as well as too advanced and expensive to manufacture in comparison to the K.T.M. Mask. While the testing life of the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask was cut short, principles and components of the mask were integrated onto other existing designs for various, equally short-lived experimental reasons.

Pictured Below: The Goodrich-Lakeside Mask. [Source: Unknown, possibly Fort Leonard Wood Archives] Last photo shows U.S. Patent #1,364,104 for Dr. William Chauncey Geer's Goodrich-Lakeside Mask, Model of 1918. Note detail #21 - optional hollow rubber pads to fill the gap of men whose temples are cavernous and prevent a proper seal of the mask. [Source: Google Patents]
tissot45.jpg   



#247 world war I nerd

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 11:18 AM

Duke, thank you again for adding the in-depth information regarding the development of the U.S. Tissot mask.

 

I'm really happy to see that someone's filling in the blanks that I left in this topic ... of which there are many!

 

Your hard work is very much appreciated.

 

PS, great photos and diagrams as well.


Edited by world war I nerd, 26 January 2019 - 11:19 AM.


#248 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 04:28 PM

Duke, thank you again for adding the in-depth information regarding the development of the U.S. Tissot mask.

 

I'm really happy to see that someone's filling in the blanks that I left in this topic ... of which there are many!

 

Your hard work is very much appreciated.

 

PS, great photos and diagrams as well.


It's no problem at all. ^^ I've been meaning to compile all this info and get it out there eventually, and this thread seemed like the perfect spot, since any google searches relating to WWI masks seems to lead to this thread. I've still got a few more specimens to post, as well as an analysis of the pieces in my personal collection, so stay tuned.
 

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XVIII-a. - Oddities! - Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type B, Shoulder Type

 

*Note - This section will be dedicated to designs that I have little to no bearing on in terms of information, date, and development. Typically one-off experimental masks that are on the whole insignificant to the development of U.S. gas masks utilizing a tissot deflector system.

This peculiar and unknown variant of the Akron-Tissot, Model of 1918, Type B is a callback to the earlier American-Tissot Navy Shoulder Type, in that the die-cast angletube has been arranged with the hose stem at a left angle so that the breathing tube may be routed over the shoulder to a back-mounted canister. The facepiece is a normal dip-molded, stockinette-reinforced 'Type B' Facepiece with the Besse-Type Eyepieces, with the only modification to the faceblank being an additional nape strap added for support. The hose assembly appears to be borrowed off of the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask, seeing as a large portion of the tube leading from the angletube is non-corrugated, much like the forehead tube of the Goodrich-Lakeside, however the source footage predates the finalization of the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask, so it is unknown if it is a borrowed component or a predecessor of a component used by the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask.

 

The harness uses assets from the Geer Carrier Harness, but seemingly arranged to be slightly less complicated. It is unknown why this and many other experimental shoulder-type A.T./K.T. variations of this period seem to recycle the Goodrich-Lakeside Mask tubes, but my best educated assumption is that it was for reasons of cost - being that it is far cheaper to have a section of the breathing tube that is non-corrugated than it is to make the full length of the tube corrugated. It is also completely unknown why this configuration was created, what role it was intended to serve, and what type of canister it uses.

The screencaps posted below show the only known evidence of this configuration, and the footage it comes from suggests that it was taken at Chaumont, Haute-Marne, France on August 19th of 1918 - "Experimental Trials for Quick adjustment of new American Gas Masks". [Source: "Chemical Warfare Activities in the AEF"]
tissot46.jpg



#249 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 05:39 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XVIII-b. - Oddities! - Naval Officer's Masks

 

As early as 1918, the requirement for officers to have their voices heard was recognized, and realizing that Tissot masks, despite lacking a mouthpiece/noseclip, still significantly muffled the wearer's range of speech. To meet this demand for a mask with a voice transmission system, two masks were developed, with a Navy contract in mind. The circumstances, dates, and results of experimentation are not known at this time, and even the designations are unknown (both have been labelled T.T.2, and I am unsure if that is the correct designation or not) so all that can be offered is an analysis of their appearance.

 

The first Naval Officer's Mask was designed by none other than Dr. William C. Geer of the B.F. Goodrich Company (assuming the photograph descriptions weren't mixed up), and his design is perhaps the most radical, completely stepping away from the American-Tissot platform which he'd been used to producing by this point and submitted his concept with a faceblank of completely hand-cut, scratch-built calendered rubber, using no prexisting die-cutters or molds. Outwardly, Geer's design is rather crude, using absolutely no existing hardware and while incorporating some rather unique principles (such as a pseudo-oronasal cup molded as a part of the facepiece), was overall a very gnarly and complicated prototype. The only stock piece of hardware that appears to have been recycled is an early C.E.-Type Die-Cast Angletube assembly, which has clearly been modified to incorporate an early speech diaphragm assembly, consisting of a plastic membrane to carry the voice.

 

It is without any doubt that this concept would be rejected not only for its crude design, but overly-complex and proprietary method of manufacture. Nevertheless, it was an interesting idea and perhaps the first gas mask design in histroy to employ a voice diaphragm assembly. The next concept would be a bit closer to what a diaphragm gas mask should be.

Pictured Below: Naval Officer's Mask for Speaking into Voice Tubes. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot47.jpg

This second design, which is attributed to a Dr. A.C. Webster of Clark University, is a much more robust and sensible concept, making use of a pre-existing American-Tissot-style faceblank, with a large (and comical-looking) speaking diaphragm arranged as the central part of the angletube assembly, with the flutter valve and hose stem being arranged behind the diaphragm at downward diagonal positions. Inside the mask, there is interestingly no clarifying tube or inner oronasal cup system, but a simple cone intended to redirect the voice into the diaphragm assembly. Aside from these physical details, there is again, no information of correct designation, date of conception, length and outcome of experiments, etc.

 

This concept interestingly has several concepts that would re-appear in subsequent diaphragm gas masks of the interwar period, as the angled hose stem and flutter valve based around a large, central voice diaphragm is a design layout similar to the later MI Diapragm Mask of the early 1920's. The use of an internal speech cone to redirect the voice is also a feature seen on many Army and Navy (as well as some industrial) Diaphragm Masks from the WWII period. As a final statement on these masks, it could be possible that Geer developed the American-Tissot based example seen below while Webster designed the apparatus above, due to the typist having many errors in the description cards of these photos, and that it being more likely for Geer to stick with platforms he recognizes rather than scratch-building proprietary concepts, but it is uncertain either way.

Pictured Below: Naval Officer's Mask for Speaking into Voice Tubes. [Source: U.S. National Archives]

tissot48.jpg



#250 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 08:13 PM

U.S. Development and Domestication of the Tissot Gas Mask

Section XVIII-c. - Oddities! - Kraus University Mask, Type III

 

Here is an example of an oddity mask which has far more documentation than previous masks in this section, however due to the general lack of influence is has on the timeline of development for American masks, it belongs here. Designed by a Dr. Kraus of Clark University and constructed by the Hood Rubber Company, the Type III University Mask was a peculiar modification of the Akron-Tissot Type B Mask that aimed to both improve comfort, defogging principles, and ease of manufacture. The facepiece was overall identical in materials and construction to the A.T., but with several novel features employed.

 

The eyepieces were unlike any previous mask, being an oval shape, rather than a full circle, with the frames made of rolled aluminum. These eyepieces were noted to be a vast improvement in the field of vision offered by previous adversary designs. Also improved was the angletube assembly, which was made of a molded rubber reinforced with brass tubing, rather than the complicated and expensive aluminum die-cast angletubes used with the A.T. Mask. Finally, and most importantly, rather than clarifying tubes, the University Mask incorporated what could be the forerunner of the modern internal oronasal cup - air is deflected through channels molded into the cup before passing down into it, with the exhale port isolated inside this assembly so that no exhaled air could blow back and fog the eyepieces.

Pictured Below: Front, Side, and Internal Views of the Kraus University Mask, Type III [Source: U.S. National Archives]
tissot49.jpg

In addition to being noted for comfort, the University Mask was also noted to resist fogging well even at below zero temperatures. No further reference of this mask comes up regarding production or military trials, so it is safe to assume that it was deemed too expensive/complicated for mass-production. While insignificant in effect of development, the University Mask was a design well ahead of its time, as it would not be until 1942 when the U.S. would adopt a standard infantry mask with an internal oronasal cup.

Pictured Below: Farrington Daniels with his Firstborn Son on Christmas Day. Daniels is seen wearing the Kraus University Mask, Type III [Source: Unknown]
tissot50.jpg


Edited by DukeNougat3d, 30 January 2019 - 08:23 PM.



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