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M1917 Gas Mask Bag Variation(s)


July1, 1916-HLI17SB

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July1, 1916-HLI17SB

I am looking for some experts on WWI US Gas Mask bags. My interest lies in the variations and how to date them. For instance I have attached a photo of a bag that has very high, square sides. Most variations I have seen have sides that are high in the back and slop to the front of the bag. Does anyone know the story behind this square sided bag. Also, are numbers 18 in the lot number sequence the date? All bags I have seen have 1917 on the flap or 18 somewhere in the sequence. Does anyone know if the M1919 KTM mask used the same carriers as the CEMs and late war masks?

 

Lots of questions...hoping someone can help.

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New Romantic

Hi, WWI US mask variations are an interest of mine and I have the same bag as yours. It came with what appears to be an early/transitional model b/w the American Box Respirator and the CEM. I'll have to dig it out later and look at the bag, but I don't think mine has the spring in the side for the cannister and maybe it was never intended to have one. Here's a photo of the mask, but there's no way to tell if it's original to the bag.

 

Bags are very hard to date, most have that cryptic number in the flap. The only US masks I have seen dated were made by Simmons dated 1917 and 1918.

 

As far as I know the KTM was issued with the WWI bag, I've seen a couple like that on ebay several years ago.

 

By the way, I'm glad you correctly refer to the US masks as the Corrected English Model (CEM)! Some collectors call it the M1917 which is an incorrect designation.

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Does anyone know if the M1919 KTM mask used the same carriers as the CEMs and late war masks?

 

I'm pretty sure the Model 1919 KTM used the same carriers as the CEMs. In 1921 the Model 1919 was standardized...called the MI the standardization included changes on the hose, the filter and the carrier. The carrier for the MI is the kidney shaped bag that goes under the arm. SO I would think up till 1921, all the bags were the front square jobbies :)

 

Hope that helps a little.

Dan

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  • 3 weeks later...
July1, 1916-HLI17SB

I found a photo of this type of carrier on Jeff Shrader's catalog site. It was with a WWI 2nd Division Kops-Tissot (K.T.) Gas Mask. This of course doesn't mean that it was only used with the K.T. masks but it would seem to point the fact that this style is simply a variant of the period and not a post war model. I have been viewing what seems like hundreds of gas mask bags in reference books and on line. I found this style on a couple of sites, but they were empty bags with nothing to give a clue as to the date of use. Of note, I have yet to find one bag of any style that doesn't have an "18" in the lot number under the flap, so long as it wasn't outright dated "1917". I have all but decided that the "18" must be a date designation.

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  • 3 months later...

I am not sure at all if this helps anyone, but I did find a spec change in the bag - technically called the "gas mask haversack" late in the war (and I have misplaced the date now...

 

But this was from a CWS guy talking about why they made a change in the haversack at a congressional hearing in 1919 dealing with adjusting payments to manufacturers who had to shut down halfway through their contracts.

 

"Now in order that when a man was using this gas mask in the field it was necessary for the flap on the top of the bag to be closed; otherwise, moisture would get in and spoil its chemical content on which he was depending for safety; and right in here (indicating) was the difficult place to make it rain tight when this flap was over, and in trying to do that the old specifications brought up this gusset and bent it in and then riveted it over in here (indicating). It was that riveting portion on this old style of gusset which depended entirely on the laborer’s skill. There was no chance to do it mechanically. This duck was stiff: it was paraffined and hard to work, and it was a very difficult thing to fold that gusset in, and they were only given one-eight inch tolerance. It had to be very exact: and the resulting rejection from that type of gusset was very, very high

 

To help ourselves and to help the manufacturer we conferred with them all and asked them suggest ideas, and we suggested ideas as to how to change the gusset and have it perform the same function; and we were able to build a gusset which was absolutely straight-away work; it required no skill whatsoever to build. The only thing that it required extra was that it be riveted in two more places. "

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I am not sure at all if this helps anyone, but I did find a spec change in the bag - technically called the "gas mask haversack" late in the war (and I have misplaced the date now...

 

But this was from a CWS guy talking about why they made a change in the haversack at a congressional hearing in 1919 dealing with adjusting payments to manufacturers who had to shut down halfway through their contracts.

 

"Now in order that when a man was using this gas mask in the field it was necessary for the flap on the top of the bag to be closed; otherwise, moisture would get in and spoil its chemical content on which he was depending for safety; and right in here (indicating) was the difficult place to make it rain tight when this flap was over, and in trying to do that the old specifications brought up this gusset and bent it in and then riveted it over in here (indicating). It was that riveting portion on this old style of gusset which depended entirely on the laborer’s skill. There was no chance to do it mechanically. This duck was stiff: it was paraffined and hard to work, and it was a very difficult thing to fold that gusset in, and they were only given one-eight inch tolerance. It had to be very exact: and the resulting rejection from that type of gusset was very, very high

 

To help ourselves and to help the manufacturer we conferred with them all and asked them suggest ideas, and we suggested ideas as to how to change the gusset and have it perform the same function; and we were able to build a gusset which was absolutely straight-away work; it required no skill whatsoever to build. The only thing that it required extra was that it be riveted in two more places. "

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