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Dennison Helmet Nets


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A few years ago a well known militaria dealer was selling "Dennison" labled helmet nets. These were 2" mesh vehicle style netting cut into 18" X 18" squares and were unique in that they featured a paper label marked "Dennison U.S.A 1944". They are treated with the smelly anti-mildew compound. Soon after they appeared it was suggested they were fakes. One of my friends even suggested that "Dennison" was the sellers favorite brand of chili! So the question is: Are they for real?

 

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I have never seen any reference anywhere about a "Dennison" net. The British had the camouflaged airborne smock referred to as a Dennison Jump Smock. My guess, the seller of this net probably borrowed the name. Your net is not a WWII manufactured item.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."

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I have seen reference to the Dennison made net in one of the helmet books, cant remember wich one, doesnt mean its 100% acurate but I do remember seeing it mentioned......mike think.gif

Always looking for and buying 50's era 11th Airborne/ 187th ARCT/ 82nd Airborne tac mark painted jump helmets!

 

 

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I have seen reference to the Dennison made net in one of the helmet books, cant remember wich one, doesnt mean its 100% acurate but I do remember seeing it mentioned......mike think.gif

 

Well Gunbunny & Mike, I stand with shame facedness. blushing.gif I was bugged by this and did a little research and whaddaya know, Pg. 363 in Chris Armolds: Painted Steel shows a Dennison Net. My quick picture sucks but, to quote the book: This is the tag found on a cargo-style helmet net made by Dennison, a company located in Massachusetts. Nets of this style were commonly used by U.S. soldiers in WWII.

So, I retract my original quote and apologize for quickly discounting it. I'm now heading for the dunce corner. emba0005.gif

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"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."

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Yeah, I told Chris that. Dennison is about 1/4 mile down the road from my house. They were made famous by manila tags attached to bales during the civil war. They did all kinds of paper/printing/stringy things. In WW1 printed about half of all Gas Mask booklets withthe little string ties in them.

 

It was merged with Avery a while back and is now Avery Dennison specializing in labels, and most of the old buildings are either torn down, turned into condos, or organizational offices. (unlike the old RH Long factory from WW1 which was torn down)

 

So for non-believers notice the nets are Dennison with two N's, just like the company. While the smock is named not after a company, ut the inventor whose name was Denison with ONE "N."

 

It kind of irritiated me as I've been after one (as its my town) and people always want to charge big bucks as "this is British made." So if anyone wants to sell one now that they know it is not from the UK

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I knew I had read something about these nets somewhere, but was without my references at work think.gif

There was one on EBay a little while back that didn't go terribly high (less than $40, I think). Of course, I was runner up on the bidding. Great information!!

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M-1Helmet.com

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These nets are around for at least a decade... so has the rumour. It just doesn't make sense someone at that time would have had the briljant idea to cut out vehicle nets, make up tiny 1944 Dennison tags and sell these nets for real to get rich fast. Back then these nets would sell for only 1 or 2 bucks. Plus why wouldn't the US Army have helmet nets made??

 

Pete

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Johan Willaert
These nets are around for at least a decade... so has the rumour.

 

I've had one since approx 1987

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I've had one since approx 1987

 

I think that's about the time I bought mine. Thanks for the info guys! If the Dennison company really existed and were known for making "stringy things" then it would seem that the nets are legit. I remember one of the questions about these things was why a company would even bother to put a label on such a nondescript item. Now if you'll excuse me I have to take this net back down to the basement, the creosote smell is making me sick! pinch.gif

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Is there a possibility these nets were made by a company called 'Dennison Cotton Factory' that used to exist in Ohio?

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Hayes 0toupalik use to have hundreds of these.i remember them in his catalogs going back to the late 1970s.I believe there was an old surplus store in the St.Paul Minn area down by the colledge area.I had heard the store had an area in the back and there was a carboard container full of these.Some with labels and some where the labels had fallen off.The nets would show up through a dealer at the show.They had the same label and that funky smell.

 

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Got da Penny

Heres a few pics of what the net looks like on a lid.

 

I picked this Dennison Net up last year from a local dealer. He did mention that they "smelled funny" and that GI's used them during WW2.

 

 

 

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Let me restate myself. Although I have not yet exhausted the the local collection of material on the Framingham Dennision company, I have not found a specific reference to a list of everything they made in WW2, or helmet nets.

 

However this fits in perfectly with the type of stuff they made, and the labels bear an uncanny resembalance to labels made by Dennison. So well known for thier tags, that framingham was officilly nickednamed "Tag Town" (this was a BIG company)

 

The smell however is indiciative of a treated cord for cammo netting use- of which it is possible that Dennision was paid to cut nets into a specific size and shape - or was given this treated cord to make into nets, or... they were a very late wartime item when the Army was jungle proofiing everything in sight.

 

When I have some extra time (hah!) there are still some books on the comany I have not plowed through that may hold a difinitive answer.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Gaeth

Hi all, just arrived here after searching interspace for information on Dennison helmet nets and here it was must be the only mention on the internet

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...amp;hl=dennison

 

The reason was I was told my German helmet had such a net on it . Its a M40 Luft cammo . The hooks on the net appear to be German types and one must presume that the net was from a captured GI helmet from Normandie fighting and converted for the German helmet. The net is 1 1/2 mesh so smaller than described on this forum. So I thought I would showcase it here as there does not seem to be too many about! Any comments about this senario would be much appreciated.

 

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r260/we...oc/IMGP1420.jpg

 

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r260/we...oc/IMGP1422.jpg

 

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r260/we...oc/IMGP1435.jpg

 

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r260/we...oc/IMGP1446.jpg

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Johan Willaert

Does the net have the Dennison Tag? If not there's no way of telling if it really came from US Stocks.

 

Do you have solid provenance on the helmet with the net? If not the net could have been added at any point in the years since WW2.

 

I have added the posts about the German helmet with Dennison style net here.

I have tried to send a PM to member Gaeth telling him of the merge, but his Message Box is disabled.

 

Johan

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Guest Gaeth

Hi sorry if I have brocken your forum rules, it is the Dennison netting Im interested in as i was told that what it is. As for the item while i have no written provenance it was obtained from the widdow whose husband had brought it back from France/Belgium probably from other sources probably in 1945. If my post is offensive in any way please remove it I understand. gareth

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Johan Willaert

It is not offensive, but this is a US only forum.

 

I'll leave the posts up because someone might know more... Personally I doubt this is a WW2 Dennison net and since there seems no trace of the label it would be hard to verify it...

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GIs quickly found out that camo'ing you helmet was a good thing. They used British helmet nets, and the smaller hole US issue nets. They also cut up the large camo nets on a unit by unit basis. I saw a photo in a 2nd rangers photo album of some of the Rangers wearing the wide netting, but I haven't seen that in any published book.

 

I think that is certainly the "dennison" style cargo/camo net being used on the German Helmet. The German nets are completely different. (BTW I Believe it adds materially to the discussion and applaud the mod for leaving it in.) I would think a macro shot of both of the knots would tell us for sure. I would think we may find out that Dennison also made the large vehicle camo netting too.

 

The problem is that I doubt you would see one still having the tag in use on a US Helmet.

But knowing that Dennison made these type of things, it would seem probable that these were indeed wartime manufacture. I am sure thousands of these were made, with most being surplussed after the war, and being essentially useless expect to us collectors, would have been either destroyed or left in storage until found.

 

I for one believe in them.

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Yeah, I told Chris that. Dennison is about 1/4 mile down the road from my house. They were made famous by manila tags attached to bales during the civil war. They did all kinds of paper/printing/stringy things. In WW1 printed about half of all Gas Mask booklets withthe little string ties in them.

 

It was merged with Avery a while back and is now Avery Dennison specializing in labels, and most of the old buildings are either torn down, turned into condos, or organizational offices. (unlike the old RH Long factory from WW1 which was torn down)

 

So for non-believers notice the nets are Dennison with two N's, just like the company. While the smock is named not after a company, ut the inventor whose name was Denison with ONE "N."

 

It kind of irritiated me as I've been after one (as its my town) and people always want to charge big bucks as "this is British made." So if anyone wants to sell one now that they know it is not from the UK

 

String was their strength :)

 

Dennison.jpg

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  • 6 months later...

That's pretty neat.

 

That is actually what made them famous. They invented the little round reinforcing hole thing, which let them corner the tag market- which was much bigger in olde days as stuff would be shipped in bundles with just a tag like that on it.

 

My town (Framingham) used to be known as "Tag Town" for just that reason.

 

But now no one makes anything in the US any more....

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  • 3 years later...

1. Is there a definable difference between Dennison nets and the unofficial 2" cargo nets?

 

2. Although there seems to be plausible evidence to support the fact that Dennison made nets, is there actually any contract information, or other official data to support it? It seems to be along the lines of the Australian camo covers - plausible but without proof.

 

The reason I ask is from talking to a collector in France who said, basically, that a guy from Poitou, France found a large lot of nets in the 1980s. He cut the nets into smaller pieces like the ones wore during the war and to add credibility he added a label. He had a good friend who was a militaria seller in Paris (F. FINEL, from the "OPTAS" shop) who distributed them, perhaps not even knowing they were made-up. Apparently they sold fairly well during the 1980s.

 

Is this not also plausible? Does anyone have one that they found before 1980? Wouldn't there have been a military contract for them from Dennison? And perhaps it was just a way for the guy to make SOME money for the nets that would have been worthless otherwise - not necessarily to get rich from them.

 

I'm not disputing anyone, just raising questions.

Looking for EXPERIMENTAL & PROTOTYPE HELMETS

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Just to add a further bit of confusion I recently saw a large batch of these in the original packaging that the stores would have received. None of them were marked Denninson but from the packaging they were without a doubt British made.

 

Rich

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I believe that there have been a number of Dennison nets sold recently in this forum.. Any idea where they came from? Overseas?

 

HM54

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