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One of a Kind M.S.A. Helmet Liner?


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This Mine Safety Appliances helmet liner is truly unusual. It features a rayon suspension, parkerized steel A-washers, and remnants of a stationary leather liner strap (recently added nape and headband). I have owned and encountered less than 10 M.S.A. liners with rayon suspensions. I have never before seen an M.S.A. liner of this variety. Years ago, I acquired one with rectangular washers, however all others I have seen have had studs for the removable leather liner strap. The studded variety is the only M.S.A. liner with rayon suspension mentioned to exist in Helmets of the ETO (Giard & Blais, 24-25). Pieter Oosterman states in The M-1 Helmet, “The first contracts for high pressure plastic liners were let to MSA for 12.000 liners on Februari [sic] 4, 1942 (contract no. W 199 qm-24315) and 372.000 liners on februari [sic] 15, 1942 (contract no. W 199 qm-24378)” (Oosterman, 178). If I had to hazard a guess, I would say this one and the one with rectangular washers were produced during the initial 12,000, whereas the more commonly seen variety with studs for the leather liner strap was among the 372,000. The duck cloth body of the liner has no distinct pattern and is almost black in appearance. Seeing as though M.S.A. was the first contracted producer of high-pressure liners, it was still likely working out the kinks of producing the liner bodies when it manufactured this example. “[. . .] MSA and Inland had trouble to get the production started and did not deliver and [sic] quantities before late May 1942” Id. I am interested to hear opinions and if you know of others in existence, by all means, please post them.

References:

Giard, R., & Blais, F. (2007). Helmets of the ETO: A Historical and Technical Guide. Paris: Histoire & Collections.

Oosterman, P. (2010). The M-1 Helmet of the World War II GI. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSA subcontracted with Hoover (yeah, the vacuum cleaner Hoover) to make liners. That adds plenty of potential for weirdness, where MSA got batches of one type of component, and Hoover got another.

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I've owned an MSA with rayon suspension but it wasn't unusual like this one. Never seen one with the fixed chinstrap either. Pretty cool!

 

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

 

 

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MSA subcontracted with Hoover (yeah, the vacuum cleaner Hoover) to make liners. That adds plenty of potential for weirdness, where MSA got batches of one type of component, and Hoover got another.

Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I am glad to share the liner. Aef1917,Hoover as a subcontractor of helmet liners is something I have never heard before. I attempted to find some more information, but kept finding the same sentence, "During World War II, the Hoover Company switched its production from vacuum cleaners to items needed for the American war effort, such as helmet liners and bomb fuses." Would you mind speaking more on the subject?
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Very interesting liner, those rayon MSA's are pretty rare, only seen about 3 in my life.

 

Did you pick this one off eBay Grant? I'm pretty sure I saw it as part of a liner lot that was poorly photographed, with the interior so shiny that at first glance I thought it was some sort of clone.

 

Pat

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From "Report of Inspection of Mold Makers for Liners, Helmet, M-1", June 9, 1942:

 

attachicon.gifMSAHoover.jpg

Thank you for the additional information, Aef1917; I learn something new everyday. Pat, I did, indeed, pick this one up on eBay. It came with an early Vietnam liner. I was surprised to see it go as low as it did, even with the less than ideal auction photos. Thanks again for all the comments, everyone!

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Hi

 

Here is another example of a liner that shouldn't exist, Really Cool rayon liner...

 

Regards

 

Tom

THE OVERLORD COLLECTION


a virtual museum at theoverlordcollection.co.uk

www.m-1helmets.co.uk

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That's really a great liner! Is the inside really that dark? In the pics it almost looks black.

 

Rene

Never give in - never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.

 

Churchill

 

Keep buggering on.

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