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"Ever-Warm Safety Suit" -- Anyone Familiar with This?


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When I saw this picture I had to buy it -- I've never seen anything like it.

 

This is a press photo that dates to July 1918. Apparently it was taken somewhere on Long Island, NY. According to the caption, the garb these two Doughboys are wearing is called an "Ever-Warm Safety Suit".

 

Does anyone have any information about these suits or know what they were used for? I have been unable to find any information on them.

 

Pictures of the front and back of the photo follow.

 

Thanks very much.

 

Dennis

 

post-1496-0-64297100-1579406409_thumb.jpg

Dennis (Bertmedals)

Collecting WWI AEF relics, artifacts, and memorabilia

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When I saw this picture I had to buy it -- I've never seen anything like it.

 

This is a press photo that dates to July 1918. Apparently it was taken somewhere on Long Island, NY. According to the caption, the garb these two Doughboys are wearing is called an "Ever-Warm Safety Suit".

 

Does anyone have any information about these suits or know what they were used for? I have been unable to find any information on them.

 

Pictures of the front and back of the photo follow.

 

Thanks very much.

 

Dennis

 

 

Hi Dennis...

I believe those were issued to the troops for the voyage to France. In case the ship was torpedoed, you would climb into this before entering the water. Supposed to keep you alive longer by insulating your body from the wet and cold.

I saw an article in a National Geographic from WW2 where the writer went on a convoy across the north Atlantic and there was a picture of the author wearing an improved model.

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These are a couple of paragraphs from a paper on Marine safety. It explains what these suits are. Not these particular suits in your post but the suits in general.

 

 

 

The immediate solution that springs to mind is that practically speaking, it should be possible to enclose the body of a person up to the neck in some form of water tight or semi water tight garment or enclosure to prevent the cold responses.

The personal garment has under gone a whole series of name changes over the years: anti-exposure suit, immersion suit, marine abandonment suit, poopy suit, and survival suit. In this report it will always be referred to as an immersion suit, except where it has been used by authors to describe either a specific physiological experiment or marine accident report in their own literature.

 

 

 

Heres a link to an ad...

 

 

https://www.periodpaper.com/products/1919-ad-national-life-preserver-ever-warm-safety-suit-original-advertising-057335-mb1-003

 

post-181333-0-33832000-1579416985_thumb.jpg

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Thanks very much for that information, the pictures and the link. I think that solves the "mystery" on what these are. Any idea as to whether these were commonly issued on troopships heading to or from France?

Dennis

Dennis (Bertmedals)

Collecting WWI AEF relics, artifacts, and memorabilia

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Your welcome Dennis. If you google "Ever-Warm Safety Suit"

you will find a bunch of info.

Dont know about that for sure but they were issued the suits for the trip over.

I dont know but Im guessing since the war was over and they were not worried about being torpedoed, Im guessing they did not issue them out for the return trip? Just a guess though.

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Your welcome Dennis. If you google "Ever-Warm Safety Suit"

you will find a bunch of info.

 

Dont know about that for sure but they were issued the suits for the trip over.

I dont know but Im guessing since the war was over and they were not worried about being torpedoed, Im guessing they did not issue them out for the return trip? Just a guess though.

That all sounds reasonable to me. I'll continue researching these and see what more I can find out.

 

I really appreciate your help and insights.

Dennis (Bertmedals)

Collecting WWI AEF relics, artifacts, and memorabilia

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Though I do not have a specific answer to the inquiry about issuance to troops, I think it more likely they were provided for the ship. Enough for the crew and rated capacity of occupancy. Essentially a perminent feature of the ship, suits would had been distributed as they came aboard and left behind when they disembarked. A temporary receipt of issue, accountable material. Prescribed Merchant Marine regulation states that these suits should either be always worn or in a "made ready position".

The suit illustrated here is an early generation, the suits evolved over the decades. Most typically called Lifesaving Suit, later, it earned the nickname Zoot Suit, a name for a popular baggy clothing style. More commonly known now as an Anti-Exposure Suit. At some point from WWI, regulation stipulated that these suits were to be provided to vessels over 1,000 gross tons, cargo and tank. Transport type vessels may not be included, not unless that is considered "cargo".

By WWII, the pattern simplified a bit for quick donning. A large neck opening allowed the user to quickly hop in and cinch it up by a pull of a toggle at the collar.

 

post-56-0-89738800-1579531524.jpg

 

 

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various patterns were made starting from the 1930's and used through WWII. In 1943, The air forces invested in the idea to eventually standardize their own exposure suits for airmen by the close of WWII. They then evolved to be constant wear types as well soon following the war. The Lifesaving Suit of the original post is the grandfather.

 

post-56-0-24349000-1579531769.jpg

 

 

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Dustin,

Great information -- thanks very much. That helps a lot with figuring these out.

Dennis (Bertmedals)

Collecting WWI AEF relics, artifacts, and memorabilia

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