Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
ken1967

M1881 Infantry Dress Helmet

Recommended Posts

Well, my foray into early US Army items has started. I received this just a couple of days ago. A pretty fascinating area of collecting in their own right!

 

Enjoy!!

 

Ken

 

post-79-1183075662.jpg post-79-1183075670.jpg


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to give away any collecting secrets.....but I found it on eBay of all places. Some really cool things show up if you watch long enough.


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not to give away any collecting secrets.....but I found it on eBay of all places. Some really cool things show up if you watch long enough.

 

Very interesting. Are you familiar with the regulations of the period? (They are rather compley when it comes to mounted, dismounted, branches, units, officer and EM.) How did the seller actually describe it?



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seller just described as an M1881 Dress Helmet for Infantry.

 

My limited knowledge so far (still reading in my first reference book) leads me to believe it is an EM helmet, of course dismounted. The one thing I've noticed so far is the diversity of their wear. I know there's a rhyme to the reason, but it's too early for me to see it yet.


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ken-

It is made up of original old components and does have value, but it is not a regulation M1881. The helmet body itself was made by Ridabock & Co for the New York National Guard. This type helmet has seams on the side - regulation helmets did not. Enlisted infantry did not wear cords on dress helmets, which were for mounted troops (red for artillery, yellow for cav). Also, the cords on your helmet are from an M1902 Dress Infantry Coat and are not for a helmet.

 

You could get an original New York State helmet plate (they are reasonably priced, as zillions of them came out of old Bannerman's stock years ago). If you replaced the plate and removed the blue cords, you'll have a correct helmet.

 

It's not like you bought a "fake", just some "mixed up" original items. I just wanted to let you know exactly what you have.

 

Kurt


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif


donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif


donation2017.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Kurt! Still doing the research so I hadn't pinned everything down yet. I'll do some more research for the items.


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dumb question, I will need to remove the hangers that the cord is attached to as well, correct?


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ken-

When I get time, I'll try to dig out and photograph a New York State Helmet Plate so you'll know what to look for. They do show up on Ebay.

Kurt


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif


donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif


donation2017.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dumb question, I will need to remove the hangers that the cord is attached to as well, correct?

To be totally correct, the hangers should come of. I think the crossed rfifle side buttons are ok, but I can't remember.

Kurt


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif


donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif


donation2017.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see this helmet on a website listed as a M1881 US Army officer's helmet. You mentioned the "side seam"....

post-79-1183082393.jpg


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They also list this NY helmet.

post-79-1183082533.jpg

post-79-1183082540.jpg


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found these on Richard Williams' site (warrelics.com). Would one of these be correct?

 

What's with the "Discontinued" text at the bottom of the card?

post-79-1183084059.jpg


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Found these on Richard Williams' site (warrelics.com). Would one of these be correct?

 

What's with the "Discontinued" text at the bottom of the card?

 

Kurt is dead on the money. I fully agree that this is a NY helmet with parts from varios sources. Regular officers and NY EM's wore cloth covered cork helmets. Regular EM's wore felt helmets.

 

Mounted troops wore cords -- part of a system left over from the older shakos, and this was initially intended to keep the helmet from being lost at a gallop! He is correct that the cord shown is a 1902 pattern shoulder cord for infantry. Infy colors when the helmet was worn was white!

 

Mounted EM's wore horsehair plumes and not spikes. Mounted officers wore plumes, often of buffalo hair, and their cords were bullion, not branch color. Officers also wore chain link chinstraps and the later posting shows.

 

I can post a correct Infy EM helmet if you like, though it does lack the chinstrap.

 

G



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can post a correct Infy EM helmet if you like, though it does lack the chinstrap.

 

G

 

Please do post it: it's always very educational to see the correct item.

 

You wonder how things get put together over the years and I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't done by some kids playing with grandpa's old Army stuff in the 1920's. I know that based on what my eight year old does with the stuff in his collection of militaria, someone down the line is going to wonder about the USMC sun helmet with the Army enlisted cap badge and the Air Force service cap with the EGA on it :)



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gif

donation2018.gifdonation2019.gif

donation2019.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be more surprised if it was done by kids. More than likely is was put together to create an "original" helmet to fool people, by an old time surplus dealer like Bannerman or maybe for theatrical purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could be on the made up part. The parts are all nice and some look like they have been attached for a long time. The hanger on the back of the helmet with a shield shape has the leather "washer" on the inside that the pins secure through. Should that one be removed as well? If not, what would it have been used for on an EM helmet?


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Additional note: the material is a felt material so what you're saying is the NY EM helmet would be felt covered? The regular Army would be cloth?

 

 

Also, any thoughts on the helmets and plates I listed earlier? Good source of reference as well.

 

 

Thanks again guys!


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Additional note: the material is a felt material so what you're saying is the NY EM helmet would be felt covered? The regular Army would be cloth?

Also, any thoughts on the helmets and plates I listed earlier? Good source of reference as well.

Thanks again guys!

 

Any helmet which has visible seams is cloth covered cork. Felt EM helmets have no seams.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kurt is dead on the money. I fully agree that this is a NY helmet with parts from varios sources. Regular officers and NY EM's wore cloth covered cork helmets. Regular EM's wore felt helmets.

 

Hey Gil, sorry for the confusion, I'm looking at your sentence and trying to determine which is which. Can you explain your last two sentences above? NY EM in cloth and Regular (Army?) EM in felt? The helmet material feels more like felt than any cloth. There are moth nips at the front edge near the trim.

 

Thanks again!

Ken


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

136_3618__2_.JPG

Hey Gil, sorry for the confusion, I'm looking at your sentence and trying to determine which is which. Can you explain your last two sentences above? NY EM in cloth and Regular (Army?) EM in felt? The helmet material feels more like felt than any cloth. There are moth nips at the front edge near the trim.

 

Thanks again!

Ken

 

It is my understanding that ALL NY helmets (officer and EM) and RA officer helmets are cloth-covered cork. ALL RA EM helmets are felt. Sorry for the confusion.

 

Below I have attached pix of my 2 helmets.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a couple of more shots of my officer helmet. It was made by Pettibone of Cincinatti and seems to have a quick detachable spike.

 

Note that officer hardware is typically gold plated, and that the plate is 2-piece.

136_3619__2_.JPG

136_3623__2_.JPG



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The EM's is hardened black felt -- sort of like the old Keystone Kops wore in the movies. The hardware is brass, the helmet plate is one-piece. This one lacks the chinstrap.

 

Its sweatband is too fragile to check inside for QM stampings.

 

All soldiers assigned to a regiment would have worn regimental numbers of German silver.

136_3622__2_.JPG



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The helmets above are for dismounted troops. This would usually have been Infantry and Heavy Artillery (i.e. coastal). Mounted troops would have worn plumes of horsehair for EMs and buffalo or yak hair for officers. EMs would have worn cords on the helmet which attached or were integral with the shoulder cords. These were branch colored -- red for artillery, yellow for cavalry, black for staff. Staff EM's wore the branch device in German silver on the shield of the plate. Officer's plumes were similar in color, but their cords were gold bullion.

Some Infantry officer (regimental, not company) level were mounted and wore white plumes, but most were dismounted.

 

Generals and the Army Staff wore the fore and aft hat or "chapeau de bras."

 

I hope this helps clarify the issues raised earlier



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Gil! It's starting to sink in........


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.