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leon21

US WW1 and WW2 Brodie Helmets and Maker Stamps

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Shortly after the US declaration of war in April of 1917 the US ordered around 400,000 helmets from the British for use by

the American Expeditionary Force. While the US Manufacturers developed their own M1917 helmet and got production

up to speed, very few of the M1917s made it to the Western Front before the Armistice. It was replaced by the M1917AI

in the late 1930s - 1941 and the M1 helmet and liner was phased in 1941 - 1942.

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I always liked the Brodie Helmet, sure as protective as other helmets of the era but a neat helmet. I suppose it also is one of the images of the start of WWII for the US with forces in the Pacific wearing it while under Japanese attack at Wake Island and Pearl Harbour.

 

It also is interesting that the British kept the Brodie Helmet while the US went to the M1 for better protection. I find the M1 an excellent helmet when properly adjusted. I bought a M1 Vietnam era helmet through mail order surplus years ago and turns out they grabbed me a very collectable M1C paratrooper helmet :)

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The American M1917 helmet shells were pressed and stamped into bowl shapes by 7 company's they were.

 

E.G.Budd. Manufacturing Co - Philadelphia - Pennsylvania.

Sparks Withington Co - Jackson - Michigan.

Crosby Co - Buffalo - New York.

Bossett Corporation - Utica - New York.

Columbian Enameling & Stamping Co - Terre Haute - Indiana.

Worchester Pressed Steel Co - Worchester - Massachusetts.

Benjamin Electric Co - Des Plaines - Illinois.

 

The steel for the M1917 helmets was rolled by the American Sheet and Tin Plate Co and were stamped with a Heat No

and Shipment No.

The helmet liners were made by 10 Shoe Manufacturing Company's, the shells and liners would be delivered to the

plant of Ford Motor Co of Philadelphia were they were painted and assembled.

Other Steel Producers were.

Universal Rolling Mills.

Taylor Wharton Company.

 

Known Heat Stamp Marks of M1917 shells.

 

UC.

YJ.

XH.

ZA.

ZB.

ZC.

ZD.

ZE.

ZF.

ZG.

ZH.

ZJ.

ZN.

 

 ( ZC-Marks are thought to belong to Edward. G. Budd Manufacturing  Co. )

 ( ZJ- Marks are thought to belong to Columbian Enamelling & Stamping Co. )

 

Known M1917 Helmet Liner Manufacturers Stamp Marks.

 

Leatherwear Co of America - Brooklyn - New York.

A.J.Bates - Webster - Massachusetts.

L.C.C.&.Co - 1917.

R.H.Long.&.Co - 1917.

A.E.Little Co - Boston.

F.M.H.S. Co.

 

M1917A1 Helmets.

Commonly referred to as the "Kelly" between 1932 and 1936 the M1917 and the British MK1 helmets in America

were refurbished and modified with a new leather liner and web chinstrap.

After 1936 a new helmet was produced by McCord Radiator Co, the helmets were stamped with 1 or 2 digit numbers

and 1 letter on the rim, all the helmets have the same paint and texture when in factory condition unlike the modified

helmets which have a wide range of different  paint colours and textures, most of these new helmets were made in early 1941.

In all around 900,ooo of these helmets were made by McCord's.

 

 

This list is on going if you know of any more please let us know.

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Here's a list of WW2 American Helmet Liner Makers.

 

H.R.= Hood Rubber Co - Massachusetts.

S.C.= St Clair Rubber Co - Michigan.

Capac = Capac Manufacturing Co - Michigan.

F. = Firestone Tyre & Rubber Co - Ohio.

IMP. = International Molded Plastics - Massachusetts.

S. = Seaman Paper Co - Illinois.

W. = Westinghouse Electric Co - Pennsylvania.

MSA. = Mine Safety Appliance Co - Pennsylvania.

Inland = Inland Manufacturing Co ( General Motors ) - Ohio.

G. = General Fibre Co.

Liner Fibre M-1. = Hawley Products Co - Illinois.

 

 

The list is on going if you know any more please let us know.

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Here's  how to install a American M17 helmet liner video part 1 and 2.

 

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Hey

I bought a Brodie helmet and I'm not sure from witch war or time the helmet is from. The helmet came without the liner and the only mark in the helmet is 4B and I don't know why but under every scratch looks red maybe the helmet was red. 

If anyone knows something about the helmet please tell me  I'm very interested to here what you guy are going to say

 

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Welcome to the forum J.H.E.

I've not seen that stamp mark before , it's not WW1, and I don't think it is WW2, it could be post war.

Pity the liner is missing can you tell me what shape are the chinstrap loop/lugs, are they square or have

the corners been cut off, can't make out the shape in the photo.

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Good, they are MK II lugs, so that puts it in the WW2 period. if it is red underneath it could have been

used by someone in a fire department role, maybe a works fireman.

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Hi J.H.E.  Welcome to the forum,  is the red definitely paint? In the photo it looks like it could be surface rust? If it is red paint then I would agree with Colin that fire service is likely, perhaps even from an RAF base. It also depends on where the helmet came from, are you in the US? It's hard for me to tell without the liner, but could the helmet be American Colin? If so I know the US Navy used red painted helmets on their ships for damage control teams. The helmets I have seen were USM1 helmets, however they might have worn the Brodie pattern too earlier on.            

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Could be Kenny, it's not a British stamp mark so could have been made by one of the allied countries , if

it is American then it could be a  M1917AI used between 1936 - 1941, the same period the MKII chin-strap

loop/lug was first used on the British MKI* and MKII helmets.

Updated information. 23.11.18.

The helmet is indeed a M1917A1 shell made by ( the McCord Radiator Co ) the stamp mark ( 4B ) is a heat

or batch stamp number used for quality control. After the introduction of the M1 helmet surplus M1917A1

shells were re-used by the civil defence services.

 

 

 

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Here's one I've have had in my collection for many years is this with the steel rim and second pattern liner, i would say unissued , not sure if it was for the Americans or New Zealand troops, but the main printed label is not easily read .it still maintains the crown label , the white doggy bone looking mark was on there when i got it,maybe a clumsy decorator ? lol.

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The helmet is an American M1917 made for the American Expeditionary Force, but very few made it to

the Western Front before the Armistice.

The stamp mark on the helmet looks like ZC 3 which is thought to belong to the Edward. G. Budd

Manufacturing  Co. The Liner maker is R.H.Long 1917 and the other liner stamp mark could be an Army

inspection stamp mark I've seen them before on liners.

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Thank you so much Leon i appreciate that , now i have all the info to keep, somehow i could never bear to part with these two gems , and they were both luck on finding as i was not looking for them in the first place, i just thought hey that's nice and bought them for my shelf , again thank you :thumbsup:

 

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Hi everyone,

I need your help to identify this helmet shell.

I bought it in France and I really don't know what kind of brodie is it and which army used it.

 

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Welcome to the forum SR71, there's not much to go on without it's liner. what I can tell you is that

it appears to be from the WW2 period with the cropped helmet lugs, the markings I've not seen

before , possibly made by one of the allied countries.

Updated information. 23.11.18.

The shell is an American made M1917A1 made by the ( McCord Radiator Co ) the heat stamp number ( 10C )

  indicates  it was made in late Feb 1941.

 

 

 

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Hi!  New user here.  Really appreciate the expertise provided here and hoping that you can help me with the helmet pictured.

It’s in rough shape and I have yet to find a manufacture/heat stamp.  Depending on your recommendation and initial read, I may take some light sandpaper to the brim and see what I can find.  No liner and what looks like a disintegrating pad (asbestos concern?).  There is also a drill hole on rear of the brim.

There is also a very faded 1st division emblem painted on the helmet.  I know not many American helmets made it overseas, and the painting of division badges on helmets seem to be inconsistent.

Many Thanks!!

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Welcome to the forum, the helmet looks British made and dates from 1916/17 period, it may have had a donut ring but with out the liner to hold

it in place it's gone missing. The asbestos pad is quite safe it is only the thickness of thick paper, my only doubt is the chin strap mounts they are

riveted  the British used split pins. to attach them. It may have been refurbished by the Americans during the 1930s and had new mounts added

which they did to both British and American Helmets, if you can find a makers mark you will know for sure. Not sure why there's a hole in the rim

of a WW1 helmet this normally means it's milder steel used and not for combat use.

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Thank you for that feedback!  What are the chances that the Big Red One emblem is original?  If it’s a British helmet, could it be  one provided to the Americans before American helmet production caught up?

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I have had a good look at your helmet again and managed to find another one to compare, This is an American

made helmet, see photo's below.

 

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Here is a British made helmet from the same period, look at the rim joint  how clean the joint is put together, now take a look at the rim joints

on the American helmet they look very crudely overlapped. I would say the paintwork on your helmet is original.

WW1 Magnetic Helmet (1).jpg

WW1 Magnetic Helmet (3).jpg

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Hello Leon. Thank you for your reply. It does not have that stamp so it is probably one from world war 2 then. I am not sure if the colour is original, as most pictures shown here are of a lighter green.

 

Should I get a replacement liner and chinstrap or just leave it as it is?

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The colour is fine looks to be the factory green finish, you can buy second hand original liners on line as long as it is for the MkII helmet.

Or there are new reproduction liners also on line for sale. I would leave the chin strap that is original, it's up to you what you want to do

with the helmet shell, it would have had an original BMB liner  dated the same as the shell, but I've seen BMB helmets with other maker

liners in them, so it would not matter if you were to put an other makers liner in it as long as it's the same date as the shell.

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On 30/05/2019 at 12:57, leon21 said:

Here is a British made helmet from the same period, look at the rim joint  how clean the joint is put together, now take a look at the rim joints

on the American helmets they look very crudely overlapped. I would say the paintwork on your helmet is original.

WW1 Magnetic Helmet (1).jpg

WW1 Magnetic Helmet (3).jpg

An update on my helmet:  a little light sanding and I was able to find the heat stamp, though this has only raised more questions...the stamp is “XHF”. A Google search only returns one hit-another helmet with the stamp-but I don’t see XHF in any manufacturer listings.

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