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US WW1 and WW2 Brodie Helmets and Maker Stamps


leon21

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 It's an American manufacturer mark you have found, could you take a photo of the mark for me please.

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This is not my helmet (as I’m out of town this weekend), but this is the same marking.  This comes from the only other example I could find.

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On 29/05/2019 at 09:19, JSA11 said:

 

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Another question for you Leon...

How would you recommend cleaning up and restoring this helmet (if at all)?  I don’t want to sand it down and repaint it, but just clean up some of the rust and dirt without harming the paint.

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Just give it a wash with a bit of soapy water using a cloth to remove any loose rust and dirt.

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If you use water, make sure it dries properly, otherwise more rust will be caused. I could also suggest a further alternative, using petroleum - not car petrol!!! But as known as "lamp oil", sometimes referred to as parafin oil, used to be for small heaters etc., not so much in use today. Soaking and rubbing the helmet surface (using a clean soft cloth or wadding) with  parafin oil and letting it dry naturally will also loosen up and remove rust to a certain extent and will also brighten the paintwork a little. If using this, be sure to place in a well aired area (free from dampness) and avoid inhaling any vapours, as these can be harmfull! This would have to be repeated several times, this is the best method of gentle and gradual rust removal without harming the originality of the piece.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello all, I am new to this forum, but blown away by the amount of collective knowledge here. I recently rediscovered my great grandfather’s WWI helmet and am trying to find out more about it. I think it was likely painted by someone after my great grandfather had packed it away after the war. There is a marking on the inside brim “C205” that I didn’t see posted in this thread and hoping someone may be able to explain what that means. Thanks for any information you all may have to share!

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Welcome to the Forum, there looks to be a very faint Z mark in front of the letter C, so I would say the helmet is an American M1917.

The letter Z means it was made in America, the letter C is the contractor who made the bowl shape and the number 205 is the Heat stamp

or Batch number of steel used.

ZC205 is thought to belong to the Edward. G. Budd. Manufacturing Co. It's a nice looking helmet in good condition.

Has the liner and chin strap been replaced at some time they look new.

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I agree Leon21, this is an American Made M1917 with a ZC code. I have 21 ZC Helmets with different heat stamps. 

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Wow, thank you both, this is great information. To the best of my knowledge nothing has been replaced on the helmet, it has either been in storage or displayed on shelf for many many years. 

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I have been collecting the WW1 British and American made helmets for some time now, I have over 150 different heat stamps in my collection. I was going over the lists of American made helmet manufacturers, has anyone come across a "ZG" or "ZN" heat code on the US made helmets? 

To illustrate, I have included pictures, I have used baby powder to enhance the heat stamps to make them more visible. The "ZG" marked helmet has the liner intact, while the "ZN" helmet is missing the liner. 

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Good to hear from you again Gildwiller1918, it's been a good few years since we last spoke.

I've seen ZG on a list before most lists run from ZA to ZJ minus ZI so you've found an unknown mark in ZN  which could be scarce.

I've been meaning to update my list, thanks for posting the photo's.

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Ok, checked my helmets, the "ZY" is in fact a "ZF". I had a dent right where the "F" was to make it look like a "Y", but the baby powder once again came to the rescue. My eyes are getting old, lol. I have included pictures as well. 

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Good day, yes it is good to be back as well. Upon moving back to the US, my wife contracted colon cancer which she fought for several years, however she succumbed not long ago, so most of my time and resources were occupied elsewhere as you can imagine. But I am moving forward, slowly. 

I appreciate your comments on the helmets. Have you seen a "ZY" marked helmet as well? According to my list, I have one marked "ZY 15". I will try and find it today and get some pictures. 

Attached is a view of some of the helmets I have, got a lot more elsewhere!

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Sorry to hear of your loss Gildwiller1918, your collection of helmets is looking great, how many British helmets do you have now.

Using the baby powder to enhance the marking is a good idea I must remember that.

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Ok, did a check of my inventory, I have 34 helmets with different heat stamps. Below are the marks I have

FS 27( 100th FA/26th Div insignia painted on), 83, 43                    
HS 406, 410, 446, 466, 499                        
HV 207, 314, 633
M/A 83
D /O 372
HO 70
HH/0 319                
LS 18 - no rim
HC 305
FKS 5, 108, 1, 12, 25, 28                           
MLS 14
BS 7                                  
HV 333
HS 286, 466
D/A 81 - unrimmed
D/F 67
D/O 21
VG 103
S64

LH 60

It can be really hard sometimes to read the heat stamps, some are easily visible, others are obscured. Sometimes a light sanding will do the trick, other times the use of baby powder can enhance the figures. I have some helmets with absolutely no markings whatsoever. I have one in which the heat stamp was struck so hard the letters/numbers are embossed on the outside of the helmet as well. I will try and find it so show pictures. 

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Next up is an US type I believe, marked "XHE" it has the complete liner and chinstrap and the liner is marked R.H. Long. 

These X numbered helmets are thought to be from the first experimental lots made in the summer of 1917.

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Next is another one of the "XH" series. This is one marked I believe as "XHQ". It has a size stamp on the leather as 7 1/8 inch. and the liner has a stamp of "Long 1917" there is another stamp but its too hard to make out. So these are definitely US made helmets, as R.H. Long was major producer of other web gear and products, which obviously made the liners for these helmets. 

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Here we have a Us made Helmet, you can tell by the rivets used instead of split pins. However this helmet is completely unmarked. I have searched all over the rim and cannot find any markings. The liner has a really faint ink stamp which resembles R.H.Long. Still a very solid helmet with the chinstrap and liner. I'm guessing as the war dragged on, they were in a rush to get these to the troops, so corners were cut. I have not seen very many of the US type unmarked. 

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Here is a US M1917, with markings "ZD 192" It has the emblem of the US 29th Infantry Division painted on the front. American helmets rarely had these painted on during the war. Most were painted just after the war ended or during the occupation period. This helmet also has a reproduction liner and chinstrap as well. As a interesting side note, my Great Grandfather served in this unit while in France in 1918. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a nice example of an American made 1917A1 ( Kelly ) helmet made by the ( McCord Radiator Co ) the heat stamp 4B indicates it was made in Feb 1941. Note the leather liner they used in their helmets.

Images from an other source.

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Here are my 2 Kelly Helmets. The first one is pretty standard, OD with cork finish. The second has been stripped at some point and painted black, but still has the leather liner. 

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Getting some of my WW1 US M1917 helmets ready to post! 

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Here is a repainted US M1917 helmet with the stamp "ZD 238"

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Here is another US M1917, marked "ZC 246", this one has scrapes inside indicating that it once had the kelly liner installed. 

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