Protective face mask, United Kingdom, 1917-1918

Made:
1917-1918 in United Kingdom

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Protective mask, leather and chain mail, worn by tank crews, probably British, 1917-1918

Masks like this one were worn by British crews in tanks during the First World War. The leather mask is shaped to fit around the eyes and nose and the chain mail was used to protect against splinters from explosions as the tank came under fire. Life inside these primitive vehicles would have been extremely uncomfortable as well as dangerous.

Tanks were introduced in 1916 but were initially slow, difficult to manoeuvre and had little firepower.

Details

Category:
Wellcome (general)
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A191562
Materials:
fittings, iron, mask, leather and straps, canvas
type:
face mask
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • costume
  • mask