Sunday, September 21, 2008

United States Civil Defense M1 Helmet Liner

Here's the question we were all asking when I was a kid:

We all knew that the Commies were the bad guys and it could all go up in flames at any time.

Fortunately there was protection afforded us from total nuclear holocaust...

in the form of our wooden school desks (thanks American Seating of Grand Rapids Michigan), ...

as well as our municipal fallout shelters, which provided both protection as well as ready made tombs for hundreds of thousand of incinerated Americans.

When you begin to hear these...

Responsible members of the community would clap on these:

The Civil Defense helmet, in this case a recycled M1 Westinghouse helmet liner.  This example is emblazoned with the hand painted CD insignia, location, as well as the status of the wearer.  The director has the flashy gold band painted on his lid.  Rank has its privileges.

From the side we have the typical profile of the good old M1.

Top view shows the scuffing and scratching that typically results from exposure to the thermonuclear fireball.  One can only imagine that the director's Paris Township shelter served him well.

Suspension is typical for the WWII era M1 liner with the lighter herring bone webbing.

The metal furniture somewhat corroded by plutonium exposure no doubt.

The Westinghouse logo stamped in the dome.

The insignia grommet is very visible in the front view close-up as is the custom paint job.  No simple slide on decal for the boss, nosirree!  Actually I find this meticulous paint job emblematic of the pride this individual must have felt in his position of leadership and responsibility.  Though it must have been mighty fatiguing to have spent nearly two decades in a constant state of vigilance.
Fortunately the wall came down and all of this became a distant memory...
Until Putin, that is.

accession number:
United States Civil Defense M1 helmet liner
Acquired 1999, Flat River Antique Mall, Lowell Michigan.
purchase price: $10.00
Condition: fair/good

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