19th Century Rescue Masks

“This pair of early rescue masks dates from between the mid-1800s and WWI.

“The black leather helmet on the left is labeled “Respirations Apparat” by “G.B.Konic Altona,” and was made in Hamburg, Germany.

“The brass, three-quarter face mask to its right was made in Paris by J. Mandet. This type of breathing mask had a very simple apparatus, allowing only a short range of operation. When used, air would be forced into the helmet through no more than 13 meters of flexible tubing by means of a bellows operated remotely from the outside.

“Both of these masks have mica lenses to help protect the eyes from heat.

One well-known 19th-century manufacturer was named Vajen-Bader”

- Steve Erenberg