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PH Helmet/Gas Hood, second opinions and help needed!

Article about: Hi guys, The opportunity for me to finally get a PH Hood to add to my collection has presented itself. As I'm sure many of you are aware, these early pieces do tend to command quite high pri

  1. #11
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    That looks like it may be original (at least the eye piece's and mouth pieces) I am envious of you friend! I can never seem to track down a rarer piece like this. Best of luck with it, hope it turns out well!


  2. #12

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    The eyepieces and the exhale valve stem/mouthpiece are the parts that very few makers of reproduction hoods have managed to get totally right, so they're often a very good indicator of whether a PH Hood is real or an aged reproduction. The ones on this example look right, and they're not rusted to the extent that they could be ground dug relics fitted to a recently made hood, of which there are several circulating now.

    I should have it in hand this time next week, so it's not long until I'll find out if the years of searching have been worth it!

    Regards,

    Danny

  3. #13

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    Hi Danny
    I've just seen this or I would have commented sooner. As you say these things have been copied and it is hard to be positive either way from a photo, but I am virtually certain that is a genuine mask. I also quite like the 1917 date as these were in production as backups to the SBR until early 1918 (as you doubtless knew) and your average faker would have put 1916. I have a real one, I've collected WW1 British since 1980 and I've had seven or eight of these through my hands in that time. That doesn't make me infallible but I do have a pretty good eye by now. My verdict is, congratulations on securing that mask! I think you've hit the jackpot. Now you just need the inner and outer bags
    Cheers, W.

  4. #14

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    Thanks very much for your input William Even though I'm past the point of no return now, I still very much appreciate your comments of reassurance! I don't think I'll be totally sure myself until I've got it in hand next week, but so far no one who's seen these photos has had any doubts which is certainly a good thing!

    This particular mask was exported to Portugal, it came from a large lot named to the same soldier which also included a Small Box Respirator, so what you said about it being issued as a back up mask definately applies in this case.

    Having seven or eight of these pass through your hands over the years must have been nice! I've been on the hunt for one for a couple of years now, people seem to buy these and hold onto them for a long time, not that I can blame them A carrier is definately on my list now, then I need to get my hands on a PHG Helmet... Or with a lot of optimism; a Large Box Respirator!

    Thanks,

    Danny

  5. #15

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    Perhaps not relevant or of any use, but this example was seen by me last week in a museum. As far as I am aware all the displays were with genuine items, but I could not comment on this particular gas hood.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  6. #16

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    I'm not 100% convinced by that museum one Jerry as the valve is a very long way from the eyepieces, perhaps too far to be practical and I wonder if it's been made up from salvaged bits? The eyepieces look like cleaned-up corroded ones and there is no matching discoloration of the cloth. But it's not possible to say from that photo. Edited to add: Looking again at the eyepieces, there is damage to one edge but the rest might be surface loss from age as there doesn't seem much actual pitting.

    S & N on the OP's mask might be Smith & Nephew, contracting chemists active in the war and I believe still going. I did have a field dressing by them and may still have it somewhere. The more I look at that, the more I'm sure it's right. Good luck with the bag Danny, they aren't common but there have been a couple on ebay recently. As for the LBR - don't hold your breath! I've never seen one anywhere, a friend has the haversack and that's it. I don't have a PHG or a hypo. A PH, 2 SBRs and a pair of tear gas goggles are the extent of my gas equipment collection. But then my WW1 collection has been static for some time.

  7. #17

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    Jerry, thanks for adding the photo to this thread. It's definitely relevant as its always good to get eyes on as many examples and variations as possible. As William has already said, the one you've shown doesn't look quite right. Although, the location of the valve does seem to vary slightly from hood to hood. Maybe this one is at the far end of the spectrum? The thing that jumped out at me about it as being odd was more of how near immaculate the fabric is. Then again, just look at the example in the Imperial War Museum, it's pristine, so it's not impossible for others to be in similar condition. However, the fabric on it also doesn't seem to extend as low as usually seen, although the excess may well have been folded out of the way for the sake of not taking up too much space in the display.... As always though, a hands on inspection always trumps whatever you can make out in photo's.

    The makers mark is something I've already looked into, and Smith and Nephew are still very much in business. Their website actually has a page describing their contributions during WW1: Our contribution during WW1 | Smith & Nephew It only however mentions the field dressing, I might drop them an email as it seems rather likely that they had the capabilities to manufacture at least the fabric hoods for the PH Helmets. Hopefully there are some other markings on it that too can be researched, I'd like to make a definitive list of who manufactured what, and the associated markings. I'm making some steady progress with later respirators from the 1920's onwards, but before that things are a little confusing.

    I'll be keeping my eyes open for the carrier, they do seem to appear a little more frequently than the masks, but are still quite hard to find. In the mean time though, I do have a very nice reproduction one which is stitch perfect. I definitely won't be holding my breath for an LBR, even finding period photo's of them isn't easy to say the least. The fact that your friend has the haversack is still very interesting though, I only know of one so far shown on Karkee Web which has been converted into a standard haversack. There is however this page on the IWM website which suggests they might hold an example in their collection: Respirator anti-gas Large Box Respirator British (EQU 4983)

    I'll need to drop them an email and find out as it would be fantastic if they did and were willing to photograph it and share it with the world, as I no one I've spoken to has seen any outside of period photos. There are quite a few nice photos of the LBR on the IWM's website, they show it in a bit more detail than the usual photos we see of it. I've been toying with the idea of making a reproduction one for quite some time now, as the likelihood of coming across a genuine example is near on, if not completely impossible.

    The PH hood that started this thread off has arrived safely at my girlfriends house, I'm working away this week so I won't have it in hand until Friday unfortunately. But I'll be sure to update this thread with some more photos and a final analysis on it.

    Cheers,

    Danny

  8. #18

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    Apologies for the slightly late update as I've had a rather busy weekend/Monday, but the PH Helmet is in hand now and I am pleased to say that I have absolutely no doubts at all with regards to it's authenticity! Everything about it, for example the stitching, the construction of the eyepieces, the exhale valve tube, the feel of the fabric, the smell etc etc is just as you would expect to see I'm currently doing a little write up on it, which will be accompanied by some more photo's.

    A big thanks to all who commented and shared their knowledge!

    WRITE UP AND ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS HERE: British made, Portuguese issued Phenate-Hexamine (PH) Helmet

    Cheers,

    Danny
    Last edited by GasMasksUK; 10-03-2016 at 11:48 PM.

  9. #19

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    Excellent! Really glad it's turned out well, and I'm looking forward to the new photos. These were never easy to find but now they are next to impossible and getting a good one's a real coup.

  10. #20

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    Here's an example of what a blatant fake PH Hood looks like, this one being sold by Spandau Militaria (formerly UKM Sales), a well known seller of complete junk. I did attempt to reason with the dealer and explained to them why what they were selling was clearly rubbish, but to no avail, unsurprisingly I didn't even a response from them. Following this I shared the link to the auction with a number of collectors who I regularly speak to with the request that they report it as being the sale of a counterfeit, but ebay being what it is didn't acknowledge any of the 30 or so reports made, thus the auction unfortunately continued. So sadly someone out there has lost out on quite a bit of cash. In all fairness though, it could have easily been avoided had they done even the most basic research on the seller, or compared what was being sold to genuine PH Hoods as the photos on the auction did actually show a lot of detail, so maybe someone with a little more money than sense?

    Not much explanation is needed to say what is wrong with it as the pictures sum up what it is very well. However the important points to note here are the eyepieces, which are those from various later British respirators (about 1938 onwards), the colour and pattern of the internal layer of fabric, the markings, the overall cut and shape of the hood, and the difference in the corrosion on the eyepieces and the mouthpiece (which actually appears to be a genuine ground dug piece).

    All in all, nothing about it other than the mouthpiece is actually right.

    I do hope that whoever unfortunately bought it comes across this post sooner rather than later and is able to open a paypal claim.

    Regards,

    Danny

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    The auction itself and the final price reached

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    The whole hood

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    Close up of the eyepieces and mouthpiece. Note the construction of the eyepieces and how they are attached to the hood, and the difference in condition between the eyepieces and the mouthpiece which does appear to be a genuine ground dug piece.

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    The markings on the hood, which unusually were claimed to have been an addition by a museum in the 1950s. Although more like a month or so ago in someone's kitchen.

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    The internal layer of fabric, wrong pattern and colours.

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    Internal view of the eyepieces and mouthpiece, again note how they are fitted to the hood and the difference in the corrosion.

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