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 Post subject: Tin "kit" helmets
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 6:18 am 
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I would be interested in members' thoughts on a question about the black enamelled tin "kit" pickelhauben.
Larcade states that they were made by Weissenburger of Stuttgart-Canstadt. However, many of them display under the front peak the logo of Firma von der Heyden of Berlin. Col J mentions this in his excellent article about "kit" helmets.
So...was von der Heyden a distributor or retailer or were they a manufacturing sub-contractor for Weissenburger?
Whatever the answer may be, they are very beautiful helmets.

Weimar


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 Post subject: Re: Tin "kit" helmets
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 7:07 am 
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This is the translation: ("One of the Companies...."...)

J-L Larcade Volume I:

-Certain committees of the Bekleidungs Ämbter/outfitters asked manufacturers to produce a helmet: in all points equal to the model 1895; BUT more protective; made from Stahlblech rather than leather.
-One of these metal helmet patterns was patented on 14 October 1914 (licence Nr 41.C.618425); manufactured by the ‘Metallwaren Fabrik Hermann Weissenburger & Kompanie’ from Stuttgart-Cannstadt. This helmet was delivered to the Prussian Infantry in large quantities.
-In Bayern; Nürnberg; the "Nürnberger Metall und Lackierwarenfabrik vorm. Gebr. Bing A.G. " manufactured 100,000 Pickelhauben. These were made from the quality-steel "Siemens-Martin-Stahlstanzblech". They were delivered to the Bayerische Militär Verwalltung at the price of 8 Mark 25 a piece."


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 Post subject: Re: Tin "kit" helmets
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 11:33 am 
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Quote:
So...was von der Heyden a distributor or retailer or were they a manufacturing sub-contractor for Weissenburger?


I don't think Weissenburger was the only source. It certainly was one of them and they had subcontractors. But I am not sure exactly what the subcontractors did. We have some partial data from the Minister of war in Württenberg.

Imageweisseenbergger1 by Joe Robinson, on Flickr

Quote:
Herman Weissenburger & Co. Stuttgatt Cannstatt. 22 December 1914. Wuert/Stuttgart HStA. M1/6 1345.

From: Herman Weissenburg & Co. Stuttgart Canstatt. Metal Products, Military Equipment, Fire Department Equipment and Helmets.

Stuttgart Cannstadt
December 22, 1914

To: The Royal Wuerttemberg Ministry of War. Administration Department. Stuttgart

Subject; Spike Helmets

It honors us to be able to be able to respond to the correspondence from the Royal Bekleidungsamt (Clothing Issue Office) in Ludwigsburg regarding the order for 60,000 tin infantry spike helmets and to reply to the Royal Ministry of War that we were able to obtain all the material needed to fill this order and furthermore that the preliminary work has progresses so far that we will no longer be able to make any changes to these helmets without incurring serious financial loss.
Regarding the danger posed by these helmets when a soldier wearing them is hit in the head (through the helmet) by a bullet, we would like to let you know that we did ballistic trials with our helmets and that we fire shots from a range of 500 meters into the side of the helmet that the bullet penetrated one side of the helmet but did not touch the other side. The result was that the bullet was met by a significant amount of resistance when it hit the tin helmet and therefore the danger to the wearer was greatly reduced.
Every type of spike helmet be it leather, felt, tin or whatever, a bullet can hit the metal (brass) fittings and the front plate (state crest) and rip off some metal fragments which the bullet will carry into the soldiers head. The danger posed by our helmets is no greater than that posed by the other types of helmets.
We would like to mention that ever since the Jaeger zu Pferde branch of the Army was introduced we have produced the metal spike helmet bodies for them as well as for the Garde du Corps and the Garde Kurrassier and provided these helmets to intermediate firms in Berlin such as Damaschke, Wunderlich, Unterwalder and others. Ever since the outbreak of the war and up to the present day we have regularly received orders from these companies.
Since leather, felt and now cork have become difficult to obtain, we have gone back to producing spike helmets of tin, which after leather is the best material for making helmets. If it is possible for us, after filling this order, to be in the position to produce helmets from another material, we will not hesitate to supply you with a sample.
In order for you to conduct your own ballistics trails with our tin helmets, we will be happy to provide you with unfinished helmet shells, so please let us know if you need them. Best wishes, signed Herman Weissenburger & Co

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VR/Joe
www.pickelhauben.net
The British philosopher and historian R.G. Colligwood said, "it is not
the facts that are interesting in history, but the questions and their
answers - and these can never be fixed.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin "kit" helmets
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 2:24 pm 
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Gentlemen

Many thanks for your replies.
The correspondence from Herr Weissenburg is fascinating. He says that his company supplies tin helmet bodies to intermediate firms such as Damaschke, Wunderlich, Unterwalder and others.
Possibly von der Heyden was one of "the others".
Supplying the helmet bodies is interesting. Perhaps the intermediate firms provided the remaining fittings and then sold the finished kits to the various armies?

What an absorbing hobby we enjoy!

Weimar


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 Post subject: Re: Tin "kit" helmets
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:07 pm 
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Imagev d heyden by Joe Robinson, on Flickr

R.von der Heyden Co. 26. Sept 1914 to Wuert. KM. Wurt/Stuttgart HStA. M1/6 1345.

From; R. von der Heyden. Co. Heating oil. Oil furnaces. Heyden Burner. Berlin
26. September 1914
To: The Royal Wuerttemberg Ministry of War. Stuttgart

I would like to inform you of the availability of my new patented spike helmet which replaces both the old model (leather) spike helmet and its cloth cover. My helmets which are field gray in color are now available.
My patented wartime model spike helmet is made of thin pressed metal complete with insignia and all is painted in a field gray color. The spike helmet cover, which looks sloppy and easily soaks up rain water and becomes sopping wet, is therefore unnecessary.
If you place an order soon I can provide you with a large number of these helmets at a very low price.
Allow me to inform you of the fact that the Prussian Ministry of war an order for some samples of this type of helmet.
Most respectfully yours R. von der Heyden


From: I. Bavarian Army Corps/ Nr. 12953
Munich
October 23, 1914

To: The Royal Bavarian Ministry of War
Munich

Reference: Royal Bavarian Ministry of War Decree Nr. 42430, dated Oct.15, 1914

Subject: Helmets

The tin ersatz spike helmets from the firm Weissenburger and Co. and the aluminum ersatz spike helmets from the firm Bing were issued to the Ersatz (replacement depot) Battalion of the 2nd (Bavarian) Infantry Regiment. The troops involved in the wear trials reported the following observations:
A) Tin Spike Helmets
Tin spike helmets are suitable for wartime use and serve the purpose they were designed to fill. They are not too heavy and do not cause uncomfortable pressure to the wearer’s head since the metal helmet body is spring like and bends to fit the wearer’s head. The black paint is durable and does not crack or break away when the helmet body is flexed. Ventilation in the helmet is adequate and is provided for through six vent holes in the spike.
B) Aluminum Helmets
The aluminum spike helmets are also suitable for wartime usage. It is lighter than the tin spike helmet and is more comfortable to wear. The metal body is flexible and easily conforms to the wearer’s head. One problem is that the oil based paint easily cracks and pieces break away. The yellow metal spike and the helmet body shines. The purpose of the gray paint, which is to make the wear of a helmet cover unnecessary, is therefore not attained. In order to be used in the field this helmet must be worn with a helmet cover. Worn with a cover the helmet is suitable for wear in the field.
Regarding A) and B)
We were unable to determine if when the temperature is very hot or cold if this would make the wear of these metal ersatz helmets uncomfortable, however it is believed that the thick leather liner will be effective in insulating the wearer from heat or cold. We will report on the production and wear trials of ersatz cork spike helmets after we receive information from the Clothing Issue Depot (Kriegs Bekleidungsamt) of the II. (Bavarian) Army Corps.
The firm v.der Heyden, according to the Clothing Issue Depot (Kriegs Bekleidungsamtes), can deliver several thousand helmets in November and an even larger number of helmets in December at the price of 9.50 Marks.
The firm Bortfield in Bremen can deliver several thousand ersatz spike helmets in November. Later they could produce up to 1000 helmets a day at the price of 9 Marks.
A more specific production estimate by the various firms could not be made.

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VR/Joe
www.pickelhauben.net
The British philosopher and historian R.G. Colligwood said, "it is not
the facts that are interesting in history, but the questions and their
answers - and these can never be fixed.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin "kit" helmets
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 7:35 am 
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Joe

Thank you so much for this additional information - and from an actual letter from von der Heyden.

Incredible, priceless detail that we should all be grateful to you for.

The depth of knowledge on this forum is awesome.

WEIMAR


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 Post subject: Re: Tin "kit" helmets
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 6:01 pm 
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Awesome post Joe, like stepping back into History! :thumb up:

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