My Prussian JZP M1915 EM Metalhelme

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
I had a conversation with a machinist last weekend, he and his wife are godparents to my new grandson Grayson and were attending the christening. Not surprisingly, I had taught him and we got to talking about these hauben and how the spikes were spun on a lathe. He told me they would have spun a brass rod and made the cone from that. He also pointed out that because these were all made by hand there would be differences despite regulations and micrometer measurements. He reminded me that there could have been 2 shifts of men working the same lathe in a 24 hr period. He told me about his apprenticeship to a British old school machinist who first assigned him the task of sharpening drill bits. He would finish a drill bit and have it inspected by the master craftsman.....who would look at it and tell him to do it over. He had to master the simple task of sharpening a bit before he could ever get near the lathe.
 

aicusv

Active member
b.loree said:
I had a conversation with a machinist last weekend, he and his wife are godparents to my new grandson Grayson and were attending the christening. Not surprisingly, I had taught him and we got to talking about these hauben and how the spikes were spun on a lathe. He told me they would have spun a brass rod and made the cone from that. He also pointed out that because these were all made by hand there would be differences despite regulations and micrometer measurements. He reminded me that there could have been 2 shifts of men working the same lathe in a 24 hr period. He told me about his apprenticeship to a British old school machinist who first assigned him the task of sharpening drill bits. He would finish a drill bit and have it inspected by the master craftsman.....who would look at it and tell him to do it over. He had to master the simple task of sharpening a bit before he could ever get near the lathe.

Never thought about them being turned on a lathe, I'd always assumed they were made on a draw die set up much like cans and wheel hubs. But I guess if you are make small numbers, the lathe makes more sense.
 

Spiker

Active member
Never thought about them being turned on a lathe, I'd always assumed they were made on a draw die set up much let cans and wheel hubs. But I guess if you are make small numbers, the lathe makes more sense.

You assumed right.
 

poniatowski

Active member
Spiker said:
Unlike with the pickelhaube ,the chinstrap of the lobster-tail helmet was used all the time.
If the strap is unable to reach the chin ;you are dealing with a replacement.
US found bond helmets often have replacements or switched parts.


Every time I see this photo, I can't help thinking that none of these guys has a single clue as to what any of these helmets are beyond what they probably called a 'Hun' helmet. I bet we all wish we could've been there or in Koblenz to get our hands on some nice examples.

:D Ron
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
It is a fascinating photo. Note upper left: Painted on a box lid US Treasury Dept Washington etc and a number 3?. So we know that particular dept had control which makes sense with the "bond sale" connection. We can also surmise from the number(s) that there were at least 30+ of these boxes. It also appears that they were sorted by type, in the foreground we see a box of metal helmes and what appears to be 2 boxes of shakos. In the background, it looks like boxes of pickelhauben. From what I see, in my opinion, the spikes were removed from the helmets for shipment. I also count a row of approx 14 shakos in that 2nd box in the foreground. It would be interesting to get into US archives of the time and find out exactly how many were captured and brought over, how they were packed, what ship (s) they came over on. Who was in charge of the War Bond organization, who controlled distribution, how were they distributed? How was the WB organized, by State, county, city??? We are talking "The Federal" Govt here so there should be an ample paper trail in US archives to provide answers to these simple questions and create even more.
We know these were used as prizes.....What value of bonds ($) did I have to sell in order to win one?? Is there a list of winners, are there newspaper articles and pictures of people being awarded these helmets? Anyway, I think we can see some possibilities here. Perhaps Peter S. might see a potential article in dealing with this issue of War Bond Helmets?
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Ed...very interesting and that really does provide some answers to questions about organization and how helmets could be won. I have never heard of any War Bond helmets in Britain or France. Does anyone know if captured helmets were used in fund raising in those countries? I think that the Canadian government did so but I have no proof. I will check up on that with our national archive.
 
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