Scott was been bombarding me with steampunk links this entire morning. One of them included a pair of 19th century rescue masks. I'm not totally certain what sort of rescue situation these masks were intended for. I get the feeling that either the first is a gas mask and the second is an underwater breathing helmet, or they're both meant to protect firefighters:
|image source: How to Be a Retronaut|
“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
What do you think is the intended use for these masks?