French private purchase hard shell crash helmet
This French built “Roold style” crash helmet sports many features of its ubiquitous cousin, while showing some essential differences, though. The lightweight, oil cloth covered cork shell is painted black, instead of the classic light brown of the Roold. Inside, the shell includes a padded satin lining almost identical to the one of a genuine Roold, as is the narrow peak, lined with dark green satin. All in all a rather luxurious specimen.
Here, size adjustment can be made via thread-linked leather tongues on the inside of the shell. The ear flaps, which buckle under the chin, are made of leather, lined with soft cloth, and feature “D.B.F Paris” embossed brass inserts in the form of a symbolized wheel. No manufacturer’s label is present, only a small sticker indicating the size “55”.
The goggles are of the type La Gogglette No.5 manufactured by E.B. Meyrowitz, Paris. These feature air vents, rubber pads and can be folded to be snugly stored in their metal container.
As the subsequent model, La Gogglette No.6, reportedly appeared in early 1918 and became standard issue for the USAS, one can rather safely assume that its predecessor, the No.5 presented here, saw use during WWI.