We have always considered and collected these commercial masks and helmets as industries tribal art. Examples can be elegant in their simplicity or bazaar and complex. They are always unique, suprising and filled with personality.
1878 Siebe Gorman Firemens Rescue Mask
This is an early Siebe Gorman smoke mask. These full face helmets are very rare and found mostly in museum collections. It's signed on a brass plaque. Manufactured by Siebe Gorman and Company, London, England. The front has doors that swing open and use Mica to see through. The window frame is aluminium. This is also one go the first Industrial uses for aluminium. Aluminium was a new and unique metal, durable, lightweight and resistant to tarnishing. At the time, it was considered quite rare and valuable. These helmets would attach to a long hose that ran to a foot operated bellows. The fireman would then go into a smokey building to rescue those trapped within... $2800