English WWII Invalid Gas Mask
This type of respirator was used for wearers whose medical conditions prevented them from using the standard issue civilian respirators. Prior to the introduction of the clean air act of 1956, the air quality in the UK was, to say the least, not exactly fantastic. The vast numbers of slums found in the cities around the country meant that a large number of the poorer population was exposed to the diseases which flourished in such conditions; tuberculosis was rife in some areas. Add to the mix Great War veterans who had been directly exposed to the various gases used on the battlefield (and the respiratory issues they caused), and there was a clear need for a special gas mask to provide protection for anyone unable to use a normal gas mask. The concept of the invalid's gas mask was simple enough; the standard masks were tight-fitting and as such, prolonged wear could render the user incapable of being able to breathe. The design allowed the user to be protected by an enveloping cover, which could be kept at a positive pressure compared to that outside of the mask by virtue of the pump located on the front. The wearer could continue to breathe normally and be less prone to any actual attack, which, when using a normal mask, could force the user to remove the mask in panic.