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.
Rare WWII Mickey Mouse Gas Mask and Tin
This is a very rare Canadian Mickey Gas Mask with the original and difficult to find Tin Litho Mickey Can. Made by the English tin toy manufacturer, Happy Knack. Apparently, the idea of including Mickey was to make the whole concept of a gas mask seem more friendly. Actually, the illustration on the can addresses the fact that it is scary. Mickey, wearing it, is actually attempting to frighten his nephews, by saying, "Booo-oo." One thinks "He's a bear," while the more astute of them, proclaims, "Sonly 'Unca' Mickey!” Local sources, and some collectors, including Johannes, have claimed it was Canadian, but it is very possible this mask was used in other countries as well. The markings on the filter and on the back of the mask near the right-side strap appear to be a "C" with an arrow pointing up in the middle. "C" could stand for Canada. The mask has also been claimed to be called the "Minnie Mouse" mask. Another theory of this black Mickey Mouse mask could be that it was an earlier variant of the British model, and that the black colored facepiece did not convince children how "fun" the gas mask could be, but rather scared them away. Further evidence helping this theory is the markings on the filters. Both of the examples above have the marking "G C MK III" which could help prove they're both from the UK. This mask is very difficult to find on the market, but it's British look-a-like is a little more common... $2500