Living far away from my Grandparents, I never got to sit and listen to the many stories they had to tell. I am one for stories of the past. The old way of life. How people did what they had to do to make things work back in the day. To think, people actually complain and think it’s the end of the world when the power is out for a few hours... My full attention is kept when hearing those stories of the families farming, like my Grandma did all through her childhood, or those stories of what Men would do to provide for their families... When were... MEN!! :wink:wink You want a basement dug in your house? Grab a shovel and buckets and get to work. That is exactly what my Grandpa did. He dug the whole basement out by hand. It created a great place for them to store all their canned goods. Homemade jams and jellies, pickles, pears, peaches, nectarines, grape juice... the list goes on and on. Not to mention room for a tiny shower and bedroom.
These were just a couple stories I had never heard about my Grandparents until I recently went to my Little Grandma's funeral a couple weeks ago. She passed away at 94 years old and was baking pies and sewing quilts up until the day she passed. She passed on so many of her skills and knowledge to her 5 Daughters. My Mom definitely got the crafting and baking skills from Her. My Grandma stood at 5’2”. My Grandpa had Passed away 6 years prior. A WWII Marine standing 6’4”... Now that is quite the pair. We was a mechanic, repaired tanks and other vehicles during his time as a Marine in WWII. I guess he used to do some crazy stuff like jumping off the bow of a ship and swimming underneath the ship while at port. Throw his clothes in a bag, tie it to his foot, swim a mile to the other side, party a bit, then swim back... That must have been some serious party action goin on to want to go through all that. Lol.
Okay, that’s enough family history for the time, let’s talk about this Gas Mask...
US Navy ND Mark IV
I can across this Gas Mask when My oldest brother and I were helping get stuff out of my Grandma’s house. With a basement full of canned goods, we both felt the need to help share the load. Bottles of pears, and other fruits grown right in Grandma’s garden and canned with love by my Grandma. Again, I am glad to have my big Ford Excursion. With all our luggage and an ice chest, there was still a good amount of room to be able to take back good amount of canned goods.
Now I know my Grandpa was a DIY guy himself, so he must have some old tools and stuff in the shed. My Uncle had already gone through and grabbed the stuff he would like to have so my brother and I headed out to take a look. I found a cool little vice that clamps on the edge of a workbench and my brother was like, “Dang that’s cool!” Then minutes later my brother found this gray bag and said, “Dude, check this out!”
Of course we had to open it and see for sure what was inside. I mean really... a Gas Mask?!? Who would keep a Gas Mask in the shed outside? Now in the bathroom maybe, I could see that being a good place for one. The bag itself had no holes in it and the 3 buttons holding the mask inside work great. What is a Marine doing with a United States Navy Gas Mask? He must have beat some Navy guy up and stole it... jokes just jokes people.
Sure enough, there was a Gas Mask inside. With cloth lens covers and all. Now I am no history buff but this Gas Mask is just flat out AWESOME!! I just had to have it. So I traded my brother the vice I found earlier for it. Not a bad trade if you ask me. :wink:wink We continued to remove the mask from its case, I couldn’t stop thinking how old this gas mask was and what great shape it is in.
I am not sure if these cloth lens covers had ever been removed. Just to expose the corner of the lens, I noticed the covers fit very snug.
After doing a bit of reading on the background of this Mark IV Gas Mask I found it was manufactured in 1943-44... 76-77 years old... DANG!. Of course it was Preceded by the Mark III and Succeeded by the Mark V... Gee what a concept... numerical order. Lol. The lenses changed from an oval shape to a triangular shape to help with the field of vision. The canister rested behind the head on the neck. That way it wasn’t in the way when shooting.
Inside the mask is a rubber cone that is designed to focus the users voice to the Voicemitter. I thought this was the exhale valve at first but I was quickly corrected after doing a little reading. The exhale valve sits underneath the Voicemitter. Now I didn’t go taking the face form out of this mask to look at the various parts because I am afraid I might break something. I feel it is better just to leave it the way it has been for the past who knows how many years. I was very hesitant to pull up the lens covers, I didn’t want them to rip or tear.
The face form was used to maintain the shape of the mask and hoses when stored in the bag. It’s made of a thick cardboard or sometimes metal. The small ropes were used to secure the hoses in place. I don’t think this one had been stored 100% correctly but hey there isn’t any kinks in the hoses and the mask has a good shape to it.
Now follow closely because these are very specific instructions on how to properly use the face form and store the mask.
Did you get all that? I better read them a dozen more times to make sure.
The elastic netting that goes around the back of the head actually looks pretty comfortable. By dispersing the the tension across multiple elastic bands instead of one or two thick rubber straps or something. This is a universal mask, one size fits all.
In the bottom of the bag there was one last piece of instructions. This is for the filter canister. I believe it was supposed to be attached to the canister itself but the adhesive did quite hold up over the years.
This Mark IV Gas Mask wouldn’t be complete without this little can held in the bag by an elastic band.
Fog Proof Paste... wait, FogPruf Paste. How in the world did I misspell that?
Mint condition, no scratches, and the instructions are perfectly legible
This just added another level of Awesomeness to this Gas Mask. So I guess the question is, “What in the world am I going to do with this Gas Mask?” I could throw it on and wear it to the store I guess? Maybe sell it? Or what I plan on doing... Just hang onto it and try and maintain its conditions for many years to come. Keep it in a safe place and pass it on to one of my Grandkids. Just like one of my Dad’s .22 rifles... “This DOES NOT leave the family!” Those are my Dad’s exact words.
I am going to try an attach the filter canister instructions back on the canister. I think maybe just a little heat with a heat gun might activate the adhesive. Then I think I am going to try and figure out those face form instructions so it is stored in the manner the manufacturer recommended. Try to keep it as original as possible.
I guess I can say,
I own a WWII Gas Mask Now