19th Century Rescue Masks

A few months ago, I covered the blog How to Be a Retronaut. While the topic of their posts is not limited to the Victorian era, I’ve found that what they do wind up finding is pretty spectacular. Across the board, Steampunks tend to be people who are interested in history and the past in general, so it makes sense that this blog appeals to retrofuturists across the board.

These 19th century rescue masks are a perfect example of the unique finds that appear on How to Be a Retronaut. These look like they’re straight from modern Steampunk, but are actually historical pieces.

Here’s what the blog had to say about them:

“This pair of early rescue masks dates from between the mid-1800s and WWI.

“The black leather helmet on the left is labeled “Respirations Apparat” by “G.B.Konic Altona,” and was made in Hamburg, Germany.

“The brass, three-quarter face mask to its right was made in Paris by J. Mandet. This type of breathing mask had a very simple apparatus, allowing only a short range of operation. When used, air would be forced into the helmet through no more than 13 meters of flexible tubing by means of a bellows operated remotely from the outside.

“Both of these masks have mica lenses to help protect the eyes from heat.

One well-known 19th-century manufacturer was named Vajen-Bader”

Steve Erenberg

Very interesting, and very steamy! To stay up to date on all of How to Be a Retronaut’s posts, you can sign up for updates via email, Twitter, Facebook and RSS all from their website.

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