A few weeks ago I spotted the BGS helmet I have been looking for listed in an auction on eBay. To make a long story short, I won the bid and received the helmet just before Christmas. This the "crowning jewel" for all of the equipment that I have outfitted the BGS bicycle with.
The helmet is in near perfect condition with only very mild wear, inside and out. The paint is nearly perfect with no scrapes through the finish or areas that have worn through. The leather chin strap and liner are in smoothly worn condition. the shell is a size 64 with a maker's stamp of "LS" which indicates it was manufactured by Linnemann and Schnetzer. The liner is a size 54-57 adjustable type with sweat brow perforations. The chin strap is black on one side and natural on the other. I can see from the wear and molding of the leather chin strap, that it was worn over the brim with the tail end tucked inside the inner liner band. The only markings on the liner are the inked name "West" and what appears to be something like "ph 02" written under it. It looks like there was some sort of label glued to the top pad of the liner at one time, that has now peeled off.
From what I understand, the original versions of this helmet were produced with no vent holes and were first manufactured and issued in 1953. The BGS officers complained about the lack of vents, so the next production run of helmets were produced with side vents in the shell, possibly in the early 1960's. If that is the case, then I would assume that this helmet is one of the original 1953 production helmets.
I will post more information on this helmet as I find it............. until then, here is a photo gallery of the new helmet: