Saturday, July 23, 2016

Swedish Fire Fighter's Helmet, circa 1960, Brissman, Halmstad Sweden, Brissmans Brandredskap

Today we'll be taking a look at a fairly rare fire fighter's helmet (at least here in the US).  This helmet is a very early model , fiberglass helmet, made by the Swedish fire equipment and helmet manufacturer, Brissman.


The helmet I have shows it's age, from storage, but does not appear to have been used, or was used very little.  It does not have any department decals or numbers and shows no damage.  I wish I knew how it found it's way to the USA, but I am afraid I will probably never know (it came to me via a VERY odd listing on eBay............)  When I received this helmet, it had been spray painted on the outside, with black paint.  It was a terrible paint job with many sags and runs.  A bit of careful stripping using acetone thinner and a rag, and I was left with the original white fiberglass finish.

This helmet was made by Brissman, of Halmstad Sweden.  


The Brissman company started up in the 1920's after a local fire chief, Fritz Brissman, realized that there were not very many options for quality fire fighting equipment in Sweden.  He decided that he would start his own company and produce high quality helmets and other fire equipment.  His signature product was the classic Swedish fire helmet.  Originally this helmet was made in aluminum, roughly based on the German fire helmets of the era.  In 1960,  Brissman's switched their production from aluminum to polyester fiberglass. 
Here is a link to another collector who has quite a few examples of these old Brissman helmets, both in metal, and fiberglass:

http://derfeuerwehrhelm.de/land.php?land=93

As a comparison, here is a link to my blog page showing the German version of this helmet:

http://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.com/2011/05/deutsh-feuerwehrhelm-west-german-fire.html

It appears that none of the old Swedish helmets were dated, but based on the liner construction of my helmet, it appears to be one of the early fiberglass production helmets.  
The liner is made of leather, and is adjustable by changing the overlapping area of the rear headband. 


The adjustment is secured with a "shoestring tie".  The liner and chin strap are attached with "paperclip" rivets, that are very similar to the old German steel helmets.  


The outer, exposed portion of the rivet is protected and insulated with a plastic cap.  


There is a fitted foam pad that fills the crown of the helmet, under the liner.


I find it quite interesting that these Brissman helmets are nearly identical in shape as the old Model 1936, Bulgarian steel military helmets......coincidence, or influence.......who knows!  
Here is a link to my blog page about my old Bulgarian Model 1936:

http://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.com/2010/11/bulgarian-model-36c-helmet-kaska-36c.html

These Brissman helmets are still made, and used, in Sweden, with only minor changes to the liner and chin strap!  I must say that these "old helmets" are very comfortable to wear!  (modeled by "yours truly!")




Here are a few shots of these Brissman helmets in current use in Sweden:




I am still undecided as to whether I will leave this helmet "as-found" or obtain a Swedish fire service, front decal and side numbers, so I can display it as a "seasoned veteran replica".  I hope to contact a few of the fire departments in Sweden to see if they can help me out with the correct emblems.  

Now let's take a look at this beautiful old piece of Swedish, fire fighting history!













I believe this stamping on the liner indicates "Shell Size 2" & head sizes 56-59 cm.




1 comment:

Unknown said...

IF you want more swedish firefighterhistory,check out Www.brandkår.se. Unfortunately not translated to english yet.