A rare antique fire helmet, which has been donated to the fire service in Windsor, has stirred up memories of fire fighters in the past and their history.
The piece was discovered by the daughter of William Shelson, who lives in Lion’s Head, Ontario, but originates from Windsor. The front of the helmet has ‘Windsor’ emblazoned on it, so Shelson’s daughter decided to contact fire stations there to see if anyone had any interest in purchasing it. Captain David Gillis enquired about purchasing the item, but the current owner decided that they wanted it to be enjoyed and donated it to the firefighters.
According to Gillis the helmet is unusual, as it is in good condition and the design is rare. Today, helmets are made of spun fibreglass and other durable materials for protection.
The antique is made of aluminium and so would have dented very easily, which means it is unusual to have retained its condition. On top sits an ornamental beaver, indicating the age of the item; such helmets didn’t have ornamental features after the 1950s, due to the cost.
Details of its original fire fighter owner were traced to Captain Jack Grier, who wore the helmet from 1926 to 1929. Just like this item, the history of antique furniture can be discovered by the materials used for construction and unusual features. A good selection of unusual pieces can be discovered in the Lancashire area, including antique dining chairs and tables.
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