Early-WWII MSA M1 Helmet Liner, Complete Rayon Suspension (Rare)
This is an exceptionally rare MSA manufactured M1 helmet liner - possibly the only one of its kind in existence. MSA received the very first contract for high pressure M1 helmet liners on February 4, 1942. The contract at the time was for only 12,000 liners, compared to the 1,000,000 for both Inland and Westinghouse. This is one of only two MSA-branded helmet liners I have encountered with this suspension configuration and the other one was not likely manufactured by MSA, but rather its subcontractor, Hoover. In fact, the only MSA liners with rayon suspensions mentioned to exist in Helmets of the ETO had studs for the removable leather liner strap, whereas this helmet liner retains its original stationary leather liner strap (Giard & Blais, 24-25). The liner's original rayon suspension is strong and intact; it is held in place by parkerized steel A-washers. The leather liner strap is fragile and the new owner should express care when handling it. The liner comes complete with its original J.P. Smith Shoe Co. headband and Joseph N. Eisendrath Co. manufactured neckband. The liner's exterior retains its original olive drab factory finish, with some cracking throughout. Affixed to the front of the liner is its original enlisted man's visor badge.