Leather Helmet Circa 1884.

Comments: 0

Here is a picture of the helmet. I have attached the original posting of this helmet.
So today as I sift through the numerous articles that Captain Wiseman has left us I notice something, something unique, something I doubted, something I have in my possession. I acquired a leather helmet a couple of years ago from a Captain who was getting rid of some of his fire memorabilia. The Captain stated that the helmet was from 1884 he thought and that it was from Roanoke. He said he got it from a retired District Chief. I doubted the whole 1884 date. I mean how could this thing have made it that long. After all this helmet is not in the best shape. It is green, the leather is old, and the eagle on top is coming off. The helmet looks like it might fit a little child. I thought maybe it shrunk, maybe they were form fitted to the head instead of having any protection in them other than the leather. After all the original reason for the helmets was to shed water.
So here I find an article from August 19, 1972. The article is about, get this, the Roanoke Historical Society trying to acquire Station #1. Even back then they thought that it would only be a couple of years. They speak of an Eric Miller who was or maybe still is a Salem Firefighter. He is also a fire buff and let the Society use some of his memorabilia for a display at 17 East Kirk Ave. The picture is what caught my attention. There it was, the helmet, in the picture. My helmet, or at least the one that I received from that Captain along with a scale model of a steam engine. The caption under the picture reads “Model steam engine stands beside fire helmet worn by the late Joseph T. Engleby as assistant fire chief for Roanoke. The eagle topped helmet is on loan to the historical society from J.T. Engleby III, and dates to around 1884. WOW.
So the information passed on to me was correct. However I wonder how in the heck did that helmet end up in my hands. I mean this is a very historical piece of the fire department. I guess it is fitting that I ended up with it now that I have undertaken the history of the department.
Now I realize that someone out there might be missing this helmet. Maybe the Engleby family, maybe the historical society. If anyone else has information on this helmet please let me know. I will attach a picture as soon as I get the helmet out of storage.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!