Black text on a white background with an image of a person wearing blue wearing a yellow mask.
THE WHITEHEAD & HOAG CO.
JULY 17 1894
APRIL 14, 1896, JAN 21, 1896
PAT. JULY 21, 1896
In the 1890s, Willis C. Vajen of Indianapolis Industries invented the Vajen-Bader smoke helmet, designed to protect firefighters from inhaling smoke when they entered a burning building. The helmet was made of a chamois leather that was specially treated to be fire and water proof. The helmet was attached to a compression tank to aid in respiration and to keep the internal temperature of the helmet cool. Both the eye and ear pieces (diaphragms) were made from mica, enabling clear sight and sound for the firefighter. By 1897, the helmet was in use all over the world, from Dublin, to Chili, to Japan, and New Zealand.