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eMedals-First War German "Maskenbrille" Eyeglasses for Gas MasksConsign #4

Item: G17720

First War German "Maskenbrille" Eyeglasses for Gas MasksConsign #4

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First War German "Maskenbrille" Eyeglasses for Gas MasksConsign #4

First War German "Maskenbrille" Eyeglasses for Gas Masks - These eyeglasses were specifically designed to be worn with the gas mask and were issued for front-line use to soldiers requiring vision aids. Since the metal arms on the regular service glasses (Dienstbrille) prevented the mask from fitting tightly against the face, the Maskenbrille ws designed to have short v-shaped double arms, hinged to the front, with adjustable brown cotton straps sewn in place. These straps were looped around the ears and did not interfere with the fit of the mask, the eyeglasses measuring 40.5 mm x 116.5 mm and with little contact on the glass lenses. These were the only eyeglasses permitted to be worn in the front lines. The eyeglasses come enclosed in a magnetic tin with a paper instruction label glued on the inside of the lid entitled "Anweisung zum Aussuchen der Doppelarmigen Brille." (Instructions for Choosing the Double-Glasses). The main compartment is divided by a navy blue cardboard insert with a cardboard tab at one end and a paper pull tab lift stapled in place at the other, which when lifted, exposes a set of spare olive green cotton straps. The tin is missing its original cotton, needle and thread kit used for field repairs, hinged, the tin measuring 49.5 mm x 132.5 mm x 14.5 mm. A terrific WWI collectible, very fine. Footnote: With the introduction by the Germans in 1916 of the close fitting full-face "gummimaske" gas mask, difficulties were experienced by soldiers who required eyeglasses to perform their duties. The arms of standard eyeglasses pushed the mask away from the wearer's head, and created a gap through which gas could enter. Removal of glasses before donning the respirator meant that soldiers with poor vision were unable to respond to enemy attacks. In order to overcome this problem, the German Army introduced eyeglasses with short arms ending in cotton or elastic tapes which fitted around the wearer's ears. The tapes enabled the respirator to be fitted snugly, although the vision problems caused by condensation on the eyeglass lenses must have been considerable. (C:4)  
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