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Helmet

Posted on March 4, 2009 - Filed Under Bullet Proof |

Helmet, protective covering for the head, generally made of metal, leather, plastic, or composite materials, used in warfare, certain occupations, and sports. Military helmets have been worn from the earliest times and have been made in many different forms. The simplest form, a close-fitting skullcap, apparently made of iron, leather, and bronze, is represented on Assyrian reliefs. Elaborations of this form were used by the Greeks, Etruscans, and the late Romans and included protective devices for the neck and face, and plumes or carved figures that surmounted the crown.

From the beginning of the 15th century until about 1650, types of helmets proliferated throughout Europe (see Armor). Certain important types, diverse in size and shape and more or less elaborately decorated, were called the sallet, the armet, the burgonet, and the morion. As the use of firearms in warfare became more general, helmets lost their utility, especially as protection for the face.

Modern military helmets, such as those worn in World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1949-1945), afford no protection for the face. Originally, they had steel coverings designed for maximum protection of the head against shrapnel and ricocheted bullets. More recent military helmets are made with composite materials.

The basin-shaped military helmet design used by British and U.S. forces in World War I was widely adopted in construction industries, mining, and logging. Often called hard hats in the United States, the helmets are sometimes made with strong lightweight plastic substituted for steel. Helmets with visors for face protection are used by police in riot control. Firefighters wear helmets made from leather or fiberglass, often with visors and other added protection. Mining helmets are often equipped with a battery-powered light.

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