While various sun helmet patterns – all likely influenced by or based on the original British colonial pattern – were adopted by the nations of Europe, as well as the United States and even South American nations, it is largely forgotten that the military of Mexico also adopted a similar pattern. Little has actually been written about these helmets however.
Authors P Jowett and A de Quesada describe these helmets in a little detail in their book The Mexican Revolution: 1910-1920 (Osprey Publishing, 2006). The authors noted that Mexican Federal Army soldiers wore “Mexican artillery model sun helmet(s) without insignia.” Continue reading →
While the “sun” or “pith” helmet originated in India its apparent value in protecting a wearer from the dangers of the sun was enough to convince numerous military planners to follow suit and introduce similar helmets. While the French may have adopted a sun helmet in 1878 this was soon followed by the Americans – who adopted a helmet pattern in 1880.
As we have noted, the Model 1880 helmet was the first style of helmet adopted by the American military, and reportedly only some 6,000 were produced. As with the later patterns this helmet features a four-panel construction. One unique variation of this helmet was the officer pattern – which is believed to have been a private purchase item.