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March 2024

Object Title: Helmet
Object Number: 2024.3
Our object of the month for March only arrived recently. A fabulous Siebe Gorman fire helmet which was found years ago at the abandoned whaling station at Husvik.

Husvik whaling station was built in 1910 and closed in 1960. The station was operated by Tønsberg Hvalfangeri, a Norwegian company. During its operation around 16,200 whales were processed there.

Siebe Gorman are most famous for manufacturing diving equipment. This helmet was fire-fighting equipment which functioned similar to diving apparatus. Air entered through the tubes at the back, it was pumped through by another person. This meant that the person wearing the mask was limited as to how far they could go by the hose length.

The final image is of the man who found the helmet with his colleagues, they were all working for the British Antarctic Survey and were based at Husvik, using one of the old whaling station buildings as a base whilst they worked there.  

The fire helmet

Siebe Gorman plate

Original inspection label

Helmet from the side showing the breathing hoses

Peculiar headgear for a card game