Hats & Helmets Collections Speed Dating

Hello, welcome to Collections Speed Dating at Fort Ticonderoga I am Matthew Keagle, the curator, surrounded today by some very non-18th-century pieces of headgear

I am here in our "Great Wars: Ticonderoga and World War I" exhibit gallery where we've juxtaposed some headgear from the 18th century and the 20th century to show how things had evolved by this time period Now for thousands of years of human history, soldiers wore protection of some sort, armor, especially on their heads, for obvious reasons The adoption though of firearms saw soldiers trading that protection for mobility And by the 18th century, most soldiers don't wear any kind of armor, whether on their heads or elsewhere Now, by the time of the Great War, World War I, we see the injuries being received to the head from various means, but especially artillery shell fragments, push armies to adopt helmets like these: a British–used by the Americans–and a German example from our collection here

And in fact, this adoption of helmets in the 20th century was in many ways a return to the lessons of the past, meaning that the 18th century, the period where soldiers didn't wear headgear, which persisted from the 17th century through the 18th and even into the 19th century as we can see from this French kepi here, was actually the aberration in the history of warfare A brief window of human history in which soldiers did not wear protection for their heads

Source: Youtube