Fashion Shouldn't Take Your Breath Away
April 19, 2015 8:08 AM   Subscribe

50 years ago, WW2 gas mask bags were very popular among trendy, fashion-conscious cavers.

Actually, there were no fashion-conscious cavers, but a gas mask bag was great for carrying a bunch of small items like batteries and spare carbide conveniently. Worn with a shoulder strap, you could take it off and push it ahead of you in a tight crawlspace, and at the end of a trip, you just hosed the mud off. The two clasp fasteners were unaffected by that mud, unlike zippers, which are pretty useless. The only real drawback was the cotton canvas the bags were made of soaked up water and got heavy.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:05 AM on April 19, 2015

Oh hey, it's another generation's apocalypse.
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 AM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

There was also a short-lived Mickey Mouse gas mask for kids, designed by Disney.
posted by tiger yang at 11:00 AM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Are you my mummy?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:10 AM on April 19, 2015 [6 favorites]

I'm wearing a gas mask on my hip right now. Who knew I could make it into a fashion statement?
posted by A Bad Catholic at 12:26 PM on April 19, 2015

The need for everyday civilians to need to be carrying a gas mask and the decision that if you're going to have to live like that you're going to make damn sure it matches your outfit is pretty much both sides of humanity in a nutshell.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:03 PM on April 19, 2015 [6 favorites]

I used to use a reproduction of a WW2 gas mask bag as a purse- it was the perfect size. Small enough to carry easily, but I could fit my whole thermos or a sweater in there.
I really started it because of my love of Professor Jones, but that is nether here nor there.
posted by Adridne at 2:19 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Elkes Biscuit one is interesting to me for its use of the phrase "keep in a cool place". What anonymous genius first came up with those words, which we now find repeated on all sorts of packaging?
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:30 PM on April 19, 2015

The Professor's bag.
posted by valkane at 1:33 PM on April 20, 2015

« Older The World's Future Megaprojects   |   Slip, sliding along Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments