WWI Gas Masks


This picture shows soldiers in WWI wearing the gas masks that were assigned to them by the United States Military in around 1919. These masks were vital in survival during WWI because of the mustard gas used in the war. Mustard gas would render the person who came in contact with it utterly useless becuase of the effects. Effects included, burning of the skin, blisters, and irritation of the lungs. In Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen, he writes on how fast the soldiers had to acquire and get the gas masks on to prevent breathing in the mustard gas during the war. He mentions that the gas falls "softly behind" the soldiers while engaging with the enemy. This is haunting because something that can do this much damage to a person can barely be heard when it is fired. 

Associated Place(s)

Part of Group:


  • Chemical Development Laboratory
  • Philadelphia

Image Date: 

circa. 20th century