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War & Decline

The Home Front (civil defence & rationing)

Spectacles and case

20th Century

Special spectacles were worn underneath gas masks.


The government issued gas masks to counter fears that the enemy would attack with poison gas. They made breathing difficult and smelt of rubber and disinfectant. To calm the fears of small children brightly coloured versions with names such as “Mickey Mouse” or “Donald Duck” were made.  The carrying cases for gas masks became a fashion statement, with those made of fur particularly desirable.  Gas masks were never needed.

stainless steel, glass
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Digital Number:
DMAC057a, DMAC057b
Creation Date:
1935 - 1945
Dumfries & Galloway Council

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