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War & Decline

The Home Front

Gas mask and carry case

20th Century

Instructions for storage and use of this respirator are printed inside the lid of the box.


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. Special spectacles were worn underneath gas masks.


Gas masks were never needed.

Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Digital Number:
DMAM007a, DMAM007b
Dumfries & Galloway Council

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