RCN Gasmask

Maritime Museum of BC

Though the tin that contains it might be dented and rusty, this anti-gas respirator and set of goggles are in great condition. It was one of the types of respirators issued during the Second World War.

Using a British design, Canada produced its own respirators during WWII. Our respirator here at MMBC has the mark “V.M.C.”, which stands for Viceroy Manufacturing Company, who would have produced this MK2 facepiece in 1945. This type of light anti-gas respirator would have been more comfortable than it’s First World War counterparts such as the British Smoke Hood. This was a canvas hood treated with chlorine-absorbing chemicals, and fitted with a transparent mica eyepiece. Early gas masks used wood charcoal or the shells and seeds of various fruits and nuts such as coconuts, chestnuts, and peach stones to absorb poison gases.