Big Red here with a question from "Bob Irwin"...
So, TAKE FIVE!
“Big Red, I really have a hard time getting some of the spring clips on early head bands to stay closed. What gives?”
Excellent question Bob,
While the newly designed spring clip was a marked improvement over snap fasteners, they were sometimes difficult to snap shut and some clips would occasionally pop back open.
The earliest version spring clip was made of a heavy gauge steel, which had significant “spring” to it and proved difficult, at times, to keep clipped shut. It had two triangular barbs pressed inward on the lower release arm and six barbs in two rows of three oriented on either side of a subtle embossed support rib on the locking arm. Although this clip was in use with head bands as late as the summer of 1943, its deficiencies were slated for alteration from its inception.
By the summer of 1943 a revised version of the spring clip design had been developed. The new clip was similar in design to the original but having been manufactured from thinner gauge steel made it easier to open and close. The design of the locking arm and release flange stayed relatively unchanged but the barbs migrated to the edges allowing for a more pronounced support rib to be embossed. The barbs were now formed by an angled cut into the edge and bent inward forming a point. The locking arm retained six barbs like the initial clip while the release arm doubled from the original two to four.
The third and final version of this clip was introduced in the fall of 1943 and saw use until August 1945. This clip is similar to its predecessor having only minor changes. First, the barb count was the same but was flipped placing four in the locking arm and six in the release arm. The release flange was shortened while, most significantly, the locking arm had the addition of another embossed rib which crossed its width at the open end and merged with the vertical embossed rib forming a T shape ending in a small flange.
In addition to the spring clip design there was another contributing factor to the tendency for early clips to pop back open, the leather band.
The leather sweat band was made from tanned calf skin that was diecut approximately 1 1/2-inch wide and 18-1/2-inches long. The initial Scholl design called for rounded leather slots along the top of the band opposite half-slot cutaways along the bottom. Once sewn in place on the webbing, this slot and half-slot pattern created a pocket for the placement of the spring clips.
This minor design issue was identified at the outset as the slot not only interfered with the function of some spring clips but because the leather created a slight bulge over the clip which had been reported as wearer discomfort. The slot was simply replaced with the same half-slot design used on the lower part of the band reducing the stress at the fulcrum of a closed spring clip and allowed for a smoother surface against the wearer’s head.
Collector’s Note: The number of companies involved in liner manufacturing and development in conjunction with the QMC’s push to improve all components combined with their directive to allow variance to use existing parts to prevent delivery delays, resulted in a wonderful mixture of parts being used to assemble the adjustable head band. And just like Private Murphy on maneuvers, you never know what you might come across.
Big Red Says!
FIVE'S OVER - MOVE OUT!