"What's the heat lot number in that helmet?"
If I had a dime for every time I have to answer that question.
So much importance & significance has been placed on the alpha numeric code in the brim of the m1 helmet. Maybe it is the sheer number of helmets I've had pass through my hands, but I don't place a great amount of importance on these codes. Nevertheless I began to notice this trend in the helmet community of cataloging heat numbers. Using them to date a helmet. Using them to discredit a helmet. Using them in auction descriptions to squeeze a better ending price. Or the worst, grinding away the paint in a helmet to make them clearly visible. Grrrrr!
Picking up on this trend I started a dialogue with my friend Marc. We would have extensive discussions about "numbers and letters", so to speak. Why are they there? We knew a little. Not a lot. Can they effectively date a helmet? When were they stamped into the helmet? At the foundry or pressing plant? Is there a way to break the code? After awhile it grew into a great interest for him. After many conversations, he took the reigns and decided to do some research.
A good portion of his research was published in Military Collector & Historian. I encourage you to read the article. It is rich with information. Thanks for your dedication to getting the facts Marc!
Click HERE to view the article.