Unseen History Photos That Leave Nothing To The Imagination 

Rare Collection | November 27, 2020

A Dutch Medic photographed wearing an improvised gas mask during World War I

source: zeemering colouring

During World War I there were a number of different gas masks used on the front. Not only was gas mask technology changing throughout the war, but there were times when soldiers had to put together something quick to keep themselves safe during a gas attack.

From the time of American involvement in World War I, around 2,000 U.S. troops were harmed by poison attacks, and members of the Allied powers suffered an even bigger hit in numbers.

Gas was initially used on the battlefield by releasing it from canisters and pushing it downwind. Over the course of the war, tear and chlorine gas were released on the Eastern Front and it quickly induced fear in troops from across the world. To keep safe, troops used cloth soaked in their own urine to protect their lungs from the poison. Why urine? They believed the ammonia in their urea would neutralize the chlorine, and chlorine dissolves in water so it had trouble passing through the wet cloth.

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Jacob Shelton


Jacob Shelton is a Los Angeles based writer. For some reason this was the most difficult thing he’s written all day, and here’s the kicker – his girlfriend wrote the funny part of that last sentence. As for the rest of the bio? That’s pure Jacob, baby. He’s obsessed with the ways in which singular, transgressive acts have shaped the broader strokes of history, and he believes in alternate dimensions, which means that he’s great at a dinner party. When he’s not writing about culture, pop or otherwise, he’s adding to his found photograph collection and eavesdropping on strangers in public.