After a short break ‘Tuesday Finds’ is back with another couple of Cold War NBC items. I am not sure where all these have come from recently, but a lot of nice rare bits of British Nuclear Biological and Chemical warfare bits have been steadily dripping onto my local market- I’m not complaining as I am building up a very nice little sub collection!
Kit, Vapour Detector, L1A1
One of the first jobs in a contaminated area is to discover exactly what gas or nerve agent has been used. Once this is know the correct procedures for neutralising it can be put in place. Whilst soldiers carried simple paper detectors to affix to their NBC suits, something more sophisticated was also needed. This little kit is designed to allow trace amounts of gas or nerve agent to be collected an analysed. It is housed in a green canvas bag, with a shoulder strap and quick release fasteners on the front:
The tubes are in different coloured plastic, with some containing detector tablets that would be added to the empty tubes with a gas sample to identify it. I have learnt that some of these tablets are toxic, so if you have a set please keep them away from children and pets!
The date marks are very faint but I believe this set dates to 1968. Apart from an entry in the Imperial War Museums online catalogue, which lacks pictures and details, I can only find one other reference to the set online and no photos. This suggests it is either very unusual or just completely ignored by collectors. Either way it is a nice complete set and a good addition to my collection.
This sealed packet contains an NBC Smock or ‘Suit Protective NBC No1 Mk3’:
The dates were important in determining is a suit was still usable- they had a shelf life of four years from manufacture. Once made the suits were then vacuum and pressure sealed to reduce the space they took up and to ensure they stayed in pristine condition ready for use. The suit is in olive green and was pulled over the head. It was baggy to allow air trapped inside to move around. The suit is made of two layers, impregnated charcoal cloth on the inside and a modacrylic and nylon blend on the outside giving up to 24 hours protection.