Lot 701 View Catalog
French "Modele 1933" Nickel, Brass and Leather Fire Helmet, third quarter 20th century, the stainless chromium-nickel crown and brim of single construction, with applied ventilated crest and brass badge and rim, with leather liner and strap, the badge of the Sapeurs Pompiers Sonatrach, Algeria, h. 6-1/2", w. 9", l. 12-1/4". Provenance: The Estate of Paul Neal "Red" Adair, Houston, Texas. The iconic "Le Casque Modele 1933" was commissioned by the French government in January 1932 from Bernard Franck et Fils, a supplier of military helmets. It was put into service on October 5, 1933, replacing the earlier 1895 model, and it soon earned the nickname "Casque Bol" ("Bowl Helmet"). It remained in service until 1985, when it was replaced by the model F1, and it still holds the record for the longest-used casque of the Sapeurs Pompiers. The badge of this particular helmet is that of the Algerian national oil and petrochemical company Sonatrach (National Society for the Research, Production, Transport, Transformation and Commercialization of Hydrocarbon Resources). "Red" Adair became a hero in Algeria - and the world - for extinguishing the "Devil's Cigarette Lighter" there in November, 1961: a blowout of a Phillip's Petroleum well so large that John Glenn reported seeing it from space. As this event pre-dated the 1963 creation of Sonatrach, this helmet of Adair's is probably connected to a second fire he extinguished in Algeria in February, 1972.