October 9, 2013

Nelson Pioneer Farm artifact

Do you know what this is?

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — This past week's artifact from the Nelson Pioneer Farm was an Ammonia Gas Mask.

Dorothy Vos gave her guess at the identity of the artifact via email. She wrote: “The artifact in today’s shopper is a gas mask, that is worn over the face. It was probably worn during one of the world wars.”

Nelson Pioneer Farm Curator Kelly Halbert did some research on the artifact: “M-S-A Ammonia Mask for miners was used to remove the harmful gases or vapors from inhaled air in the mines. These masks had an all vision face piece which didn’t require a nose clip or mouth piece like the gas masks used during WWI. The patent was filed for in October of 1926. It was manufactured by Mine Safety Appliances Co. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The mask was designed as an apparatus for treating ammonia laden air to completely remove the ammonia gas and make the air suitable for breathing in the mines. Inhaled air passed directly through a container of a crystalized acid, then a cloth filter. It then was inhaled through a breathing tube and exhaled air was vented out without being rebreathed.”

The Oskaloosa Herald and the Nelson Pioneer Farm are teaming up to test your knowledge of historical artifacts.

The Nelson Pioneer Farm has about 15,000 artifacts in its collection spanning in age from the 1840s to the present.

The Herald will take a picture of an artifact and publish it in the Herald section of the Oskaloosa Shopper, The Oskaloosa Herald an the Herald's Web site, www.oskaloosa.com. People can make a guess on what they think the object could be.

People can either email their guess to oskynews@oskyherald.com or mail their guess to The Oskaloosa Herald, P.O. Box 530, Oskaloosa, IA 52577. You can vote from Wednesday through Saturday.

The identity of the artifact and the vote breakdown will be announced in each Wednesday's Herald Shopper along with the week's new artifact.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com