Oskaloosa.com

September 18, 2013

Nelson Pioneer Farm artifact

Do you know what this is?

By DUANE NOLLEN
The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA —

This past week's artifact from the Nelson Pioneer Farm was a First World War German pickelhaube helmet.

Dorothy Voss emailed her correct guess: “The artifact in this week’s shopper is a World War I German Officers Helmet.  Most notable for the circular spike on the top of the helmet.”

Nelson Pioneer Farm intern Justin PeCoy did some research on the helmet: “It is a leather helmet, donated to the museum in the Claire Arnold collection, worn by a German soldier during World War I, to protect himself from bullets. It has a Kaiser Eagle for the front plate, a back spine that contains an air vent with a sliding cover, and a vented spike on top, all of which are brass. The helmet was used from 1860-1915, when they switched over to steel to free brass for the war effort. The leather pickelhaubes were switched to tin and felt in 1915, because they offered more protection to soldiers against newer weaponry used in the war. The inside liner of the helmet has rounded tongues with holes in the middle to allow a string to twine through to adjust the helmet. Pickelhaubes also were issued with a chinstrap that was secure, but could be easily removed, which could explain why this one doesn’t have one. In my research, I found that Kaiser Eagle, spike, and back neck structures make it circa 1895.”

You can see this week's Nelson Pioneer Farm artifact in action at the Fall Festival this Saturday.

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