Of all the remaining artifacts from the armies of the past, the beauty and appeal of antique military headgear has resulted in its surviving well past the designed purpose. As with any military equipment, helmets and cloth headgear were intended for service use and then disposed of when they were no longer serviceable. The fact that they are now prized collectibles many decades after their manufacture could not have been anticipated by their original owners.
Due to construction methods of the past, headgear was normally made from metal or organic materials such as leather, cloth, or fur with brass or silver embellishments (fittings) which results in their being extremely sensitive to the effects of time. During a helmet or cap's lifetime, it will be exposed to a variety of environments during service use, storage, or display, that will determine its present condition and the level of care it requires.

Preservation or conservation is the effort applied to an item to prevent further damage to maintain it in its current condition. It is intended to stop degradation and to prevent the harmful conditions from further damaging the artifact. Although this site is designed to serve as a guide for preservation and conservation of antique headgear, the same principles can be applied to antique clothing and weapons.

For ease of navigation, it has been organized into seven related areas. In each section, click on the "next" button to advance, the "back" button to return to your last viewed page, or "home" to return you to the introduction. You can also utilize the navigation bar to the top of the screen to navigate through the sections. To get back to the Kaiser's Bunker main web page, click on the "Back to the Bunker" link on the top right of the navigation bar Additionally, due to the many requests I receive for information on cleaning, a section on basic helmet cleaning has also been included.

If you wish, once you have completed all the sections, try the quiz to determine your level of knowledge.