This is a World War I U.S. Army helmet used by the American Rocket Society (ARS) during their early rocket tests during 1934 to 1941. It was acquired as a surplus war time object and was painted white for easier visibility. The ARS was formed in 1930 in New York City and was originally called the American Interplanetary Society.
During 1932-1934, the group attempted four launches with rudimentary rockets, two of which succeeded. It was then decided that more could be learned of rocket technology with static tests. This helmet was thus mainly used during static tests from 1935 to 1941. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1968 by G. Edward Pendray.
Gift of G. Edward Pendray