The A1 was the standard military gas mask for the Argentinian army. It was manufactured by Pirelli Argentina on the base of the EM2.

Mask overview Edit

The facepiece was made of a two-layers orange rubber, textured on the outside while smooth on the inside. The head harness had five straps. The eyepieces were made of three layers, two glass ones and a cellulose one. Inside the mask, there was a sponge layer that helped to prevent fogging while wearing the mask; this sponge-section design was attached directly to the rubber inside. The intake-outtake assembly is connected to the mask at the bottom and it has three holes: a threaded one for the hose, one for the connection to the mask and the third was for the exhale valve, kept still by a lid; inside there is an inhale valve. The filter itself was attached through a pleated hose threaded on both ends to the intake-outtake assembly, and itself was stored in its bag.

Filter Edit

The filter was an adaptation of the Tubin pattern industrial filter that had a thread on the top. It has two holes at the bottom to let air in.

Kit Edit

The mask came with its hose and filter inside a square bag, which had a section for the filter and another for the mask when not in use. Two small pockets on the inside stored a spare exhale valve in a box and the anti-fogging lenses.

History Edit

IMG 1707

An A1 intake on the left and an EM3 intake on the right (identical to the one of the EM2). Note that the A1 one is positioned backwards and has a thread, while the other doesn't

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A1 masks in use

Origin and adoption Edit

The A1 was adopted in 1934 as the first Pirelli military mask for Argentina. It had some differences to its industrial origin, the EM2: the thread pointed backwards instead of at the front, the eyepieces were enlarged and the intake, the filter and the hose were given threads. The first of the three was made probably to reduce the bulk of the respirator, to avoid having the exhale valve bumping on things. The eyepieces were enlarged to give better visibility. The intake was provided with a thread probably as an emergency measure, as the filter can be used even if the hose is broken.
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A1 (on the right) from the Museo de Armas de la Nacion (Buenos Aires)

Possible issues for abandoning of the A1 Edit

The A1 had a very short lifespan in comparison to other military masks, as in only 2 years it was replaced by the A2; in fact, there are not many pictures of these in use. This might have been due to a number of possible reasons:

  • The large machined piece at the front probably was still too bulky, regardless of the measure taken
  • The soft rubber made the intake-outtake assembly wobble too much, restraining airflow and encumbering respiration (same issue as the Penna)
  • The pressure required to exhale might have been deemed too much (a problem that was fixed by the double exhale valve of the A2)
  • The seal might have been not secure enough (another problem solved with the A2 with the addition of two extra straps)
  • The mask overall might have been too expensive to make
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