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The Chema LPS was a civilian/civil defence respirator available during the Pre-war period. After the war's conclusion, it was reissued to early Civilni Obrana units. The LPS facepiece came in a few different rubber colours - grey/green, olive green and dark grey. The LPS also possibly filled the role of 'civilian trainer' - as evidenced by the fact that a lot of them are found with 'Cvicny Filtr' (trainer filters).

The LPS was first made the 1930s and the design survived into the early Cold War, where it was replaced by the M-52 and CO-1.

The LPS was Chema's competitor to FM series by Fatra. The FM series would go on to win governmental contracts due to the LPS' complicated and more expensive construction. Thus the production numbers of the LPS were much less than the FM.

Mask overviewEdit

The LPS faceblank was constructed of a natural rubber which is known to come in a variety of colours.

The user's vision was supplied by two glass eyepieces. As with most masks, they were affixed to the mask using black screw bezels. Internally, a rubber lip surrounds the circumference of the bezel.

Lpsvalve

Closeup of valve assembly

The LPS respirator valve assembly is fashioned from black plastic, probably Bakelite. The exhale valve is protected by a grate. The central area of this grate features a stamp of the words 'CHEMA' and Chema's logo.

The intake assembly is interesting in that it does not feature an intake valve, instead, the valve is located inside the filter itself. The intake assembly features a white rubber gasket for aiding in getting a seal.

A metal wire, which runs around the valve assembly, acts as a clamp to attach the valve assembly to the faceblank. This wire is protected by a rubber band made from the same rubber as the mask.

Lpsharness

Head-harness

Lpsharness2

Closeup of assembly

Chema LPS respirators use a 5-point head-harness. The harness straps are made from an elasticated fabric and are adjustable via a black D ring that can be pulled on. This D ring also blocks the straps from unthreading themselves from the buckle on the mask. All the straps are attached to the head-pad which consists of two upside-down rubber pentagons. All the straps are stitched to this during assembly. The innermost rubber pentagon (where the user's hair will touch), is lined with a felt. This was most likely done so the head-pad does not pull too much on the wearers' hair.

All straps are attached to the mask itself using black metal buckles that the straps are threaded through. The buckles themselves were riveted into the mask.

The two bottommost straps shared their buckle assembly with another strap which formed the neck strap. The neck strap is made from non-elasticated grey fabric.

Lpsinside

Internally, the LPS was fairly simple - featuring no peripheral seal. There was a depression in the rubber to allow the user's chin to sit comfortably.

2020-07-22 (3)

Cut drawing of the mask, Fi: filter thread; A: exhale valve; L: Tissot-tube; F: eyepiece.

To aid in lens defogging, the Tissot tube principle was applied. Instead of having two rubber tubes inside of the facepiece itself, the LPS intake directed airflow through tubes in-between the eyepieces, giving the LPS a nose-like projection. This air was directed through to the top of the mask, where it flowed onto both eyepieces to defog them.

A circular orifice in the rubber allows air to be exhaled out of the mask.

Kit Edit

The LPS kit was issued with a tin that contained a stick of glycerine soap to help defog lenses. This tin also held a cleaning cloth.

Lpsfilter

Inside LPS filter, one can see the intake valve disc

The LPS was issued with a cylindrical 'box' filter that was made of grey metal. The filter itself contains the exhale valve. These filters were originally wrapped in brown paper and usually have a fabric plaster coving the filters intake.

Many LPS are found with training filters on them. These training filters were essentially weighted dummy filters that contained no filtration medium, only an intake valve. As their name implies, they were used to train civilians on how to use their gas masks correctly. Various Czechoslovak companies made these specific training filters. Chema made blue coloured ones and Fatra made golden coloured ones. They were most likely painted in these colours to ensure easy differentiation from real filters.

Lpstin

Chema carrying tin

The entire kit was contained within a Chema tin. These tins were capsule-shaped and were constructed from metal. They bear the Chema logo on the side and on the lid. A single carrying strap features on the tin.

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