The Romanian Md.35 was a military and civil defence respirator available during the pre-war period. It is very similar to the Polish Wz. 32 mask, and was probably produced in Romania under a Polish license.
The Md.35s construction is near identical to its Polish counterpart. The masks faceblank is made of a drab brown rubber, this is often a source of confusion for collectors because it is more or less identical to the later variants of the Polish Wz.32 (early Wz.32 models use a grey/green fabric on the exterior, making it easy to identify what mask is what).
One of the easiest ways to tell Polish and Romanian masks apart is to look at the stamping that should feature on the mask's side. The Md.35 was made by two main Romanian companies - F.M.P and Sarogaz.
The Md.35s eyepieces were of typical construction. Glass lenses were affixed to the mask with crimped metal. Internally, a tan fabric surrounds the periphery of the eyepiece assembly, extending about 3,5cm out. This appears to be a strengthening solution - adding overall rigidity. Some form of rubber gasket was also most likely added - to ensure the eyepiece assembly forms a gas-tight seal.
Underneath the intake valve assembly, is a small threaded metal protrusion which holds the exhale flapper valve and its metal housing. The metal housing itself threads into the Md35s protrusion and protects the fragile flapper valve from damage. The bottom of the valve house sports 3 holes - 2 capsule-shaped holes on left and right sides and a circular hole on the very bottom. This ensures exhaled air is expelled from the mask smoothly. Further up the house assembly are two more triangular-like holes (see photo). Note that in the photo to the left, the flapper valve is inside the guard housing. This is technically not correct - the flapper valve should remain on the mask. The guard housing was designed to simply thread over the flapper valve, not actually contain it. This happened because on this example, the rubber on the flapper valve had dried up and rotted away.
Md.35 masks utilise a 5-point head-harness made of elasticated black fabric straps which are adjustable via metal buckles. The means by which the straps are attached afford the harness assembly plentiful security. Each portion of the mask that has a strap attached to it, has a raised plane of rubber. To this raised rubber area, the strap is stitched on in a 'X' fashion with a final line of parallel stitching on either side of the 'X' stitching. To add to this, a layer of fabric glue was added. The bottom strap on the left-hand side sports a 'D' ring that clips into a metal stud on the other side (see photo on right).
This mask was very well constructed in comparison to other civilian masks from this era. Most noticeably, the Md.35 borrows the early peripheral seal design from the Polish Wz.32 and is constructed in an identical fashion. During the mask's construction, a grey/green fabric was stretched over the edging of the mask's interior and the fabrics overhang was subsequently folded onto the outside of the masks edging. To secure this fabric into place internally, two parallel rows of stitching were used. The external overhang was fixed into place with some kind of glue adhesive that was black.
The Md.35s construction included an early oral-nasal cup apparatus. The back of the oral-nasal cup is fashioned from a tan fabric, which was stitched to the fabric used to form the peripheral seal. Inside, the cup is made from black rubber. A nose bridge made from a soft fabric was stitched to the top edging of the oral-nasal cup to ensure a comfortable fit. This nose bridge was stitched directly onto the black rubber of the oral-nasal cup.
The Md.35 intake assembly is made of threaded metal that the rubber has been pinched around. A black rubber gasket ensures a good seal when the filter is threaded on. A small rubber ramp-like protrusion from the intake assembly splits incoming air into two left and right streams. The airflow is then directed through the mask where it comes out of a plastic pipe located between the eyepieces. This air-pipe is secured in place by a small strap made from fabric and is stitched into place.
The Md.35 uses 42mm threading.
The filter was a small canister usually with a lot number on them. It would appear that Sarogaz filters were painted green and filters used by Md.35s made by F.M.P were painted red. It is unknown if the composition of these filters is any different.
Sarogaz filters came with a tag attached to the filter via a piece of twine that itself was attached to the filters rubber plug.
The Md.35 was issued in a tall metal canister, similar to many German models. It was painted green and sported a metal latch for opening and closing. The lid of the canister was stamped with the manufacturers' name and the words 'Md.35' on them. The date of manufacture can also be seen on the lid - usually the month and year (e.g. V - 39 (May 1939)). The kit costed 600 lei.