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History of the Helmet

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Hey, Helmet Heads!

People have been wearing protective gear on top of their heads, one of the most vital parts of our body, for thousands of years—pretty much since the dawn of civilization. Whether they be ceremonial and symbolic or practical and effective, helmets have been around for a long time to protect our brains and heads.

Battle Helmets
Coming from ‘helm’, the Old English word for protective head covering, the job of a helmet is pretty clear. That’s why the first helmets in history were for military purposes—doing battle was the main reason from centuries ago that anyone would need to wear head protection. Knights of the Medieval Ages wore their swinging visor helmets and all other types of models for the same reason. 

It wasn’t until the 1800s that huge developments were made both in terms of helmet construction methods as well as manufacturing materials such as leather, felt, and pith. But even then, helmets remained items exclusive to the military or law enforcement along with hazardous occupations like coal mining.

High Helmet Demand
The supplies and production (and even the demand) just wasn’t there back then, though people did things all the time without a helmet for which you ought to be wearing one. From riding bicycles to climbing rocks, playing full-contact sports and riding horseback—people did it all without a helmet. Unfortunate spills and blows, however, would sometimes result in much worse consequences that could have been prevented with a helmet.

But the 1900s and mass production put an end to that. The development of highly specialized helmets for a multitude of athletic and professional applications began emerging. With new crazes beginning, like roller skating, riding motorcycles, and skateboarding—different styles of helmet were designed to give the best protection in each particular activity.

Riding Rules
1956 introduced the ‘Caliente’ helmet in the USA. Proper safety helmets crossed from racing into other equestrian fields and, in 1986, the United States Pony Club asked the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) to design a riding helmet made for equestrians. The first ASTM/SEI certified helmet was developed in 1990 just as helmet laws spread throughout the States and made helmets mandatory for riders on the road or under the age of 14.

Remember to always ride with your helmet on! Check out the helmets we have available for your horseback adventures here at Everything Summer Camp. You can click here for all our horseriding gear and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!


- John



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