The "Canadian" Mickey Mouse respirator is very similar to the British Mickey Mouse respirator, but there are very obvious differences. One of the biggest differences being the color selection.The British Mickey Mouse mask has a off-red colored facepiece and a dark blue filter. However, the "Canadian" version has a black facepiece and light blue metal rings around the eye lenses, along with the light blue filter.
The facepiece is made of a very soft rubber.
The mask features glass eye lenses, just like the British counter part. The lens on the example pictured have aged and it is impossible to see through them.
The "Canadian" Mickey mask also has a flutter valve that works just like the British mask.
The filter is very tiny compared to standard filters, and is very lightweight. The thread on the filter is 60mm.
The head harness has 6-points and is made of elastic material. There are no metal clips to adjust the head harness, which was the purpose of having elastic straps. Perhaps it was elastic for children to easily don the mask. The harness has a small clip to latch the two bottom straps together, for a more secure fit. The harness also has a small cloth strap with a small metal adjuster going across the two temple straps.
From picture clues found in Johannes' collectionthe mask came in a metal carrying tin that was thrown over the shoulder.
Theories of the origin of the "Canadian" Mickey Mouse Gas MaskEdit
There is no concrete evidence on where the country of origin this mask is. Local sources, and some collectors, including Johannes, have claimed it was Canadian, but it is very possible this mask was used in other countries as well. The markings on the filter and on the back of the mask near the right-side strap appear to be a "C" with an arrow pointing up in the middle. "C" could stand for Canada.
The mask has also been claimed to be called the "Minnie Mouse" mask.
Another theory of this black Mickey Mouse mask could be that it was an earlier variant of the British model, and that the black colored facepiece did not convince children how "fun" the gas mask could be, but rather scared them away. Further evidence helping this theory is the markings on the filters. Both of the examples above have the marking "G C MK III" which could help prove they're both from the UK.
However, the theory above could be proven false. Upon closer inspection, the markings inside of the black Mickey mask are very eye opening, because the black one from the picture above is dated 1943, and the red one is dated 1940. This almost cancels out the theory of an early variant.
Perhaps the black one was made for the boys, and the red one was for the girls. Maybe the black one is called the "Mickey Mouse" and the red one is called the "Minnie Mouse." Many questions, not enough answers, sadly.This mask is very difficult to find on the market, but it's British look-a-like is a little more common. A listing on eBay sold the Canadian mask for over $200USD. There is no rounded value of this mask at the time.