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The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

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Catalog Number 2009.004
Description San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Riot Helmet (also used in patrol cars before the advent of seatbelts). Helmet is made of plastic, with black rubber edging along the bottom. Main body is painted in light blue; front section and visor is painted in royal blue, with a band of royal blue extending from visor and along the bottom edge. Gold-colored plastic trim sits directly above the visor, secured on either end with gold-colored "buttons." Buttons have a stylized "P" monogram in the center, surrounded by a wreath of flowers. Directly above the trim is a logo for the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department, a bald eagle with wings spread, sitting on top of a crest with a stylized border. In the center of the crest is a five-pointed star within a circle. Surrounding the star are the words "San Mateo County" within a larger circle. Directly below the crest is the title "Deputy Sheriff." Six plastic circular studs (three on either side) are found along the bottom edge. Interior is lined with foam, painted in dark gray. Black leather strapping provides additional cushioning and support for the head. Strapping is secured with plastic straps that have been inserted into the foam layer. Chin strap made of synthetic material with black leather protective sleeve attaches to black perforated leather ear flaps. "76 / CANCILLA" handwritten in black ink on underside of visor.
Object Name Helmet, Crash
Collection 3D - Clothing
Title SMCSO Crash/Riot Helmet, c. 1960
Date c. 1960
Creator Bell Toptex
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "76 / CANCILLA" (handwritten in black ink on underside surface of visor); "BELL / TOPTEX / PATENT #2,625,683" (silver oval label with red text on inside); "CAUTION!! / Avoid denting or scratching the inside / (gray) liner of this helmet. Damage to / liner causes permanent reduction in pro- / tective efficiency. / When not being worn this helmet should / be placed on a flat surface (top side / up) or hung up by the nylon strap." (yellow label inside)
Provenance This artifact was owned and used by Cancilla of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.
Notes 1960s riot helmet, but same style was worn on patrol in autos in the 1950s (before seatbelts).
Dimensions H-7 W-8.375 D-12 inches
Search Terms Helmet
San Mateo County
San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff's Department
Sheriff's Department
Subjects Headgear
Riot control
Riots & demonstrations
People Cancilla