The origins of the crash helmet date back to the Brooklands race track in early 1914 where a medical officer, Dr Eric Gardner, noticed he was seeing a motor cyclist with head injuries about every 2 weeks. He got a Mr Moss of Bethnal Green to make canvas and shellac helmets stiff enough to stand a heavy blow and smooth enough to glance off any projections it encountered. He presented the design to the Auto-Cycle Union where it was initially condemned, but later converted to the idea and made them compulsory for the 1914 Isle of Man TT races, although there was resistance from riders. Gardner took 94 of these helmets with him to the Isle of Man, and one rider who hit a gate with a glancing blow was saved by the helmet. Dr Gardner received a letter later from the Isle of Man medical officer stating that after the T. T. they normally had “several interesting concussion cases” but that in 1914 there were none.
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