Made by Hawkes & Co. Ltd. 1 Savile Row, London. ( late 14 Piccadilly ). Made for Moloo Bros. Dar – es – Salaam. Moloo Bros. claimed to be the largest curio shop in East Africa.
This is a cork helmet as oppposed to a pith helmet.
“Pith is not a type of cork. Pith comes from the plant aeschynomene aspera. This material was used – and still is – as floats for fishing nets, elaborate tiny sculptures, insulators, It is a very light material, however, not as resilient as cork. Although there were British made pith helmets, the majority were manufactured all over Asia, with the greatest production in India. All colonial powers wore helmets made of pith, however, primarily for civilian use. The British and Indian Armies wore pith and cork, of course, and one can find them worn by other colonial powers.
“English vernacular has embraced the terms “pith helmet” as the catch-all for any sun helmet. In some way, it’s like people using Kleenex for all facial tissue. Also, people use “solar topee” and the actual Hindi is “sola topee”, sola referring to the pith plant and topee meaning hat. The public changed “sola” to “solar” for sun. Language is a constantly evolving tool.”