Simple gas mask
World War One (WWI), known as the “chemists’ war,” was the first time that chemical weapons were used for killing thousands of people on the battlefield at a time. By the war’s end, world leaders mobilized to contain the horrific and deadly agents of mass destruction.
A very simple "gas mask used during WWI by the allies in the campaign in France, circa 1915.
Sound the alarm
A German signal alarm warned when their gas was being released. This photo was taken circa 1916.
A German soldier bangs on a suspended frying pan to warn of a gas attack.
An American nurse wears her gas mask while working in the trenches near the front.
An American soldier stands guard during a German gas attack in France, circa 1918
Postcard from 1917
Jan. 1, 1917, Unbekannt, Germany. This historic drawing on a postcard from 1917 shows a propaganda portrayal of a ''Gas Alarm'' in the German bunker on a WWI battlefield.
German artillery soldiers wearing gas masks pose with a quick-firing anti-aircraft gun used mainly against low-flying airplanes.
Blowing in the wind
German soldiers take advantage of a suitable wind to release poison gas from cylinders.
August 1915: French soldiers load artillery shells while wearing masks to protect against gas attacks.
Circa 1915: French troops wear an early form of gas mask in the trenches during the second Battle of Ypres.
Gas shell bursting
Circa 1916: A gas shell bursts at a road block on the Italian front.
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Mindy Weisberger is an editor at Scholastic and a former Live Science channel editor and senior writer. She has reported on general science, covering climate change, paleontology, biology, and space. Mindy studied film at Columbia University; prior to Live Science she produced, wrote and directed media for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Her videos about dinosaurs, astrophysics, biodiversity and evolution appear in museums and science centers worldwide, earning awards such as the CINE Golden Eagle and the Communicator Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in Scientific American, The Washington Post and How It Works Magazine.