A type of helmet designed to hold water for thirsty soldiers fighting in tropical climates. Quietly patented in Germany around the turn of the century, the reservoir hat was prominently featured in a 1901 issue of Strand Magazine as a recent innovation which the British Army, then at war in South Africa, should adopt.

Quenching the thirst of soldiers fighting in warm climates is essential to victory, as dehydrated troops make for a poor fighting force. The reservoir hat sought to elimatinate this problem with a wide brim which could hold several pints of rainwater. Inside the brim was a carbon ring for water-purification purposes. The author of the Strand article, James Scott, suggested that the hat could also be a "beneficial cooling agent to the throbbing head of the soldier wearing it." After a rainy march, a soldier could remove his hat and turn a tap to gain access to his "life-sustaining liquid." Scott theorized that a detachable cup could also be part of the hat, to facilitate drinking.

Alas, Scott's vision of a reservoir-hat-wearing army was not to be. Carrying the weight of several pints of water on one's head is apparently detrimental to fighting, and the carbon ring proved to be ineffective, as British soldiers using the reservior hat in trials frequently came down with dysentery. The reservoir hat disappeared as quietly as it had been introduced.

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