One of the most commonly questions at Belmont Army Surplus is who buys these gas masks?
My answer: Lots of folks.
Collectors, survivalists, artists, fetishists, photographers, and stoners* are just the tip of the iceberg. A lot of people buy gas masks just because they’re fans of cool shit! And gas masks are, undeniably, cool shit. Their design is entirely unique because they were designed for function over form, so nothing looks like a gas mask but a gas mask!
We have what is probably the largest collections of vintage gas masks and filters for sale in Chicago. We have authentic US riot masks, iconic Cold War era Russian gas masks, military and civilian gas masks direct from the Israeli Defense Force, plus masks from the Czech Republic, France, and Switzerland.
*please don’t try to convert our gas masks into bongs. There’s a definite risk of suffocation, resulting from misuse, and there are plenty of great headshops in the neighborhood that carry imitation gas masks designed for smoking.
All the photos from this post were found over at an awesome site called Ectoplasmosis!
The store just got in a shipment of Pendleton shirts, sweaters, jackets, and hats that will really help you transition from what we hope will be a nice, mellow, extended autumn, into the brutal Chicago winter we know is coming.
We’ve been carrying vintage Pendleton clothes on the 4th Floor for some time now, but this is the first batch of new clothes we’ve carried from the brand since opening up in our current location two years ago.
(You don't have to be this rugged to rock a Pendleton outfit, but if you are, and that's what you're looking for, we got you hooked up)
You can expect the same quality from Pendleton that you get from Woolrich and Filson, two other brands we carry that represent quality outerwear, made in America. This year, Pendleton celebrates 100 years of working out of their original mill in Pendleton, Oregon.
vintage 1960s Pendleton Ad
By focusing as much on quality as style, it’s no surprise that Pendleton has quite a versatile repertoire, that can be incorporated in number of looks, from the dapper (if creeply matching) family shown above, to this radically different take on mod shown below.
a 2009 collaboration between Pendleton and the Opening Ceremony boutique
Another look from Pendleton meets Opening Ceremony (shot by Richard Kern, wtf?!)
Everyone knows that Belmont Army is the place for sneaker freaks and mountain men, for nuthugger jeans and skateboard decks, but did you know about our quality collection of bric-a-brac, tchotchkies, and knick knacks?
Our vintage buyers are always on the lookout for interesting debris from the past. This includes vintage luggage, ashtrays, candles, coffee mugs, beer steins, figurines and more! Our vintage collection includes retro items from1950s thru the 1980s, that range from kitschy to classy and all things in between. Here’s just a few pieces from our ever-growing collection.
Look at me! I’m a cute little whale, swimming thru the bright blue ocean with my daughter. How about filling my head with beer and getting crunk?
My scientific name is Procyon Lotor, but you probably just know me as a Raccoon. I’m a little bandit scamp (check out the bandanna) that can open garbage cans, jars and latches with my tiny little hands. Imagine how cute I’ll be when you set my head on fire and I light up like the 4th of July
Ceramic ET and Chewbacca Heads
You probably remember us from the original Star Wars trilogy and ET: the Extraterrestrial. We’ve come all the way from deep space (and the early 80s) for your convenience. Feel free to use our skulls to hold loose change or keys, your morning coffee, or to extinguish your cigarette butts. We don’t mind, because we’re awesome.
Big Boy Bank
I’m the big boy from Big Boy. I love the hell out of burgers. I’m a lasting symbol of both the innocence of post-war 1950s Americana and the consumerist excesses that resulted from it. You can stick coins into the back of my head to save up for your next delicious cheeseburger, or possibly gastric bypass surgery. Enjoy!
Burning Man is a little over a week away. If you’ve been down to Black Rock City before, you’ll know how crucial it is to have good eye protection. Whether your personal needs are to protect your eyes from harsh glare and UV rays, wind and sandstorms, or just to let your…erm… freak flag fly, Belmont Army has a wide variety of vintage military goggles and sunglasses to help you out.
These shaded Swiss motorcycle goggles come in a durable tin carrying case that's kinda retro and old fashioned and kinda bad ass
These rubber German goggles have kind of a mad scientist/Dr. Strangelove vibe to them, but the adjustable strap should keep them flush against your face and and keep your eyes safe when the wind starts kicking up sand
These hinged, leather Chinese mountain troop goggles have tinted lenses on the front and side so you can check out all the cool machines and art and naked people in your periphery without looking risking whiplash or looking like a sleazoid
You can find all these on the third floor, along with Aviator shades and a wide variety of gas masks, canteens, sleeping pads, duffle bags, knives, ponchos, multi-tools, and camping goods to keep you safe and comfortable on the playa. Check out the 4th floor for Incognito sunglasses, including thick framed, UV-protected clear Buddy Holly glasses, highway patrol shades, Bono-style bugeye shades, weird pointy spangly sunglasses that look like a mix between a sexy librarian and a John Waters’ movie drag queen, along with all sorts of vintage mens and womens items you can add to your costume repertoir.
For more info on Burning Man, hit up www.burningman.com and for more info on local Burning Man events and the Chicago burner community, check out Burning Man Chicago.