Blizzard mask used by Australian radio operator Bernie Shaw at Mawson Station, Antarctica, in 1957. The mask is used in extreme blizzard conditions for protection of the face.

Part of Museum Victoria's collection of artefacts from the post-war era of scientific exploration of Antarctica.

Physical Description

This blizzard mask is made from woollen felt. The felt showing on the outside is black in colour, while the supporting felt on the inside is cream in colour. The mask is made with holes for the eyes and a hole with a button over flap for the mouth. The flap has holes in it for the person to breath. Covering the nose is an arched flap open at the bottom. The mask extends beneath the chin and has earflaps that button up over the back of the head. Keeping it in place is a tape over the head with a loop leading to the front of the mask.


This is an interesting example of Antarctic clothing. A blizzard mask is a piece of protective clothing unique to Antarctic conditions. After use in the blizzard, a mask would generally be iced up and the person wearing it would present a fearsome appearance.

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