The fear of chemical warfare caused mass hysteria across the globe during War World II. In England, for instance, citizens (including infants) were given government-issued gas masks in case the Germans dropped poison gas bombs. Schools and offices ran gas mask training courses and people were instructed to keep their masks with them day and night. For many current survivalists, the fear of World War 3 persists and gas masks and prepper equipment is essential.
After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the gas mask hysteria began to spread throughout America. Unfortunately, there were very few gas masks produced in America that could fit children. So with the approval of Walt Disney and the designer of the Sun Rubber Company, the Mickey Mouse Gas Mask was introduced to the world on Jan. 7th, 1942. The idea behind the mask was to reduce the fear associated with wearing a gas mask and thus increase the chances of a child’s survival during a chemical war attack.
Other Disney character designs were to follow, depending on the success of the Mickey Mouse mask, but they never came to fruition.