Body armour fell sharply out of favour in Europe during the 18th century but made a strong resurgence in WWI after folks realised how much getting shot hurt. These are some of the more... eccentric... examples of rudimentary blast shields and flak vests as compiled by our friends at Oobject.com.
A Splatter Mask won by tank crews.
Armadillo-like Infrantriepanzer body armour 1918.
Brewster Body armour 1917-18.
Franco American Experimental Dunland Helmet.
French soldier wearing a kind of armour as protection against flying bullets.
Helmets with eye protection masks.
Experimental machine gunners helmet.
Shrapnel veil in front of French Adrian helmet.
Steel sniper's mask.
Troops wearing WWI body armour.
WWI French infantry shield.
WWI Italian troop armour.