Wäinö Bremer’s pith helmet
Wäinö Bremer (1899–1964) was a Finnish aviation pioneer and an Olympic medal winner. In 1924 he captained the Finnish team to silver medal in military patrol skiing at the inaugural Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix. In 1932 Bremer flew from Helsinki to Cape Town and back. He donated the pith helmet and pilot glasses he used on his flight across Africa to the Sports Museum of Finland in 1943.
Bremer’s two-seater Junkers A-50 Junior sports plane is on display in the departure hall of Helsinki-Vantaa airport. Bremer used the same plane on his flights around Europe in 1931 and around the world in 1933.
The temperature in Helsinki was –18 °C, when Bremer took off for his African flight in March 1932. He flew through Riga, Munich, Naples and Tunis to Cairo where he bought suitable clothes for the tropics and this pith helmet. Bremer returned to Helsinki after nine weeks having covered a total of 31,050 kilometres.