Merryweather helmets were used by British fire brigades from the Victorian era (1868) until the 20th Century. Leather helmets were first used by insurance firefighters in the 18th and 19th Century. The Merryweather was modelled after helmets worn by cuirassiers of the French Army, the helmets were made of brass or nickel. Metal helmets are conductive, which was a safety hazard as use of electricity became widespread, due to the risk of live wires falling from overhead. As a result they were slowly replaced by the modern structural fire helmets, similar to the ones used in North American jurisdictions.