1918-1921 (?) Optimus #1 Traveling Stove,

Discussion in 'Optimus No:1(inc. S & J)' started by Doc Mark, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Greetings, All,

    I've been looking for a "bun-foot" #1 for a very long time, and have never found one that came my way. Recently, I found one on the bay of evil, and decided that, when the bidding ended, anyone bidding against me was going to have to "mortgage the old homestead" to be able to beat me!! :D I waited to the proper time, and submitted my bid, which was close to the most I've ever paid for a stove! Seconds later, I found that nobody got even close, even though a few tried, and the old #1 was mine, at last!

    I'll let the photos do most of the talking, but based upon what I've read here in the Stove Reference Gallery, and in the old Optimus catalogs, I would tentatively date this stove somewhere in the 1918-1921 time period. When the stove arrived, I was actually somewhat amazed that it was in such good condition! It appears little used, and also complete, as far as I can tell. The fiber box is in excellent condition, too, and will respond to just a little clean-up. The seller was a very nice Gentleman, indeed, and did a great job packing and shipping my stove. He was happy with his winning price, and I was also happy with how it all turned out in that way!! In any case, here is what I ended up winning.

    Fiber box, made by "Fiber Case & Novelty, New York"

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    I'd asked the seller to please take care in his packing, and most especially with the iron pot trivet. He did a great job, and packed everything very carefully. Upon opening the case, the trivet was packed in a padded Postal mailer. It will stay in that, as it's permanent home, as it works nicely, and fits in the case perfectly.

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    After removing all the extra bubble wrap and newspaper that surrounded all the parts of the old #1, here is my first look.

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    And, with a tad of "fill-flash" added, you can see the contents better, including a glass spirit bottle tucked into the slot on the left rear! More on that, later....

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    And, here are all the parts, for your perusal. As you will see, they are all in wonderful condition, and in truth, I'm not going to do a single thing to "clean up" this stove. Other than replacing the gaskets and NRV pip, this stove appears ready to go!

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    The leather pump bucket is still soft and supple! Amazing! I believe that oiling it will actually bring it back to life, nicely. Maybe the NRV cork will be in a similar condition.....!

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    Looks to have been used very, very little. Nice!

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    The cast iron trivet is beautiful, and in fantastic condition. No cracks, and nothing missing. YAY!

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    There was even one remaining Optimus pricker found in the fiber box. I believe, from the stamping, which is a bit faint, that this is original to the stove.

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    And, finally, here is the glass bottle that was in the left, rear, slot. I actually believe this is the original bottle, as well, as the shape appears to be very much like that shown included with the #1 Traveling Stove in the old Optimus catalogs Furthermore, the bottle, made by Whitehall, Tatum, & Co, appears to be the one they offered here in the US during the 1901-1920 time period. Here's an excerpt from an article found on a glass collectors site: "In 1901 the company name was changed to Whitall Tatum Company and the base marking became "W.T.CO."" Further examination of the touch mark on the bottom of the bottle, show it to be the one used by WT&Co during the time period this stove was offered in this form. Give it a squint, and see what you think, Folks. But, everything I can find supports my belief that this is the original spirit bottle!

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    From what I've read, the additional numbers in the middle, are stock identification marks from the WT company.

    So, there you have it, Friends! Thank you for wading through all these photos. Can you tell I'm excited?!! Finding and winning this remarkable stove, was a dream come true, for me, and I'm thankful for that blessing!! I'll post flame shots when I have time to work on the stove. Shouldn't take me very long to get it up and running, but for the next two weeks, I'll be under the gun, with work, again, as some new orders came in and need most of my attention. Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. Huge thanks to Ross, George, Christer, Marblecreek, Ken, Doug, and all others to posted information on this great bun-foot Model #1!!!! MUCH appreciated, Mates!!
     
  2. janders

    janders Subscriber

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    Great catch! :thumbup:
     
  3. nmp

    nmp United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Lovely stove doc!
    Nick
     
  4. shueilung.2008

    shueilung.2008 Subscriber

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    Beautiful stove @Doc Mark ! Congratulations!
    Cheers
    Enrique
     
  5. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Comprehensive and hugely satisfying write-up and set of photos of a marvellous acquisition, Mark.

    I love the attention to detail throughout (not least your observations and research on the spirit bottle) which brings out the character of the stove and what a succession of owners must have treasured it for.

    John
     
  6. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    Wow Doc, that's really nice. Well done.
     
  7. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Doc Mark

    Excellent stove! You have landed a gem.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  8. ArchMc

    ArchMc Subscriber

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    Very nice. Congratulations, and thanks for the great write-up!

    ....Arch
     
  9. boknasild

    boknasild Subscriber

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    What a great stove Doc
    Congratulations.
     
  10. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Gents, and Ladie,

    Thank you all, very much. This stove has been one of the few that remain on my "stove bucket list", and now it can be crossed off that list. Fun! And, again, I am indebted to those who have already posted info on their own Optimus #1 Traveling stoves!! Thanks to you Gentlemen, I learned what it took to know what this was, and bid accordingly!! Hat's off to you all! Once again, the Stove Reference Gallery comes through with good and useful information. I oiled the pump leather today, and it sucked up the oil like a starving dog! A few more rounds of oiling, and we'll see if the NRV functions, at all. Any further fettling will have to wait for just a tad........ Thanks, again, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. @Spiritburner , @kerophile , @Christer Carlsson , @snwcmpr , Gentlemen, am I close on my dating of this old #1? I'd appreciate your thoughts and comments. Thanks, Guys!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  11. Robert Bruce

    Robert Bruce SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Doc, what a beautiful stove and complete, I now have stove envy.
    I am sure you will get it going soon, can't wait for the flame shots.

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  12. Matthew92

    Matthew92 SotM Winner Subscriber

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    That is a beautiful stove @Doc Mark and with the mint trivet as well.=P~ I love the moustache/wing nut on the riser too. There I was thinking I'd be satisfied now I have my bun foot 00, but now I need to find a no.1.:lol::lol:
     
  13. Doc Mark

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    Good Morning, @Robert Bruce , @Matthew92 , and All,

    Many thanks, Guys! Like you, I first saw these and immediately said, "Must have one"!!!! I've been seeking one for a very long time, with no luck, at all. But, patience paid off, as I'm sure it will for you both, and this fine one came my way. It was not inexpensive, but well under what I'd bid on it. So, I'm happy, as was the seller. I still smile when seeing the fine overall condition of this wonderful stove, and have counted my blessings in finding it, many times!!

    So, don't give up the hunt, Gents! The more you look, the better your chances of finding one of these. And, be prepared to pay a bit, if needed. Or, you might get very lucky, indeed, as did one of my good friends in the East, when he found his in an online Goodwill Store (a place where people donate old stuff, and then it is sold to benefit those in need of help). Best of luck to you both, and thank you, once again, for your very kind words!! Much appreciated!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. Matthew, now, I've set my sights on getting a Traveling #00, too, even though I dearly love my Patent model of that stove!!
     
  14. Matthew92

    Matthew92 SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Thanks @Doc Mark I guess the hunt is on for both of us then. Good luck in finding yourself a travelling #00. I shall be keeping an eye out for a #1, hopefully at a bargain price, my #00 was even if I couldn't haggle the price down at all.:lol: