A nice old 45

Discussion in 'Optimus No:45' started by MartyJ, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. MartyJ

    MartyJ Subscriber

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    IMG_6012.JPG

    Thought I would add this one to collective wisdom. Picked it up a few months back much like you see it, missing the legs and top burner plate but otherwise complete. All seals were old and needed replacement. Judging from their composition and dryness they were either original or from the era. The nrv was cork. Runs well now. From reading the previous posts I am judging it to be 1920's? The clues are I hope are captured in the photos but I would be willing of course to answer any questions.

    Clues:
    - Spirit cup has a dimple
    - Air release valve: situated in the body with "Optimus" embossed on one side and "Sweden" on the other side
    - Filler cap embossed: A/B Optimus Stockholm Made in Sweden
    - Pump cap embossed: Made in Sweden
    - Body: imprinted on the top: Optimus No 45 Made in Sweden (no other writing)
    - Stamp on the underside: A B OPTIMUS STOCKHOLM MADE IN SWEDEN

    IMG_6013.JPG IMG_6014.JPG IMG_6015.JPG IMG_6016.JPG IMG_6019.JPG IMG_6020.JPG

    I am sorry no flame shot but it produces a nice blue flame and a magnificent roar. It sadly lives with three cheap replacement legs and a tinny top plate but I hold out hopes of someday fining a cast iron top plate. Until then it still does a wonderful job of cooking a meal. In respect to its age and due to the fact I found no corrosion to warrant it, I choose not to polish the fine old patina on it. I do like shiny brass but this one has earned it's grey hair.
     
  2. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    @MartyJ
    A fine old Optimus for sure.

    It's very much a personal thing, but I agree with your decision to preserve the patina, which has a fine colouring and glow to it. Once removed it's unlikely to re-form in our lifetime and shiny brass is probably best assigned to something of less age.
     
  3. DAC

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    To preserve patina or polish - perhaps deserves a thread of its own. A well used stove inspires me to imagine adventures in times gone by in places that may have changed forever. On the other hand an abused stove seems to beg for complete restoration. In this case I'll side with preservation.

    - Darrel
     
  4. MartyJ

    MartyJ Subscriber

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    With brass and copper, cookware or stoves, I tend to only polish if corrosion in the form of verdigris has formed. Not only toxic, it will severely corrode the metal if unchecked. I do like shiny objects and have several stoves that came polished so may remain that way. I have three 45's I think each about 30 years younger then the other. The mid age one has a nice patina and the 60's-70'a is shiny. They all perform like champs and quite often fix my breakfast.
     
  5. abbahco1

    abbahco1 Subscriber

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    The pump chamber cover dates it to the early 1920s. Same one was used on the No. 1 I posted pics of last week. About 1922..Peter
     
  6. MartyJ

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    Thank you Peter, I was guessing around then based on the other 45 posts. It is still amazing how what is essentially the same design for over a hundred years still functions very well. Few moving parts, almost no wear out other then seals and pump leather.
     
  7. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi @Marty A lovely stove with good photographs. Keep the patina as is, it looks good.
    I believe that you and Peter are spot on with your estimate of manufacturing period. This early Op.45 design has the female tank riser form and a slightly greater tank capacity that later models, due to a deeper tank and somewhat pot bellied appearance.
    Thanks for posting.
    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
  8. Albert Asuncion

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    Hello all! Newbie here but a long time lurker ... recently I acquired 2 Optimus 45s one with the Optimus globe and the other without. I provided pictures of both with the one on the left not put back together as of yet.

    Couple of questions to you guys:
    1.) which one is the older? Is it the one with the 'globe' or the other plain tank?
    2.) one filler cap has a 'star' and the other one has an 'x' (see pic side by side) separating 'A/B Optimus' from 'Stockholm' ... the stove with the 'globe' has the 'x' filler cap and the other has the 'star'.

    IMG_1175.JPG IMG_1176.JPG IMG_1177.JPG IMG_1173.JPG
     
  9. Albert Asuncion

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    Flame shot.

    IMG_1178.JPG
     
  10. MartyJ

    MartyJ Subscriber

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    Are the tanks the same size. If you look at the bottom of them does one seem lower then the other? I am no exert, there are more knowledgeable then me on this forum but I believe the one on the left is older. It also has the dimpled spirit cup which I think is an indication of age. Your left hand one seems to be very close to the one I posted in this thread which seems to be mid twenties.

    By the way, nice flame shots. I have three of the 45's now, I think each about 20 years apart and they are my main backyard outdoor stoves. So reliable and easy to start and will burn a long time on a tank full. The 20's stove runs as well as the 60's stove. Glad you posted.
     
  11. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi @Albert Asuncion . Thank you for posting such good photos of your two Op.45 stoves.
    Both of these stoves are old, probably manufactured around 100 years ago.
    They both have their air-release screws fitted directly on top of the tank, have a female tank to riser connector, and they have early-form filler cap designs.

    For a more precise dating we need the views of @OMC who has done a detailed study of lettering on the tank and filler cap of Optimus stoves.

    Thanks for such an interesting first post.

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
  12. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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  13. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi, some more thoughts on @Albert Asuncion two Op.45 stoves:

    The air-release fitting is illustrated on the top of the tank, in the 1920 and 1929 Optimus catalogues. However, the air-release is shown on the top of the fuel filler cap in the 1932, 1933, and 1939 Optimus catalogues.

    This would suggest that Albert's two stoves were produced before 1932.

    The Optimus 45/48 stoves were introduced fairly early in the 20th Century (Ross has suggested some time between 1912 & 1915) and were based on the Op.100 tank and parts. These earlier stoves had large, 2 pint capacity tanks rather than the later, smaller 1.75 pint capacity tank.

    The CCS Reference gallery has more early No.100 and No.1 stoves than Op 45/48 models, so that is the place to look for similar parts and markings and likely dates.

    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/optimus-100-from-1920s-30s.4774/

    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/optimus-45-parts-i-d.31580/#post-320512

    Raised rather than indented lettering on the fuel caps, pump caps and sometimes the bottom of the fuel tank seems to be a feature of these earlier (pre-early 1930s) Optimus stoves.

    So, I would suggest that we have narrowed the dates of manufacture of Albert's two stoves to between 1912/15, when the model was introduced, and 1932 when the position of the air-screw moved to the top of the filler cap.

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2017
  14. OMC

    OMC Subscriber

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    Martyj,
    Thanks for posting your 45. Re your "i'm no expert" ... clearly you've done some homework and ie you learned it is the (often missed) belly of the beast that indicates it is an older 2 pinter (also discussed here). Welcome!

    Peter has dated yours to circa early 20s, sounds good. As to dating these, old Optimus is difficult.
    Much was learned in-discussion on-topic a few years ago among many members myself and Kerophile included. After those discussions several early catalogs have posted and additional details are available and not necessarily sorted. Some prior comments are less than accurate (not being snarky just pointing that out, my comments too :oops:). For example here is something we did not yet know back then: Christer's catalog is strong indication the No.s 45/48 was not yet in production as of 1912 catalog printing.

    Optimus offered their discus tank (after Primus), the No.100 was among the 1st Optimus discus models (before 1912). The first No.45 & 48 were also No.100 tanks with the new model No.s stamped into them.
    I've not revisited dating 100/45/48 but even with details that emerged more recently I'm not sure we know approx. year of 1st No.100 and what tank stampings it had. I will say imo, it is likely that an example of the earliest 100 is already posted on CCS but we can not yet identify which one it might be. The same can be said for the 1st 45/48 (not just yet anyway) as far as I know.

    Aligning my comments with Optimus dating is accurate (we have learned some hard dates). My inspiration was Kerophile's post re dating a 45 . That said I seek what the model sequence was, hard dates will continue to be elusive. As more examples/details emerge, where a stove might fit into a chronological sequence becomes clearer.
    The filler caps above are interesting and the various filler caps have been part of discussions. I do recall we do not yet have a sequence for those. For myself, I keep an emphasis on the bare bones tank itself and what is stamped on the tank.
    Re filler caps etc., I can add in past I offered an opinion: when Optimus refers to "best finished"... that may include the detail on the caps etc.. IE both of Albert's filler caps and pump lids. What (DeLuxe) models featured this "best finish" or during what years is unknown but I have in-past offered opinion that the earliest 100/45/48 models did not have this detail... imo.

    Re bottom stamping, above Albert describes an "x" and "star" (there is also an "o") separating the circle-text of Optimus and Stockholm. I do find the bottom stamp is indicative of where a stove fits in a sequence. Good images can be difficult to capture of this text. With or without posting images, I can add that along with the x's and o's the M in Stockholm differs, images/description of the M is of interest (ie M w/vertical sides, M w/splayed sides and "M_" an M that is underscored by the preceding L).
    thx omc
    edit I guess I should add, the above comments all involve "STOCKHOLM" within the stamping and what may be pre mid 30s. It has been suggested mid 30s Optimus began stamping "UPPLANDS VASBY" (use of "Stockholm" ended). Much later, began bottom stamping of only "Made in Sweden" (Upplands Vasby ended).
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  15. Albert Asuncion

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    Wow! Thanks much for such detailed explanations. I wasn't much into Optimus 45 and just started noticing them 3 weeks ago. I'm completing an Optimus 100 (same style of tank with air release screw on top of tank) when I saw this grubby looking 45 on fleebay. I was only after the original pot supports as they are the same on the 100s... then it happened!

    I also have 2 Optimus 100s kept... love the fact that I can interchange burners between those 4 stoves.
     
  16. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi @MartyJ and @OMC
    MartyJ's stove is as interesting as either of Albert's Op.45 stoves.

    The symbols which appear alongside the lettering on filler caps, pump caps and tank base markings could have some significance, such as period of manufacture? , although as yet we do not know.

    On MartyJ's Op. 45 stove three different symbols appear at these three locations:

    1. The filler cap has "stars" between A/B OPTIMUS and STOCKHOLM.

    2. The pump cap has a "daisy" symbol alongside MADE IN SWEDEN

    and 3. The base of the tank has X symbols between A/B OPTIMUS and STOCKHOLM.

    Back to the drawing board!

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  17. Albert Asuncion

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    Optimus 45 with 'stars' on filler cap:

    1.) 'daisy' image on pump cap
    2.) 'o' bottom tank marking in between 'A/B Optimus & Stockhom'

    IMG_1182.JPG IMG_1185.JPG
     
  18. Albert Asuncion

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    Optimus 45 with 'x' on filler cap:

    1.) has matching 'x' separating 'A.B. Optimus from Stockholm.

    IMG_1183.JPG
     
  19. Albert Asuncion

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    Tank comparison:

    'Star' on cap on left somewhat deeper compared to one on right ('x' filler cap).
     

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  20. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi @Albert Asuncion , so you have confirmed that the symbol markings can be different within a single stove, just as we see on @MartyJ example.

    Your final image is a beautiful illustration of the "pot-bellied" profile and splayed feet of these very early Op.45/48 stoves.

    We should not lose sight of the other difference between your two Op.45 stoves, the presence or absence of the Optimus globe...
    It didn't just appear on a certain date and then stay on a particular model until production ceased IMO. Instead it was introduced, and then perhaps later dropped on a particular stove model. I had a look at the images of my Op.100 Traveller, dating perhaps from 1914/18. It did not have the Optimus Globe and multiple languages on its tank:

    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/travelling-optimus-no-1-1914-18.15377/

    These stoves can drive you MAD!

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017