Coleman 523

Discussion in 'Military' started by Paul B, May 9, 2021.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Messages:
    269
    I just got my auction purchase delivered. I’ve often thought about getting one of these and decided to stop resisting. I picked this specifically for the bits and bobs it came with. The unit ended up to be too fouled to try lighting it right away. It seemed right to remove the stove from the frame to ease access. That means taking one or both of the burners off. It took five or six alcohol flushes to bring the tank back. While the burners were out I took the pick up tubes off for cleaning along with the needles. There was a good pump cup leather so it just got oiled and the tube flushed clean.The other controls all needed gentle persuasion and lube. The frame got a scrubbing with a brush and Simple Green.

    Put it back together and preheat with a propane torch and off it went. I was real pleased to get a very fine simmer from both burners using the pricker lever.

    The stove came with the original parts kit with all the correct parts , mostly still sealed. I counted 6 spare vaporizers only 2 of which have been used and the old two were put back in the bag. There are 2 under the stove top in little cylinders that pry out. That makes a total of 6 vaporizers. I am wondering if they fail that often.

    The case not the stainless pot style and is heavy and comes apart.

    I have been all over this stove and it is not dated anywhere. My best guess is 1945 to 1950
    IMG_0033.jpg IMG_0033.jpg IMG_0044.jpg IMG_0047.jpg image with text.jpg IMG_0053.jpg
     
  2. Paul B

    Paul B Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Messages:
    269
    More vaporizers

    IMG_0021.jpg
     
  3. Lance

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    5,589
    Location:
    Northwestern Illinois
    Paul B; The Coleman (and other makes) 523 style stoves were made for the military medical units, for sterilizing instruments. They were made to operate on automotive fuel, both leaded and unleaded gasoline because one never knew which fuel you were likely to get at any specific time.

    They were used during WW2 and Korea and even into the Vietnam era. At the time (WW2) fuel was not so clean burning as today thus the vaporizers tended to clog up rather rapidly and being as it was being used in or adjacent to the operating room/tent, they needed to replace the vaporizer rapidly. Swap out the vaporizer and light it up again. Clean the old/used vaporizer later, or have it cleaned by the service tech.

    That your original vaporizers are not clogged up suggests this stove was lightly used. To clean the vaporizer remove the "cleaning" needle, remove the wire mesh and scrub with some simple green or some other type of cleaner, reroll around the cleaning needle and reinsert them into the vaporizer tube. Now you are all set to use them again. If the wire mesh is corroded beyond use you can get some new mesh of the proper size at your nearest Hobby Lobby store or I can send you some.

    I'd keep the new unused vaporizers until I really needed them.
     
  4. Paul B

    Paul B Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Messages:
    269
    Thank you Lance
    I am good at cleaning parts especially if that saves using new. Looking at the stove's age, I think it can easily go another 60 years
     
  5. cottage hill bill

    cottage hill bill Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,144
    @Paul B Just posted this on another thread here. Your stove is a M1942 two-burner. There was also a M1942 single-burner. Only Coleman called it the 523. The design was patented by Bestor Robinson a mountaineer, lawyer, inventor and member of the Quartermaster General's staff during WWII where he work designing equipment for mountain troops. The M1942 two burner was issued to medical units and to vehicle crews like tank crews, troops who had transportation and storage space for such an item. As stated above they were designed to be used as sterilizing units for hospitals and to provide a way for small groups (5-12 men) to heat meals. The medical units are marked with MD, like yours. Often the lid is embossed with a caduceus flanked by the letters MD. Most of the cases were aluminum bottoms with a stainless steel lid. There were some all steel cases but they are less common. Stick with Coleman fuel and you will probably never open any of your spare generators. They are the same generator as the M1941 (520) stove.
     
  6. Paul B

    Paul B Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Messages:
    269
    OK Bill. I have had a number of M1942-mod's. Still have 2. They were way more finicky than this one. I think the two I have left are Prentiss Waber"s. I still enjoy their precise designs. Everything fits on or in the stove and it is kept small.
    I have not taken a magnet to my case, Both halves are the same size and because they come apart I suspect they could be used as boiling pans.
    Still the lack of a date eats at me. (Get it? Stove-Eats? pretty lame)

    IMG_0050.jpg IMG_0052.jpg
     
  7. Lance

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    5,589
    Location:
    Northwestern Illinois
    Paul if i remember correctly these use a non-magnetic series of stainless steel. If so, an easier way to tell is by their weight to size ratio. From what I can see both halves of your case are stainless, but I've been wrong before. I have a complete unused medical set and have posted pictures on the site a long time ago. Likely back in ccs v2-3. The total kit (unused) is a lot bigger than what you have and I must tell you, it is my experience, in the wild, they are harder to come by then frog hair.

    Lance
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  8. cottage hill bill

    cottage hill bill Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,144
    Your case is a variation I haven't seen before. The normal case is a deep bottom, as deep as the stove is thick and a shallow top, only an inch or so deep.