Companion Stoves Variations

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Sedgman, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Sedgman

    Sedgman Subscriber

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    @abbahco1 @Tony Press @Peter.C @Ray123


    Companion Stoves Models 1, 5 and 5R

    Introduction

    Most Australian collectors have a good old Companion stove in their collection. Nothing epitomises an Australian made ‘Primus type’ stove more than a Companion brand stove. These stoves are common on eBay and often get polished up to attract a better price. They are well made and easy to fettle. The trivets do tend to rust out to some extent and take a while to restore. They are indeed a classic Australian stove made from sturdy brass.

    The purpose of this article is to endeavour to identify the variations that I am aware of to date. In my research I have looked at all stoves in the Gallery and many others online as well as reached Companion blowlamps.

    These suggestions are as up to date as I can get them. I am aware of some minor variations in legs and pre-heater cups, but I consider what I have put here workable but subject to peer review and updating.


    History

    Since the early 1940s, Companion Heaters Ltd manufactured several models of stoves and blowlamps, mostly based on Swedish Sievert designs. They were built to a very high standard as were the units they were modelled on.

    A brief history about the company was written in 2007 by Dr Peter Watchorn and is available here in CCS.

    Companion Heaters Pty Ltd


    Similarly, an updated article about Companion blowlamps appeared in the March 2016 edition No 94 of ‘Blowlamp News’ produced by the Blowlamp Society. http://www.blowlampsociety.com/BN94.pdf


    In 2015 I wrote some preliminary notes expressing my thoughts about the lineage of the Companion model 1 and 5 stoves and these can be found here.

    Companion (Svea) Stove

    I would point out that in the heading for that article I used the term Companion (Svea) and I would not now use that terminology as I believe they are solely a Companion stove, albeit acknowledging their licensing arrangements with Sievert in their first stoves.

    Model Numbers

    Old advertisements that I have seen generally did not specify the stoves with a model number, though such advertisements may well exist. They generally stated silent burner or roarer burner or even standard burner or silent burner. However, a maintenance kit was clearly offered and labelled as being for the Companion Model 5. See here.

    Companion 5 spare kit

    Companion brochures and instructions also regularly mentioned the models by name as Model 1 or Model 5. Companion also stuck to the model numbers used by Sievert in respect of their stoves and blowlamps that were replicated by Companion.


    General Stove Description and Features

    The Companion model 1 and 5 stoves are a standard Primus like, brass constructed, tri-legged upright stove with a steel trivet. Their flattened cylindrical founts have the words “COMPANION STOVE’ prominently stamped into each on the top flat surface. The approximate capacity of the stove is 2 pints.

    Each stove has an external pump and a filler cap combined with an air release screw. Two types of air release screw are known, a flat version embossed with names and a round knurled version.

    The legs were made of steel and generally were not detachable, excepting for the heater – stove radiator. The height of each stove is about 222 mm, but I have measured occasional variance between 217mm and 225mm.

    Companion stoves all have a standard looking filler cap with ‘COMPANION’ stamped on one side only. The washer inside is 23mm OD.

    Silent burners all have 8 holes evenly distributed around the support for the burner cap assembly.

    All pumps are similar excepting for the heaters and regulated burner model.



    Summary of Variations


    Companion/SVEA – Abt 1941 onwards - (Type 1)

    Logo has SVEA stamped on top and is not above the pump. (Key point of differentiation).

    Trivet stamped COMPANION BRAND and SVEA PATTERN

    Air screw is flat and has SVEA embossed on one side and COMPANION on other

    Burner may be made and identified as SVEA.

    Inner ring may be stamped COMPANION BRAND and bottom of pre-heater cup may be stamped COMPANION SVEA PATTERN

    Roarer burner has SVEA COMPANION SVEA marking.

    Example: COMPANION (SVEA) with Roarer Burner



    Companion (Middle years) (Type 2)

    Air Screw is flat and embossed on both sides with COMPANION

    Trivet stamped COMPANION and BRAND at opposite end.

    Logo is plain and has no words on it and is located above the pump.

    Roarer burner has COMPANION marking

    Pump is below logo.


    Companion (Possibly from c1952 onwards) (Type 3)

    As above but air screw is round and not labelled. Blowlamp ads have this round air screw visible from at least June 1952. (Sydney Morning Herald – 26 June 1952). The stoves were made through to around the late mid-sixties; maybe even a bit later.

    Some type 3 units have several ridges near feet, possibly from manufacturing.

    Pre-heater cups are often marked with just the word COMPANION’

    Example: My 2nd Companion stove


    Companion Heater/Stove Model 5C (Type 2H and Type 3H)

    Generally, taller (est 270mm high) but similar with Types 2 or 3 but with a reflector and heat spreader steel dome.

    Pump knob has an integral reserve cap for transport.

    Fount may be nickel plated.

    The rolled engraved large words on fount have horizontal etchings within letters.

    Legs are detachable.

    Obvious support ring with legs below the fount attached to the ring. Early support rings are wider. Later ones are thinner. See both examples here: Companion Heater/Stove


    Companion Regulated Silent Burner (Model 5R)

    This unit has been shown in the gallery by Tony Press here.

    Companion: Regulated Silent Single Burner

    I consider it best identified as a Companion stove Model 5R which was probably made parallel to the Model 1 and 5 (Type 3) units. Initially I was inclined to considering it as a Type 3R but as the pump is plastic and the pump outlet is significantly longer than on other models, so I think it is quite different.


    Footnotes;

    (1) 80% of a sample of over 20 Companion blowlamps, displayed online, have the round air screw suggesting they are the later models. Additionally, all older ads show the flat air screw. However, and this is a big ‘however’, the Sievert model blowlamps (Sievert 42 and Sievert 43), that the Companion 42 (1pt) and 43 (2pt) are based on actually have the round air screws. Puzzling why the early Companions had flat air release screws. Also, the Sievert 43 has not yet been found; only in images and documentation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  2. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Iain

    Nice bit of work. :thumbup:

    I’ll have to go out to the shed and dust off my Companions.

    I’ve got a few in storage in Melbourne that I picked up last year (maybe even the year before) but have been unable to cross locked borders to collect.

    Cheers

    Tony


    @Sedgman
     
  3. Sedgman

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    Couple quick corrections. I should read things more carefully.

    1. In the general description. I actually meant the pump is attached to the fount; not external such as in a separate device.
    2. I also forgot to mention that in the Companion Instructions the publisher is often mentioned as The Specialty Print Limited (this is after mid 1951) and prior to that they are listed as The Specialty Print Pty Ltd so this information can assist in determining the age of the publication.
     
  4. Peter.C

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    @Sedgman Great write up mate,thanks for your insites into my shed tea maker.
    Peter.
     
  5. Stokemup Australia

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    My first post on CCS with some additional information on Companion though only a little.

    The Melbourne Times Wed 9Aug1950 Page 61 shows Companion Heaters Pty Ltd at 450 Collins Street, Melbourne (Source - Trove).

    A search of Sands & McDonalds Directory of Victoria & Canberra, ACT 1944-1945 (Accessed via State Library of Victoria) shows them at the same address listed as "Kerosene Stove Mnfrs"

    My family used a Companion stove to cook on in the 1950s and 60s. Dad said the kero stoves were better than the wood stove in the very hot Australian summers as it didn't heat the house up as much.
    Regards Graham
     
  6. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Welcome, and thanks, Graham (@Stokemup)!

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  7. ROBBO55

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    @Sedgman

    Iain, Thanks for pulling all the available information together. It's a great effort. :thumbup:

    Regarding type 3, I believe these three characteristics are significant.
    The round bleed screw
    The legs, with or without serrations
    The spirit cup, with or without Companion stamping.

    I have this unused companion stove with the round bleed screw, smooth legs (no serrations) and the spirit cup is stamped Companion.
    COMPANION with Silent Burner (unused)

    The accompanying instructions, printed by The Specialty Press Ltd date the document to post 1951.
    However, at this stage they were using old diagrams still showing the earlier flat bleed screw and give the story of the Companion Stove.
    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/the-companion-stove.45789/


    This unused companion stove has the round bleed screw, serrations on the legs and the spirit cup is not stamped Companion.
    Note: I have two identical unused stoves in this configuration.
    COMPANION (unused) with Silent Burner (later version)

    The accompanying instructions are different from the previous document and have no printer details. They use updated diagrams showing the round bleed screw, additional stove models and no longer give the story of the Companion Stove.
    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/companion-kerosene-pressure-stove.45786/
    Note: there is an earlier post of these instructions in the reference library that do have a printers mark (The Specialty Press Ltd)

    Examples are limited but at this stage It is possible that the legs with serrations and the spirit cup without Companion stamping was a process change and were manufactured later than the stoves with the round bleed screw, smooth legs and a marked spirit cup.

    Regards

    Martin
     
  8. ROBBO55

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  9. Sedgman

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    Brief Update for completeness. This is what I published initially.

    This is what I can now update on this less common model.

    Companion Model 5 C (Heater / Stove) (based on types 2 and 3)
    Height is around 275 mm +-5
    Fount is probably nickel plated for all of these heater / stoves. Has anyone seen one without nickel plating?

    Previously it was believed that the Model 5 C normally (or always) had the fount markings 'COMPANION STOVE' filled in with hatchings. I have now obtained a unit without the hatching and just the plain outline as on other Companion model stoves.

    Technically the legs are not detachable but rather the pot support posts above the fount are.

    There are two different support bases. A broad one, possibly pressed steel and the second is cast aluminium 10 mm wide, 13 mm high and OD of 219 mm. However, photos in the gallery show the legs on these second bases as being held on by slotted screws. Some clearly are not quite like that as per picture. So there are two versions of attachments for this cast aluminium base.

    Companion Base.jpg