Larry Penberthy’s (MSR Founder) Handwriting Verification

Discussion in 'MSR - Mountain Safety Research' started by oddball, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. oddball

    oddball Subscriber

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    There's a story about an MSR stove collection belonging to Larry Penberthy, Founder of MSR, that found its way to CCS forums and was received with some skepticism for lack of evidence. This MSR collection included many stoves, pumps, some instructions and Larry’s personal fuel bottle and helmet. They were sold on eBay between the months of January to June 2016.

    @Giri

    @ArchMc

    There was writing on some of these items so I decided to post images from the eBay listings for comparison sake and let those interested decide for themselves whether or not the rumor is true.

    Read the eBay story then compare the handwriting in the images that follow.

    The eBay Story
    “Ok....Here is the story, I shared it in a personal way with some buyers but it ended up posted on CCS I am not a fan of that forum due to some folks on there that pretend to know everything and bully and shame others......One day My buddy was sitting in his backcountry shop here in Seattle and Larry Penberthy calls and asks if he would like to buy some stoves, He went over to Larrys house and went through many boxes in his basement and these stoves are the last ones that my friend got.....they were literally bought from Larry himself. A year later Larry Penberthy died. Its 100% true and I really do not care if you believe it or not and I was not going to post it with the stoves but since the "cat is outta the bag" I figured why not. No I will not give you my friends name or shop name. I can tell you I only have a few left and if you want one this is one of your last chances..”

    @Doc Mark

    Handwritten Items
    February 22, 2016
    An MSR Model MF sold on eBay with a first generation white pump and “Blazo” written on tape attached to a Sigg fuel bottle.
    02.jpg 03.jpg 01.jpg

    On February 28, an MSR first generation Model MF utilizing Model 9 components sold with “Kerosene” written on the plywood base.
    04_crop.jpg model_mf_846px.jpg

    14 days later a 1979 Model GK sold on eBay with the letters “GK” written and taped to the bottom of the bakelite base. GK was also written on the aluminum cup bottom and the original plastic bag that came with the stove and “GK” matched in all instances.
    model_gk_01.jpg model_gk_02.jpg

    Handwritten “K” seems to be a match
    GK bakelite base and Model MF plywood base.
    gk_kerosene.jpg
    The “K” in Kerosene matches the “K” in GK, which seems to be written by the same person.

    Larry Penberthy’s Helmet
    On May 29, an MSR climbing helmet sold on eBay with Larry Penberthy’s name printed in Sentence case on the outside and UPPERCASE on the inside of the helmet.
    09_ccs.jpg 08_ccs.jpg
    eBay listing:
    Lot of 4 VTG MSR Climbing Helmets 1 MTN Rescue owned by Larry Penberthy + 3 More
    1 owned by Larry Penberthy (Founder of MSR) with the Mountain Rescue badge on the front.”

    Larry Penberthy’s Fuel Bottle
    June 27, 2016, a Sigg fuel bottle sold on eBay with “Larry Penberthy Seattle” and “Blazo” written on the bottle. Larry applied tape over his name to protect it from rubbing off.
    DSC_0543_1200px_ccs.jpg
    The eBay listing reads:
    Vintage Sigg Blazo Stove Fuel Bottle Larry Penberthy Seattle MSR
    A must have for any Vintage MSR camp stove collector!!! Owned by the man himself!! My buddy who I am selling this stuff for went to Larry's house and bought this from him personally....”

    @geeves

    Handwriting Comparison
    Compare the lower case “r, e and n” on the helmet and Sigg fuel bottle to the same letters in “Kerosene” on the Model MF plywood base. They’re a match!
    model_mf_helmet.jpg

    …and then there’s the photograph of Larry Penberthy wearing his signed helmet and parka with the Mountain Rescue badge.
    larry-with-helmet3_crop.jpg full-ice-screw-2.jpg larry_parka.jpg

    Larry Penberthy Sigg Bottles
    The handwriting on both Sigg bottles match.
    sigg_bottles_ccs.jpg
    All of these items were sold by the seller who wrote the Larry Penberthy eBay Story.

    Felt Tip Pen & Writing Surface
    Imagine how difficult it would be using a broad tip MARKS-A-LOT to write on a small wood stove base or a piece of plastic tape on a not so smooth bakelite base. How about using that same pen to write a name on the outside of a curved plastic helmet or on the inside of the bumpy Styrofoam surface while it’s moving around similar to the fuel bottle as he’s writing “Larry Penberthy Seattle”?

    With the different writing surfaces, isn’t it amazing how the lettering is very similar and looks like they were written by the same person? Hopefully, some of you were lucky enough to purchase some of these items, I know I was and I’m almost certain @hikerduane was as well.

    More threads to follow on the first generation white pump and the original Model MF.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  2. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner Admin SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Great post oddbal. If you're a MSR fan they will be treasured possessions.

    I wonder why he felt the need to sell them instead of giving them to MSR?
     
  3. oddball

    oddball Subscriber

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    That's a good question. Maybe it had something to do with this:
     
  4. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner Admin SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Interesting - of course at the time he sold these items (2000?) MSR was owned by REI.

    I Love my early GK (I think that's what it is) but more as a backpacker than a collector. I did once own a 9!
     
  5. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    The need for him to get rid of the stuff.... This assumes that the time was when REI owned MSR? I can clearly see that. I will have to remember to look up that lawsuit.

    Thanks for the effort.

    Apprehension is also a good thing. We are not in a court of law, doubt serves a good purpose, as does proof.
    We are in the court of public opinion.

    Ken in NC
     
  6. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator, R.I.P. Subscriber

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    @oddball
    Wonderful detective work.

    I remember the posts by a new member and also remember the attacks on him.
    As I know NOTHING about MSR stoves there was little I could say.
    I did eventually decide that I would have to say something but then the member was gone and the disputes ceased.

    Ah well, such is life. I welcome this thread.
     
  7. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    One small detail, since it is brought up. The OP, referenced, was a bit negligent in sharing answers to ANY questions, and that prompted doubts. I was in contact with the seller, and he had reason to keep his information to himself, but, so did the members here have reason to want verification. The discussion never did reveal any information to substantiate either way.

    Hindsight is always 20/20. To come out now, is a bit one sided. Throwing mud at a long respected member. The real judgement should be contained to the circumstances AT THE TIME.

    At The Time ..... Several new members were later found to be ebay sellers with only the intent to jack up the bidding of their items. Without any honesty, it is easy to cast doubts on unsubstantiated claims. If substantiated now, then fine. But, keep it contained to what it is, not what it is not.

    I bought one or two of the stoves. A great seller.

    Ken in NC
     
  8. oddball

    oddball Subscriber

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    @Spiritburner
    @shagratork
    Thank you, it took me a while to post but I wanted to make certain it read well and looked right.

    @snwcmpr
    I'm confused with your post. How is my post one sided? Am I throwing the mud and if so, at whom am I throwing the mud?

    So, what is it not?
     
  9. OMC

    OMC United States Subscriber

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    Hi oddball,
    I appreciate your considerable efforts here (and in past), I like what I see and thanks for posting.
    +1 Spiritburner, great post ... interesting
    +1 w/shagratorkwonderful detective work ... I remember attacks

    Re your: "More threads to follow on the
    first generation white pump and
    the original Model MF".

    You posted in past re ongoing research I look forward to your contributions.
    thx again omc



     
  10. hikerduane

    hikerduane Subscriber

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    I consider the items I purchased MSR treasures, may not be any more around or limited to a small number of people.
    Duane
     
  11. ArchMc

    ArchMc SotM Winner Subscriber

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    I'm not sure if this was meant as criticism of my reaction, which I never considered an "attack".

    The original eBay post presented a story of "my buddy ... in his backcountry shop", neither of which the seller would identify. The seller further stated he didn't care if we believed him or not. I think the skepticism he encountered was both reasonable and healthy.

    I stated that the claim would be more convincing with some kind of documentation. It looks like @oddball has done some work in that direction. Good job. This is the kind of research that allows us to differentiate "spurious claims" from "historical artifacts".

    ....Arch
     
  12. geeves

    geeves New Zealand Subscriber

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    Possibly unrelated question. How hot do the bases of these stoves get?
     
  13. ArchMc

    ArchMc SotM Winner Subscriber

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    For an X-GK (with a metal base), hot enough that you want to put something between the stove and snow, so it doesn't melt down and unbalance your pot. I admit to never having touched the base with bare skin immediately after shutdown.

    ....Arch
     
  14. oddball

    oddball Subscriber

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    Please don't read more into these quotes than needs to be they were used to show the need for answers that are supplied in this post, nothing more.

    @OMC
    Thanks OMC. Hopefully, I will have one of these threads up in a week or two.

    @hikerduane
    I believe the white pumps you own were the first in production and I intend to show what I discovered.

    @ArchMc
    To separate fact from fiction as you stated. Thank you Arch.

    @geeves
    Definitely unrelated but welcome. Arch's answer is correct, the base gets very hot.
     
  15. hikerduane

    hikerduane Subscriber

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    @oddball, I hope to fire up the model 9, using the unused pump if I can't replace the rubber washer on the used one, Larry's fuel bottle. Stoked.
    Duane
     
  16. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    @oddball
    The mud was the reference to the earlier thread, not you.
    Several skeptics were slammed for asking questions in the original thread. As Arch said, it was a healthy skepticism.
     
  17. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator, R.I.P. Subscriber

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    Hi @snwcmpr , from my memory of the thread I do not remember any of the skeptics being slammed for their comments, but maybe my memory is incorrect. It is all water under the bridge.
     
  18. Giri

    Giri Subscriber

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    Very nice detective work.

    Very convincing.
     
  19. ArchMc

    ArchMc SotM Winner Subscriber

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    :thumbup::thumbup:

    ....Arch
     
  20. tekkster

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    Hard core. Bummer I missed it entirely. As an MSR fan, I would have wanted at least one of those items.