Mirro & Asian 2 man cook set

Discussion in 'Stove Paraffinalia' started by OMC, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. OMC

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    IMG_00793.JPG

    imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-flxvR1c0lxtgRqx.jpg

    The 1 on the right is US Mirro example but I suspect this type cook set looks familiar world wide. I don't know nor do i explore the origin or earliest examples (of this type). There most certainly could be earlier examples than those I touch on (c. '70s).

    The two examples at a glance and with a very close look with both in-hand, these are the same. Anecdotally, I recall these kits (unpainted & olive) were common in my circles in the 70s. **More later.
    IMG_0786.JPG
    ---------------------------------------

    I'll begin re the JAPAN example on the left above (i've not seen in-box example).
    JAPAN c1972 Olive Two Man Cook set, 8 pcs.:
    1 1/4 qt pot (5c) *painted, 6 1/2 x 2 1/2" -marked JAPAN 72 11. *bottom not painted.
    1 qt pan (4c) painted, 7 x 2" -not marked (or painted over)
    2 bowls 2c, 6 1/4 x 1 1/4" -marked JAPAN 72 12
    2 cups, green plastic 1c -marked made in JAPAN
    1 pot gripper / pot lifter -marked JAPAN
    1 plastic strap (faux brown leather)

    FYI I also have a "JAPAN 73 8" Two Man kit that the pot, pan & bowls are an exact match to the '72 example above except it just so happens, my '73 is not painted.
    Also re: the 1972, 73 JAPAN examples, **weighing the pot & pan, they're heavier (just barely) than the '77 Mirro. I attribute this to, in-general, earlier aluminum kit is more durable, slightly heavier/thicker etc.

    Another JAPAN offering:
    A more rare 3 man (upgrade) was also offered (example has "JAPAN 73 5" on pot):
    It has a bit of a mustard yellow "look" in image, I know for sure this was offered in OLIVE.
    s-l1600b.jpg
    How it differs from 2 man version..., the 3 man kit comes with:
    3 cups & 3 bowls (vs 2). the 3rd bowl not shown in this image.
    a pan handle (vs gripper),
    clasps on each side (vs strap),
    and salt n pepper shaker (unconfirmed).

    My educated guess is the 3 man (not in-hand) uses the exact same pot & pan as the 2 man. The 3 man adds the side clasps (btw many addl pieces can easily fit in the 2 man or 3 man).
    For 3 man dims/sizes refer to 2 man & Mirro.

    There's more, please hold comments til the "--end--"
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  2. OMC

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    in box example.
    MIRRO
    The Backpacker M-4310

    Compact Camp Kit
    For two, 8 piece.
    "Made in USA" MIRRO Aluminum Company. Manitowoc, Wisconsin 54220.
    "2 8 77" on box, indicative of approx. when MIRRO began shipping this ver. of kit in this box (Feb 1977)
    imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-azk92JnqZEl4r.jpg
    IMG_0778.JPG
    IMG_0794.JPG

    note: Not sure what to make of it but FYI,
    on the box MIRRO "Made in USA"
    items inside my box... there are no markings, none (and fwiw exact match to Asian versions) :-k.

    The Backpacker c. Feb 1977, service for 2, 8 pcs.
    1 1/4 qt pot (5c), 6 1/2 x 2 1/2"
    1 qt pan (4c), 7 x 2"
    2 bowls 2c, 6 1/4 x 1 1/4"
    2 cups, white plastic 1c (w/ measure line 1/4, 1/2. 3/4, 1cup
    1 pot gripper / pot lifter
    1 red nylon strap, metal clasp.

    Paper
    imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-qjDduabEKdO2zemL.jpg
    ==================================

    The more you look into vintage camp gear, the more questions arise (is my in box '77 example as original? one would think so).
    Well, the next example I "thought" was the earliest example I had found (so, earlier than '77) but the logo, for me, indicates later :-k.
    So not sure of sequence but here is another example.
    s-l1600bcut.jpg
    imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-PkZyywObO00RP.jpg
    It is stamped BACKPACKER, MIRRO logo, MIRRO... (at least the pot is stamped).
    I could guess other items may also be marked but I do not know nor do i have a guess at approx. year.
    By chance does anyone else have "MIRRO STAMPED" example in-hand to cro9ss reference?
    more to come
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  3. OMC

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    As for MIRRO, here is suggestion for sequence of boxes:
    IMG_0777.JPG
    c. 1977

    s-l1600cut.jpg
    c. 1981

    s-l1600cut.jpg
    sometime after early 80s?
    more to come
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  4. OMC

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    Ok so this thread is re Asian 2 man cook sets and
    I have featured JAPAN above. There are many of this type that are identical at a glance. The production of this type cook set spans at least 3-4 decades. I've no guess at origin./begin nor the end.. I'd guess, and only a guess, they're still in production.
    They've been offered from multiple sources for many years incl. "unmarked" and...
    examples I've seen stamped:
    JAPAN
    KOREA &
    TAIWAN to name a few.
    imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-kZotRTrFoxQe.jpg
    --end-- (and i gotta run)
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  5. Wim

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    These sets look to be copies of the Chinese military canteen used around WW2. I'll have to check this!
     
  6. Wim

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    Forget what I said above, memory played funny tricks on me! The Chinese ones were kidney shaped, like most others of that era.
     
  7. OMC

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    ...and i'm back (for the moment).
    Thanks Wim. A military connection or origin may yet emerge. There are some similar but I've not yet connected dots to Asian military or to any origin.

    It is of course no surprise that if it's
    camp stove, camp cooking related or
    pack ~ hike ~ backpacking related CCS is the place to look.

    Well, here we go, there is another JAPAN example posted in 2009.
    The speculation there was "JAPAN" stamping indicated 1920s - early 50s ... :-k
    but, that thread ends with a dating comment I tend to be +1 with:
    "... i have two sets like your Japan set. they sure look the same i will dig them out. they are painted or enameled, one green and one yellow. no strap but one did have a cup or bowl with it (plastic). i think mine are from the 60's or early 70's."
    -----------------------------------------------------

    That and, the results of a quick ebayUS search...
    camping cook set, used:
    found these type kits
    3 Mirro kits
    and
    one 3 man "JAPAN" kit, yellow ($40 S&H on that one :shock: ).
    -----------------------------------------------------

    Also as a result the plot thickens with MIRRO stamped examples
    from what i myself have seen 77 was not stamped but later ones were stamped (maybe by 81) but while I'm checking there's a Co. name change to MIRRO METAL WARE CORP. and
    different towns.
    TwoRivers.jpg
    ----------------------------------------------

    In US 25 yrs ago until today they may not be complete but do seem to be fairly easy to find and acquire on the cheap. I have yet to see a "JAPAN" NOS in box.
    I "thought" esp. with the multiple Asian sources that this type would be common place elsewhere on the globe as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  8. OMC

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    Before adding another painted 3 man example, just a reminder that the also fairly common 2 man JAPAN kits (no clasps on side) were offered painted and non painted in these same years.
    ---------------------------------------

    Well well well, the 3 man kit comes in green, yellow and whatever we call this color?
    s-l500a$45+0BIN.jpg

    which also tells us by the way,
    World Famous was one distributor of this type kit with "JAPAN" stamp.

    The "in box" 3 man example adds helpful details. It is a
    World Famous so called
    3 party aluminum COOK KIT, no. 120.
    s-l1600.jpg

    s-l500b.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  9. SveaSizzler

    SveaSizzler United States Subscriber

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    I found a Mirro Backpacker set: [pan, pot, 2 plates, red strap] at a Goodwill for $4 a few years ago. No cups or potgrabber, but I knew where to get them. Largely unfired. Now a pair of Swedish surplus OD green plastic Kuksa live inside, with a Coleman [Canada] pot gripper.
    In the Late '80s, I acquired a Korean copy [also w/ pot, pan, 2 plates + gripper] in the white, plus the PO had inserted a pair of black-speckled enamelled 6-3/4'' bowls. No cups? Or only 1 OG cup, now lost. [ICRS]. I made a 1/2'' strap out of some blue tubular nylon webbing and a stitched-on M-buckle.
    On a thrift store roll, I pieced together another set from alacarte parts found at various shops. GSI Halulite [black] pot, 2 unmarked 6-1/8'' plates, and a Mirro Backpacker pan, I got off E-Bay to complete the set. I made a strap out of yellow surplus 1/2'' webbing and buckle. Because the outside diameter of the GSI Pot is about 6-7/8'' and the ID of the Mirro pan is 6-3/4 they don't overlap. However if I put a squat anodized aluminum .9L kettle inside, the whole unit lashes up nicely. [Inside the kettle I can fit a Trangia burner, a Bic lighter, a dishrag -- to stop rattle -- and a pot gripper. I will need to hack off an inch from the end of tne pot grabber (and maybe shoot some lightening holes) to get a better fit.] I fried some breaded fish in the halulite pot with a little oil, and it worked great. No slip, no burning, no sticking.
    And they all fit so nicely on top of a Svea 123 or an Optimus 99. I've also made a temporary set up with a Sigg Tourist lower windscreen, a Trangia triangular trivet and any alcohol burner: Trangia, Esbit clone or military Svea].
    The trivet is held on with wired bread wrapper ties on 3 sides. Works well.

    DSC00460.JPG
     

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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  10. Paul B

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    This is a fun thread. I too have a Backpacker Mirro. I have a memory of it being very inexpensive, maybe $9 or $10 dollars. I did get the original grabber though. I think I bought it for being made in Wisconsin where my wife is from.
    We have been through Manitowoc a couple of times to take a steam run car ferry across Lake Michigan to Ludington. It is a coal burning ferry only allowed because it is historic. A great 4-5 hour ride at night allowing you to get some sleep.
    There are no markings on mine other than the bottom
    I got it out and put it on my postal scale and it is an even 14 oz. That's respectable.
    It has just been sitting among other mess kits as I usually take a larger nesting pot set to gatherings. If I leave it out this time I may put it to use.

    Mirro2 (2).jpg Mirro2 (1).jpg Mirro3.jpg
    .