Monitor Wickless Stoves 1920 -1970

Discussion in 'Manufacturers' started by Twoberth, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Twoberth

    Twoberth United Kingdom Subscriber

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    This timeline lists the Monitor stoves of relevance to the camper, and the periods that they were manufactured and offered for sale. It also contains references to some of the larger catering/field camp stoves, but not the industrial burners/blowlamps etc. Most of the information came from this site, either from posts or PMs. Thanks to everyone.

    1920s

    On or about 1920 Monitor No. 1 and No. 5 stoves appeared. These are the British equivalent of the fixed leg Swedish 2 pint paraffin stove with roarer and silent burners respectively.

    The 1921 advert (here) has them both listed as ‘5’s, one of two typos in the advert. By 1929 the No. 1 and No. 5 are still the only stoves advertised, and their prices are 12/9 and 13/6 each, (here).

    1929 Is also the date for the patent (patentee Parkinson and Cowan) for the heater reflector bowl (patent no. 320816)

    1930s

    A comprehensive range is launched in the early 1930s, when the following stoves are advertised here.

    11 and 15 replacing the older No.1 and 5,

    10 and 14 smaller (1.5 pint) versions of 11 and 15)

    11B and 15B larger (2.25 pint) versions of 11 and 15

    17 a folding foot ’96’ clone and the forerunner of the 17B

    18 a two pint version of the 17

    Reflector bowl with ni-cr coil and no guard!

    The special safety valve (SSV) is also mentioned, which is the combined filler lid/safety relief valve still seem on many Monitors existing today.

    The 11B and 15B are seen again in a 1933 advertisement (here), and then along with the 18 quietly disappear! The reflector bowl with no guard is also seen again in 1933 (here), but 1933 is also is the date of another patent for a reflector bowl radiator – this time with guard, (403490) –and the guard less reflector is never seen again.

    During 1933 The new ‘Easyfix’ radiator with guard and coil appears in catalogues, as do the ‘entirely new’ Monitor Major (a full size roarer in a case) and the Monitor Minor (half pint petrol SVEA 123 type stove in a case), (here, here and here). These new stoves appear in catalogues and adverts up to 1937, and the radiator or bowl heater, (designated the 100 if sold alone and the 115 if sold as a combination with a 15 stove) survives until at least 1952.

    By 1934 the 18 has followed the path of the 11B and 15B, and disappeared. The 19 and 20 stoves are launched (export models with detachable legs and burner), and the Monitor Oven appears, with and without legs, (here). The larger catering stoves 91, 21, 22 (roarers) and 93, 23, 24 (silents) are also launched.

    1935 saw the appearance of the ‘modified pattern’ fixed leg 17, and the short lived No.12, a 1.5 pint version of the 17 in a gold lacquered box!(here). By 1936 the modified 17 had been named the 127 and also launched in the same catalogue, was the tripod (here).

    1936 also saw the introduction of the 300 series, the collapsible 300 lipstick stove (combined silent and roarer) and the fixed leg 311 and 315 (roarer and silent respectively) here. The 300s also appeared in the 1937 Bukta Campedia catalogue along with the Major and the Minor, but the 12 seems to have gone the way of its big brother, the 18.

    1937 saw another new stove being introduced, the steel tanked 80, which was a 2 pint lipstick similar to the 300, and by now the Major had disappeared.

    1939 was a big year for Monitor, with the introduction of the No.1 and No.2 cabinet stoves, in steel cabinets and specially designed for the camper, (here and here) and the patented Monitor Regal (CCS cat 12). The No.1 was a half pint stove aimed at the cycling camper, and the No. 2 was a 1.5 pinter, aimed at the motorist. The Regal had a patented lighting system which negated the use of meths, and a patented non-leak ‘auto-seal valve’. 1939 also saw the 17 dropped from the range, but the cheaper 127 version and the petrol Monitor Minor survived, (here).

    The outbreak of WW2 must have seriously curtailed stove production as Monitor Engineering and Oil Appliances concentrated on producing war-time munitions.

    1940s

    Fast forward to 1948, and the following stoves are being made; 11 and 15, the collapsible versions C11 and C15 (basically the same as the ‘detachable’ 19 and 20 export models from earlier years), the Regal (now named the 16) and the new High Speed Picnic, (here). This last stove is a half pint lipstick stove in its own aluminium cabinet, and appears to have replaced the 127, which is no longer offered. The Monitor bowl heater attachment however is still going strong.

    Interestingly, this catalogue states that ‘Monitor appliances are the result of 25 years experience’, which confirm the Monitor Wickless Stove start date of the early 1920s

    1950s

    In 1950, the patent for the burner bell with the slits in the cylindrical collar (678845) was granted, and in the same year the 17B is launched with the patented lipstick burner bell with slits, and with a captive burner plate (here).

    NOTE: Although this captive burner plate is shown in the patent drawing, it is not mentioned in the patent claims (here).


    This 17B is offered in a ‘pocket’ sized tin, and over the next 10-15 years it becomes a best seller for Monitor, eventually being preferred over the more expensive High Speed Picnic, (here and here).

    Both the Regal and the HSP appear in 1953/54 advertisements (here and here), but then disappear.

    1960s

    The stoves that survived into the 1960s were the classic two pint stoves 11, 15, C11, and C15 (helped by large military purchases) and the 17B.

    Ed Winskill here has a late model 17B with the receipt dated June 1961, price 42/- (thanks Ed). The last know appearance of these stoves in advertising literature was in Buck’s (Bukta) 1964 catalogue, when it was priced 43/6 for the 11 and 15, 46/9 for the C11 and C15, and 42/6 for the 17B (Grace’s).

    1970s

    It is unknown (to me) when Monitor stove production stopped. Parkinson and Cowan, the parent company of Monitor Engineering and Oil Appliances, was in financial difficulties in the late 60s/early 70s, and was bought by Thorn Electrical Industries in 1971.

    In the UK and Europe in the 60s and 70s, the hiking/camping stove of choice was the Camping Gaz Bleuet 200, and paraffin stoves were considered old fashioned by the youth of the day (including me).

    Decimalisation came to British currency in Feb 1971, and I have never seen a Monitor stove advertised with a decimal price. So the end of production came between late 1964 and early 1971.

    Monitor Wickless Stoves, RIP.
     
  2. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi @Twoberth , Great work on the Monitor brand.
    They made seriously good stoves IMO.
    I commented on the number of ex-Military Monitor stoves that came onto the civilian market in the mid -1990s in this thread:
    Monitor C15: 1953

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  3. shagratork

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

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    An excellent summary.

    It is very well thought out and presented.
     
  4. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    An excellent reference post :thumbup:
     
  5. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Another very good post on Monitor stoves, @Twoberth. :thumbup:

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  6. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    Excellent. Not much more I can say, and a great read. I try to keep an eye out for Monitors, but even in the UK they don't appear that often sadly.
     
  7. Dean

    Dean United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Thank you @Twoberth . Your bringing together of a timeline has helped me id my Monitor 300 stove with optional roarer or silent burner heads, and date it probably to the late 1930's. Sadly, mine does not have the roarer plate (Part no.1303), so I'll just have to simmer in silence!
    The silent burner comes in two parts which seem different to anything I have seen before or could see in the gallery, the outer holes are in one with the inner cap P1250402.JPG and there is a separate outer lid which sits over it. Nice touch with the little cut out in the lower edge locates with a pip in the bell and then twists to make it less prone to falling off. Must have cost a bit to make them like that.
    Dean
     
  8. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi @Dean, the silent “damper” with fixed outer screen and removable top cap was the standard design used by Primus in the early decades of the 20th century. I checked in the Gallery but people obviously thought it unremarkable enough that they didn’t include a picture of the damper in two parts. Of course in the early years of CCS we were restricted in the number of photos we could include in a post.

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  9. Dean

    Dean United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Twoberth
    Somewhat belated adjustment:
    AFAIK the Buck catalogue did not refer to Bukta, but to Buck and Hickman a firm of Tool and Engineering Supplies suppliers, the Machine Mart or Screwfix of their day. The catalogue was their 1964 edition.
    The ad is at the bottom of page 1055 of the catalogue. They did a number of blowlamps; Monitor, Sievert and Valtock; but just the small range of 5 Monitor stoves. I suppose that isn't so surprising as they were tool suppliers and stoves would be stretching the definition of tools a bit.
    Best not to ask why I have a copy

    Dean
     
  10. Twoberth

    Twoberth United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Thanks for the correction