Optimill

Discussion in 'Optimill' started by taku, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. taku

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    I was lucky enough to find this stove at a local auction house. At purchase the stove had been painted, lacked control knobs, had a damaged SRV and was leaking at the juncture of the fuel line and the tank. With the help of Ross who supplied me with a picture of an original control knob, and a couple of other friends here on the West Coast - USA, the stove has been brought back to usable condition. Here are some pictures for the gallery.

    Here it is along side of a Coleman 425C (on the left).

    Two boxes.jpg

    A picture of the burner assembly from the front.

    t overview 2.jpg

    This from slightly above.

    t overview.jpg

    The new knobs have been made of fiber to help resist the heat from the burners but I think they still reflect the original style of the stove.

    t knob.jpg

    Of course the box of these stoves is quite unusual. Here are some pictures of the graphics.

    First the top.

    t top 1.jpg

    Next, the front.

    1 front handle.jpg

    The back.

    t box back.jpg

    Left side.

    t box left.jpg

    And finally, the right.

    t box right.jpg

    It came with what I believe are the original operating instructions for use with gasoline or kerosene.

    t original instructions.jpg

    I have typed them out so you can see them better.

    t inst 1.jpg

    t inst gas.jpg

    I wanted to include a picture of the stove in operation, but lighting conditions foiled me. You couldn't see the burner flames. You will have to take my word for it - they burn bright and blue!

    It is frustrating how little information is available on this unique stove. I have studied the graphics and it strikes me that it must have been manufactured some time in the mid-1920's. The cars and the hair style of the woman suggest that. I have a picture of my mother taken in 1922 - she was 2 years old at the time and sitting with her older sister who was already in her 20's. Her sister's hair was done up in exactly this style.

    It is also interesting that the instruction on the box are in both English and Spanish. It suggests to me that it was probably introduced at a special bilateral event such as a Worlds Fair or Industrial Expo here in the Americas. Clearly the graphics are trying to depict the American experience. The stove itself seems to have been intended to make a dramatic (perhaps introductory) statement, but the mechanics (tinned steel tank, steel fuel line) suggest it was never intended for heavy use.

    In any case, a very unique stove, one I am pleased to have in my collection. (Thanks again Ross, for helping out with the picture!)

    Don
     
  2. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @taku

    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:! Such a pleasure to see a stove like this up and running.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  3. Metropolitantrout

    Metropolitantrout SotM Winner Subscriber

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    :shock::clap:

    Outstanding! Great graphics too. Thanks for sharing! Jerry
     
  4. z1ulike

    z1ulike United States SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Wow! What a great job you've done getting the old gal up and running again. Those knobs are a work of art. Pat yourself on the back, you've earned it.

    Ben
     
  5. OMC

    OMC Subscriber

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    Don,
    Very nicely done, thank you.
    Your knobs are excellent, wow. The links below show the original knobs you mention are unique, it got me wondering about the burners, do the tops look like this?

    opti_roarer.jpg

    We're thinking it's from the 20s. There likely are Optimus regulated roarers in the 20s but having just looked 1932, is earliest I see, a No.209A (my search maybe missed an earlier one).

    For others interested in this rare Optimill beauty here's some other posts: link . link & link

    thx omc
     
  6. scouterjan

    scouterjan Subscriber

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    very nice restoration Don, Bob did an excellent job, as he always does
    Jan
     
  7. Christer Carlsson

    Christer Carlsson Moderator SotM Winner

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    I believe you.
    I have actually seen the flames of this stove. :lol:
    It's posted here.
     
  8. taku

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    Here are a couple pictures of one of the burners.

    1 burner.jpg

    Note the oblong (what I think of as spoon shaped) priming cup.

    1 burner profile.jpg

    Don
     
  9. OMC

    OMC Subscriber

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    Hi Don,
    That's great, thanks. Oblong spirit cup... interesting, looks like it's 296A and also in the '32 catalog. 296A with 209A burner, both also used on c1932 Campingo No.s 1&2. thx again omc
     
  10. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Very very nice.
     
  11. idahostoveguy

    idahostoveguy R.I.P.

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    Nice Don! The Optimill is on my long, long, list of want-to-have stoves. Love the suitcase stoves, especially the ones from across the pond! Yours looks great!


    sam
     
  12. fyrwokr

    fyrwokr Subscriber

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    Wow, great job on the restoration