Optimus 200, 1910-1918

Discussion in 'Optimus No:200' started by SMolson, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. SMolson

    SMolson Subscriber

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    An Optimus 200, circa 1910-1918, with tin. 1 Pint capacity fuel tank, same as the OO but large vaporizer tube/burner bell akin to the 100 series. Based on her tin and spirit bottle colors (olive green) it may be a military model, but other than a birth date that likely falls within the Great War I have no history about her to confirm.

    She came complete other than the optional silent damper. All her other parts appear to be original. Tin has a looped handle on front panel, but no labeling, sticker or embossing anywhere. Tin's clasp is similar in design to the end panel of her draughtshield's (when folded for storage), just folds over top to keep things clasped.

    1376184959-IMG_1002_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Tin was well built and in good shape. Some of the paint had scraped/scuffed showing bare metal in spots but no major dents. Tank and her parts all nestled inside comfortably with room to spare. Center fount cap that screws over the burner hole is hex-shaped.

    1376184981-IMG_4775_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Tin with two internal compartments, one rounded for spirit, the other squared for what I could only guess were the pot supports (nothing else would fit).

    1376184989-IMG_4735_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Stove itself was in great shape, no dents or dings. I feel she has been cleaned/polished in the last quarter century as her patina does not reflect her 100 years of age (would be darker/richer). But she certainly has not been fired for a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time.

    1376185012-IMG_4757_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Fount marking, 'OPTIMUS No 200'

    1376185026-IMG_4758_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    'MADE IN SWEDEN' with the italicized 'Patent'. Left of her pump, side of her fuel tank with 'AKTIEBOLAGET OPTIMUS STOCKHOLM MADE IN SWEDEN' with the OPTIMUS globe logo TRADEMARK. What looks like the letter 'y' marking on tank's underside.

    1376185034-IMG_4759_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Burner bell, burner plate and spirit dish all unmarked. Vaporizer tube with 'OPTIMUS' stamped into a hex face.

    1376185044-IMG_4730_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Two prickers, labeled 'OPTIMUS STOCKHOLM' (one with a broken needle)

    1376185056-IMG_4716_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    3 x pot legs. These aren't the characteristic flared out Optimus style seen in such stoves as her sister the Optimus OO.

    1376185067-IMG_4732_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Draughtshield (unlabeled), flat folding. Supports are not thin wire but the base arch of the tin plates.

    1376185081-IMG_4755_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Unlabeled, one ended spanner.

    1376185092-IMG_4733_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Tested her for pressure, first with the basic air test and quickly observed everything needed replacing. Cork PIP in NRV long dried out, it was replaced with one cut from Viton (1/8th")to fit the brass cup. Typical NRV, but the brass cup with a little nub 'tail', seen before on same-era (~1910) Optimus stoves.

    1376185115-IMG_4725_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Fuel cap washer dried and crispy, had to be dug out and replaced with one cut from viton (1/16th"). No labeling on fuel cap, vent screw or their washers. Nice knurling on edges though.

    1376185130-IMG_4712_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Her vent screw also had a washer, which like the fuel cap had to be replaced. Note little depression top center of fuel cap.

    1376185169-IMG_4780_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Its washer had a little 'cup' to sit in inside the head of the vent screw. New one cut from viton (1/16th").

    1376185183-IMG_4783_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    The burner hole in the fount had an old non-metalic washer, completely dry and no longer held pressure.

    1376185203-IMG_4726_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    It was picked out in 100 pieces and replaced with a lead washer.

    1376185219-IMG_4785_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    Surprisingly her pump leather was fine and just needed some oiling to bring her back to functionality. Appears to be a square stamping on her pump knob, no other markings (pump rod is steel). Once all her gaskets were replaced and deemed safe to run (passed all other pressure/stress tests), with 2/3rds of her tank filled with kero, primed and lit her, first with the roarer.

    1376185235-IMG_1014_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    She ran very well. Heated up 1/2 liter of water for some green tea.

    1376185251-IMG_1022_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    After tea, stopped the stove and let her sit for 5 minutes, swapped to a silent damper (from one of the Primus 100's).

    1376185266-IMG_1054_Optimus_200_opt.jpg


    I really like this stove, great performance in terms of heat radius/output (very wide), flexibility to be roarer or silent on a whim, large fuel capacity with a small-sized footprint, light-weight, attractive, decent heat range (simmer-high), etc. She's a drinker though and goes through fuel rather fast. This model reminds me of the 199/10 Ranger models. Optimus's design philosophy/attempt of throwing a large burner onto a 'small' camping stove and making it compact without losing the heat radius to support larger pots and faster cooking. I'm very impressed with this little stove and expect her to perform well on canoe trips. I still have to make a more windproof draughtshield for her and most likely polish her up. I'll post more pictures when those activities are completed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  2. Normo

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    Lovely old stove - well done in getting it running again.

    It' a pity it can't speak to tell it's own story.

    Norm
     
  3. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Great presentation of a rather grand old stove.

    John
     
  4. Klasse

    Klasse Subscriber

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    What a beauty Stephen!

    /Klasse
     
  5. SMolson

    SMolson Subscriber

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    Thank you - she was sourced out of England and offered to me by my good friend Rick. Found at an antique store, her previous owner was a gentleman in his 80's about to enter a home. It was the right time to give her up as he had no use for it. No other history than that, the rest would be mere speculation.

    I’m trying to think why Optimus may have dropped that model and I can only assume it was too closely related to the OO and the OO was probably cheaper to make and a bit better on the fuel consumption. The 200 has a bigger burner than the OO which makes her arguably a 'better' and more flexible cook stove.
     
  6. Doug L

    Doug L Subscriber

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    Thats a real classic
    Thanks for sharing
     
  7. geneislucky

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    Great old stove and great photo presentation. Thanks for sharing.