Pre-1911 2 pint Optimus 100

Discussion in 'Optimus No:100' started by igh371, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. igh371

    igh371 SotM Winner Subscriber

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    DSC08120.JPG This is not what I thought it was when I first saw it! But I did realise that the leg sockets were not of a type that I recognised from any external-NRV Optimus that I could recall. The incuse markings on the filler cap and pressure release screw also promised an early date. The fact that the, 2 pint size, tank then turned out to be marked 'Optimus 100' was the biggest surprise of all.

    There is no illustration that I can find in any Optimus catalogue currently in the reference library. The earlist of the catalogues available is dated 1911, so this stove must pre-date that. The Optimus v Primus patent case that led to Optimus adopt its own externally accessed NRV system was in 1906. So best guess at a date for this stove is somewhere in period 1906-1910.
    DSC08111.JPG DSC08112.JPG DSC08113.JPG DSC08110.JPG DSC08114.JPG DSC08116.JPG DSC08115.JPG DSC08122.JPG

    DSC08121.JPG
     
  2. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Ian

    Another fine historical stove. You are the master at uncovering these important items. :thumbup:

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  3. shagratork

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

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    A great find, Ian, and yet another 'first' on CCS.
    As you say, the first Optimus 100 in our current documentation is 1911.
    But the 1911 stove and all subsequent ones have a discus shaped tank.
    Your 1906 to 1910 date estimate looks good to me.
     
  4. igh371

    igh371 SotM Winner Subscriber

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    A further discussion regarding some of the peculiar features of this stove can be found here. Essentially I read this Optimus 100 as being rather a hotchpotch amalgam of some of the features of 2 different models that Primus was already offering at this time: the 100 and the short-lived and now very rare 215 (see 1903 Primus catalogue). The Primus 100 and 215 both had discus type tanks, 1½pt for the 100, 2pt for the 215. This Optimus 100 shadows the 2 pint capacity of the 215 and also the essentials of the 215 leg pattern; but in conjunction the existing pattern of standard no.1 Optimus tank. So Optimus seem to have been using as much as possible of what they already had to hand to try to get a foothold into this new collapsible model market whilst they were still working on a 'proper' copy of the Primus 100 of their own!
    At first sight this current example also seems to mirror the Primus 215 use of a female tank fitting for the burner/riser assembly to be tightened into. But if the burner assembly pictured above was original why did Optimus label this model as a '100' given that, at this date, the unique feature of the 100 was the lipstick burner; on this basis I feel that I must assume that it most likely did originally have a lipstick burner when new.