Primus dating help please !!

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by msgermaine, May 14, 2018.

  1. msgermaine

    msgermaine Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    330
    I have found the Primus dating chart here on CCS but still a bit confused.

    what, for example, would Primus stamps "E 5" and "T R" and "Z U" mean ??

    thanks

    Mike
     
  2. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    9,874
    Location:
    Here, not There
    Can you provide photos?
    I have only seen them stamped as 2 rows, top and bottom.
    Top is the letter for the date.
     
  3. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Messages:
    9,259
    Location:
    Durham, N.E. England
    @msgermaine

    Some examples of Primus date codes.

    The capital letter or the two-letter code starting with 'A' gives the date.

    Primus Dating 1.jpg Primus Dating 2.JPG

    Primus Dating 3.jpg Primus Dating 4.jpg

    Primus Dating 5.JPG Primus Dating 6.jpg

    Primus Dating 7.jpg



    The following two examples show later stoves, with the last two digits giving the date.

    Primus Dating 8.jpg

    Primus Dating 9.jpg
     
  4. msgermaine

    msgermaine Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    330
    sorry....i should have clarified my question.......the codes i refer to are stamped on Primus burner units and NOT on stoves.

    apologies,

    Mike
     
  5. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Messages:
    9,259
    Location:
    Durham, N.E. England
    @msgermaine

    Hi Mike
    We have a problem in getting a definitive answer to your question about dating a stove using the letters and/or numbers on the stove burner.
    I would also like to add to this problem by including the codes found on the risers of later stoves.

    The problem arises because members have rarely photographed the codes that are stamped onto their burners.
    We have hundreds (probably thousands) of stoves in the SRG that do not show what is stamped on the burners or risers.
    For this thread we are talking about Primus stoves, but the missing photographs may well be still in the thousands.

    However, we do have some evidence and I will attempt to present it in a logical way (I hope you realise that this has taken me many hours or research today!).
    One of the problems is that the hexagonal base of burners often have letters/numbers stamped onto more than one face, though the burner photographs usually show only one face of the hexagon.

    The first burner codes I will present are those on stoves from approximately 1898 to 1924.
    I can see no pattern in these codes.
    If we had more evidence, then a system might emerge.

    Stove 1898 to 1907.
    Burner 1898-1907.JPG


    Stove 1905 to 1910.
    Burner 1905-1910.jpg


    Stove 1911
    Burner 1911.jpg



    Stove 1915
    Burner 1915.JPG



    Stove 1924
    Burner 1924.jpg




    The next group of stoves goes from approximately 1927 to 1964.
    The examples I have found have letter or number codes which correspond to the Primus Dating Chart, here.

    However, burners having recognisable codes does not necessarily give the age of the stove.
    With lots of use, burners became clogged and the easy solution was to change the burner for a newer one.


    The first example shows this.
    The burner is clearly stamped 'AC' which is 1938.
    However it was attached to a stove tank stamped 'R' from 1927.

    Burner 1927.jpg



    Here are two more burners stamped 'AC' (1938), but these were attached to tanks also stamped 'AC'.

    Burner 1938 Lipstick.jpg Burner 1938.JPG



    Here is a burner stamped 'AD' (1939) that was on a tank also stamped 'AD'.

    Burner 1939.JPG




    During my research today I did not find other examples from 1940 to 1955.
    There may well be other evidence, but I did not see it in the SRG.
    I am sure that some members will supply extra information.


    From approximately 1956 the burners and sometimes the risers had date number codes stamped on them.

    The first example is a burner and riser attached to a stove from 1956.

    Burner 1956 A.jpg Riser 1956 A.jpg



    However, the lack of appropriate photographic evidence for some stoves serves only to confuse matters.
    Here is a burner and a riser attached to a 1959 stove.

    Burner 1959 A.jpg Riser 1959 A.jpg



    It is also obvious that later date burners or risers were sometimes attached to an older tank.

    Here is a 1961 burner attached to a 1961 stove but a later riser dated 1962 was used (note also the extra stamping on one of the burner faces).

    Burner 1961_62 Aa.jpg Burner 1961_62 Ab.jpg Riser 1961_62 A.jpg




    Of course, some stove parts are what we would expect.

    Here is a burner and riser attached to a 1963 stove.

    Burner 1963 A.jpg Riser 1963 A.jpg



    I am not an expert on the dating of Primus burners and I feel sure that other members will know lot more.
    I think the above examples provide a starting point for discussion.

    Trevor
     
  6. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,054
    Location:
    Dendermonde, Belgium
    Hi Trevor @shagratork , my pre-1911 N°5 (which I believe dates from one of the last "non dated" years and most probably still has the original burner as the type is consistent with the period) has an "M" stamped on its burner. Hope this helps (the confusion:roll::lol:).

    Best regards,

    Wim
     
  7. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    2,213
    Location:
    Vestaland
    Finding out what films and music it likes is a good place to start. And take it to a nice restaraunt wouldn't be a bad idea. :)
     
  8. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    9,874
    Location:
    Here, not There
    There is a chance it is a stamp made by the worker that brazed the parts together, too.
     
  9. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    2,213
    Location:
    Vestaland
    Purely speculation here.

    Manufacturing process I suspect wasn't a 'just in time' process we are used to in today's world.

    Individual components for the stove would be batch made and stamped with the component manufacturing date, applies to tanks etc.

    Assmebly then takes place from baskets of appropriate parts, some possibly made years earlier in the case of burners. When an individual stove was actually 'assembled' will be impossible to know. A tank stamped 63 could easily.be paired with a variety of previously made parts, and not even assembled in 63 but possibly later.

    Anyway just a thought. Not sure if this has been suggested previously.
     
  10. msgermaine

    msgermaine Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    330
    Oh dear !!!, and i thought dating old car parts was bad enough !!

    Mike
     
  11. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    2,213
    Location:
    Vestaland
    Mike, @msgermaine

    It think it may be safe to assume that they weren't utilising Kanban principles in the early 1900s.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban

    Other members with historical documents may be able to provide better insight.

    But I suspect their nod to efficiency would have been a multi skilled workforce working on batch processes.

    Assembly of a No 5 stove would be made from the appropriate set of bits from the bins, each item having been manufactured months potentially years previously.

    Does.this bring into question actually when a. complete 'stove' was assembled if each item was individually dated?

    The Stove' could well have been assembled quite some time after the fount was manufactured and date stamped.
     
  12. Trojandog

    Trojandog United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,277
    Location:
    East Sussex
    @Simes

    I agree that they wouldn't have had 'Just in Time' procedures, but even so, I can't see that they would have held more than a month or two worth of parts. It's just not economically efficient. Money tied up in parts sitting in crates for long periods is dead money.
     
  13. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    2,213
    Location:
    Vestaland
    @Trojandog

    I agree, hence saying I hoped there may be historical info that may indicate how the factory operated.

    Pure speculation on my part without hard evidence. It's just something that rings a bell and may have come across in the past on old inefficient production processes.

    Many factories were self contained and produced much of what was required themselves eg a foundary and even rolling mill in this case, very little outsourced apart from simple raw materials.

    Henry Ford and the Japanese changed all that.

    It may have been more economical to run the casting of parts once a year, more expensive getting your furnace up to temperature once a month than storing the small bits in a shed you already own.
     
  14. msgermaine

    msgermaine Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    330
    Hi Simes,

    you are absolutely spot on about the "totally internal" manufacturing ideals that were once common place. i have spent years researching factories relevant to my other hobbies and they all followed the same evolution......everything done in house and with the skills needed directly as part of the workforce....designers, pattern makers, foundry workers, machine operators etc etc. many of the bigger manufacturers even had full sales and distribution operations all entirely within their payroll.

    post war it all started to unwind and by the late 60's the end was nigh.....none of the auto industry makers or their many suppliers in the UK survived much past the late 1970's even after multiple take overs and re structuring exercises which, ironically, saw once bitter furious rivals being absorbed into the same engineering group ownership. i am sure a comparable fate was suffered in the rest of industrialised europe and the US.

    this unhappily leads us into 2018 where just about everything humanly possible is sub contracted with very little integrity in any brand name...i was involved in some of this process in the auto industry where parts were supplied on contract to the cheapest bidder who could easily be thousands of miles away. Modern car assembly plants receive their parts from a staggering array of global suppliers.

    i would rather the old world work practices remained but no business today could justify the overhead but, bizarrely, many chinese factories have a great deal of resources under their own payroll, design, sub component manufacture etc etc.

    perhaps iam just a modern kind of luddite !!

    Mike
     
  15. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    2,213
    Location:
    Vestaland
    Hi Mike, no not a Luddite.

    How much do you think a Triumph bike would cost today if they were still manufacturing everything on the same site.

    The Chinese internal market is vast so probably makes sense for their production process.

    I think it's more that lack of recognition for our own artisan people, although this is slowly changing, beer and food being recent examples.

    Fred down the road isn't going to knock up a mobile phone or a HD TV in a hurry so let the big boys play with those, but your local bodger can make you a unique chair that no one else has anywhere in the world and may last long after we have departed.