Primus No.6 1896/7

Discussion in 'Primus No:6' started by igh371, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. igh371

    igh371 SotM Winner Subscriber

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    DSC09883.JPG

    2 pint Primus No.6, the first Hjorth/Primus silent burner stove; dating from 1896/7. It is important to distinguish this original No.6 2pt. stove from the 4½pt. 'big' No.6 which did not appear until c.1914, one of several instances of Primus reusing earlier obsolete model numbers at a later date. Here it is sat beside a standard pre-1911 2 pt. Primus No.1 for scale to confirm size:
    DSC09874.JPG

    These adverts from the 'Melbourne Age' of 26th August 1897, and 'Argus' from the 30th, indicate that the first consignment arrived in Australia in August 1897:
    1897 26th Aug. Melbourne 'Age', Australia.jpg 1897 30 Aug.  Melbourne 'Argus' Australia.jpg
    Given the shipping time to Australia that makes it possible that some were offered for sale in Europe late in 1896, but Primus production records only begin to show silent burner stoves with the 1897 model year figures:
    Primus production chart enhanced (2).jpg

    The tank base sports the early crescent shaped B.A.Hjorth provenance mark:
    DSC09884.JPG DSC09885.JPG

    This provenance mark couples with the simple form of the filer cap legend to affirm a pre-1898 date:
    DSC09875.JPG DSC09876.JPG

    DSC09878.JPG DSC09877.JPG DSC09880.JPG DSC09881.JPG DSC09882.JPG

    It would be interesting to know why this first silent burner offering was presented as model No.6, and why and when the basic 2 pint silent burner was re-designated as No.5.:-k

    DSC09879.JPG

    (c/f here, here & here.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  2. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    Most impressive.
     
  3. z1ulike

    z1ulike United States SotM Winner Subscriber

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    What a beauty and so nicely documented and photographed as well. Thanks for sharing this great bit of Australian history. It's simply amazing what turns up here.

    Ben
     
  4. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Thanks, Ian - great post. :thumbup:

    Where did you find that stove?

    And, could you photograph the trivet top and bottom if you think it came with the stove originally?

    Cheers

    Tony

    @igh371
     
  5. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    @igh371 , Ian,

    That stove setup is a stunner!! I really appreciate your excellent documentation, too. Very nicely done!! What a rare bit of stove history, and presented in a clear, concise, and nicely photographed manner, too!! Thank you, so very much, for sharing it with us, and hearty congrats on scoring it and being a worthy Caretaker!! Well done, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  6. Lighthouse

    Lighthouse Sweden Subscriber

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    She's a beauty, Ian.
     
  7. igh371

    igh371 SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi Tony, This stove came out of Sweden, as did the 3 others of this type already in the gallery. A very important model in the history of Primus stove development which has been hiding in plain sight, but has failed to be recognised for what it was for 2 main reasons: the previous absence of original burners, and being mixed in with the later 'big' No.6s as well. It is really only the unearthing of those original Australian adverts, and @optipri's posting of this Primus sales chart, that have finally enabled attention to be drawn to the historic significance of this model.

    The trivet , unfortunately, is not original, it is a standard later Primus cast trivet that has had its inner tangs broken off to accommodate the sizeable original silent burner. I suspect that the original trivet would probably have been something like this one:
    DSC07439.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  8. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Thanks, Ian.

    I must keep my eyes peeled for one of these in Aussieland. As it is I grab every pre-1911s I see.

    I’m sorting through my cast iron trivets to try to work out their relative age. I might come back to you with questions.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  9. igh371

    igh371 SotM Winner Subscriber

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    As intimated above the original silent burner, whilst complete, is not in very good shape, suffering from both leaks and a badly misshapen, heat damaged, perforated fixed ring. Cosmetically this is fine for display originality, but it is unusable in practice. So for this test a later Primus unit has been substituted:
    DSC09888 (2).JPG

    @Christer Carlsson
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  10. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    Another interesting post, Ian
    Thanks
     
  11. igh371

    igh371 SotM Winner Subscriber

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    It is interesting to reflect on how these first silent burners were received. Clearly there was a great deal of interest in the first 2 years, 1897 and 1898, but thereafter, looking at the chart showing units dispatched (above), sales of the 'tyst', silent, models quickly fell off. Did this just reflect novelty value and curiosity initially? Or was subsequent fall off due to disillusion, realisation that the silent burner had disadvantages compared to the original roarers except when used indoors and shielded from drafts and wind? What ever the reasons these new silent burners could hardly be described as a roaring commercial success. In fact annual sales of 'silents' did not even reattain the raw numbers recorded in 1897 and '8 until 1911, and that despite a massive increase in overall Primus production as 'roarer' sales continued to explode exponentially until the outbreak of war.


    @optipri @Christer Carlsson
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  12. igh371

    igh371 SotM Winner Subscriber

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    @Tony Press here is that early silent cast trivet now permanently at home on this No.6. Fits perfectly around, and nicely complements, the rather bulky early silent burner unit:
    DSC09893.JPG
    DSC09890.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
  13. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Be still my beating heart!

    That looks superb.


    Cheers

    Tony
     
  14. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    @igh371 Ian, the sales figures between the two types have been commented on previously in passing. Why, when they were being sold as clean and efficient indoors stoves, didn't the silent sell more?

    Did their inherent transportability take them from the kitchen to outdoors overnight? A market that the wasn't forseen.
     
  15. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

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    Kitchens back then would have been more drafty than they are today, but enough so that a silent burner was a problem?
     
  16. igh371

    igh371 SotM Winner Subscriber

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    How long this type of 'No.6' 2 pint silent burner remained in production is still an open question, but it cannot have been very long at all. On the one hand there are currently no known examples which have a round Hjorth base marking in combination with an 'AKT.BOL.' legend filler cap which would positively indicate a production date of later than 1898. And on the other hand the re-numbered, i.e. No.5, presentation of exactly the same 2 pint Primus silent burner is already present in the 1903 catalogue. So an absolute theoretical maximum of only 5 years availability, but with circumstantial evidence that it could have been a lot less than 5 years.
    :-k