This is an edited re-post of a post I made in the Forum made at the request of presscal that it be posted in the Reference Gallery. Captions have been added, additional comments made, and spelling errors corrected. Offered here is my paltry contribution to the collected wisdom. I did not find this stove in the Reference Gallery, nor did a search of the site reveal it in any posts. Because I use my vintage camping gear, I've been looking for a lighter weight period correct camp stove to replace my relatively heavy 1948 Coleman 530 (3.7# without fuel). Hunting through Evilbay I came across a listing for a "VINTAGE 1950'S MINI CAMPING STOVE, NEVER BEEN USED" The first pic here is the auction listing. It was offered at a minimum bid of $25 plus $11.75 shipping so the price was right. Main Pic of the Ebay auction. Note how the Instructions are folded. This is how it appeared in all other pics the vendor put up. It appeared to be a "hobo stove" and I could read enough of the instructions to see that it could be used with "canned heat" (Sterno). Hobo stoves are an excellent lightweight option for backpackers, they are basically cans with a hole in the side big enough to push thumb diameter sticks into a pile of burning kindling inside and holes in the top to promote air flow. They are lightweight to begin with and have the advantage of not requiring one to carry fuel. I have a couple of modern ones and when I use them, I just start breaking off twigs and sticks from trees, bushes, and deadfall on the trail for the last hour of my hike so that I arrive at the campsite with a double handful of kindling and fuel (even in wet weather, wood taken from standing vegetation is drier than that laying on the forest floor). Nobody else bid on it, so it was mine for the offered price. When I got it in the mail, I discovered that it was, in fact, a decent commercial hobo stove in good condition, but it was something else as well. The reverse side of the instructions, which was not shown in the auction pics, revealed that this stove is a Quaker Oats cereal premium. Back when I was but a little guy, cereal companies would offer free or low cost goods to children if they cut the box top off the box and mailed them in to the company. Sometimes all it took to get the shiny thing was three or four boxtops, others took a couple box tops and a minimal amount of cash, easily earned by doing chores, mowing lawns, or delivering newspapers. This resulted in children asking for cereal not based on nutrition, or even taste, but on what was being offered for sale or free on the back of the box. It also resulted in my Dad saying "You don't need that stuff, its crap. Eat the corn flakes I bought." The cereal premium in this case is part of the "Sergeant Preston Prospector's Camping Outfit" which consisted of a small vinyl 'Prospector's Tent" which was offered for $1.00 plus two box tops from either Quaker Puffed Wheat or Puffed Rice cereal, (and was indeed a piece of crap) and/or the "Prospector's Camping Stove" (which, in the advertisrment below, we are assured is "not a toy"). Its cost was fifty cents plus two box tops, or both could be had together for the same two box tops plus $1.50, saving your parents the cost of two more boxes of Puffed Rice. Or, if you had a Dad like mine, another week of cornflakes and unfulfilled dreams. Advertisement for the Sergeant Preston Prospector's Camping Outfit, probably from the back cover of a comic book. We know the exact vintage of this piece because this premium was only offered in 1952, although we currently have no information as to who manufactured it, or if it was ever offered for commercial sale in sporting goods stores or catalogs before or after (it would seem to me that it would have been). At the time of the offering, Sergeant Preston was the main character in a popular children's radio program called Challenge of the Yukon. Preston was a member of the Canadian Mounted Police and was always accompanied by his brave, loyal, and often resouceful malamute dog Yukon King. In episodes that took place in summer, they were accompanied by his brave, loyal, and often resourceful horse "Rex". In winter episodes, he had a brave, loyal, and often resourceful sled dog team led by Yukon King. They kept law and order in the Yukon of the 1890s, the scripts usually involving crimes committed by bearded men with French accents wearing knit caps with tassles and capotes made from 5 point Woolrich blankets, or rescues of similarly clad individuals. Although brave, loyal, and often resourceful, Sergeant Preston always seemed to get into situations where the animals in his life were rescuing him. In 1955, the show made the migration to television as Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, and I have fond memories of watching it in syndication after school during my yoot. Like most early kiddie TV shows based on radio programs, these were basically radio scripts with moving pictures and sound effects added. Sound design was excellent, outdoor photography was sparse and tentative with a lot of added sound effects, and most scenes were shot on cheaply built indoor sound sets with paper mache cabins and powdered snow with a lot of added sound effects. For a nine year old, it was a cinemagraphic masterpiece. The Sergeant Preston of my memory. The series was telecast on CBS from September 29, 1955, to September 25, 1958, and in syndication for most of the 1960s. It can sometimes be seen on digital broadcast notstalgia channels, and there are many episodes on YouTube. The stove itself is actually a nice piece of kit. They told the truth about this not being a toy, this is an adult stove. It is described in the literature as a 5 1/4" diameter 5 inch tall can (but it measures to 5" diameter, see pic below). There is a 2" x 3 3/4" rectangular hole cut near the bottom, with a lid featuring nineteen 1/2" diameter holes which snaps onto the top with a very tight fit. You can build a respectable cooking fire inside a can of this size, and feed it with sticks 1" to 1 1/2" in diameter fairly easily. It features an "oven" 4" in diameter and 4 3/4" high with ten 3/8" diameter holes in the side. This is to be used for heating canned food. Open a can of beans, rip off the label and use it as kindling to set the fire inside, place the open can on top of the stove, and the "oven" on top of it, and the can will heat to eating temperature in no time as the "oven" traps heat inside. The instructions also indicate that you can fry an egg, hamburger, or bacon on the top of the "oven" while your can of beans is cooking. It comes with a pair of tongs that allows you to remove the "oven" while hot once your canned food is done. Best part for my purposes is that it weighs 10 ounces with all the components, more than 3 pounds less than a fully filled Coleman 530. This is a savings of nearly 10% of the weight of a pack filled with 1950s/60s gear. The literature included with the stove. I wonder how many folks put an unopened can into one of these things? My advice would be to open the top of the can, not just poke a hole in it. Poking a hole requires you to open a hot can once its cooked. Unboxing the stove. The original shipping box is included, but there are only remnants of the lable with no useful information to be gleaned. Note the generously sized opening in the fire chamber. While the literature states the stove is 5 1/4" in diameter, a measurement reveals it to be 5". Still, a respectable cooking fire can be built in a stove this size. Illustrating the "operation" of the stove. The literature implies that its principal purpose is to cook a can of food. Cut the top off of the food can, rip the label off to use as kindling for the fire, place it on the lid of the stove and the "oven" over that, then sit back and let the magic happen. When the food is done, use the tongs to lift the oven off. No guidance is made as to how to get a steaming hot can of beans off the stove though. One thing learned is that the size of the can I used for the above pics is improper for the optimal operation of the stove. It is tall enough to interfere with easy use of the tongs, making removal of the oven difficult and possible unsafe. But Beanie Weenies? This thing was MADE for Beanie Weenies, and soup can sized cans. Note has been taken of what size can should be on the grocery list for the next vintage camping trip. Another thing the vendor got wrong is the description that the stove had "never been used". Pristine examples are brightly tinned, and the tinning on mine has been dulled and oxidized by heat, with a few rust spots evident which indicates its been used at least a couple of times. Unused example of a Sergeant Preston stove from a post on Worthpoint. Note that it is brightly tinned, while my example is dulled and oxidized. The only used example of this stove I was able to find in an internet search was the one I've aquired. I don't have a Worthpoint account to see what the realized price on the various pristine stoves I found there to determine the Cereal Premium Collector value, and since my example is the only one posted here on CCS we can say that the stovie collector value is $39.78, the total with tax and shipping of my Ebay purchase. So, now I'm in a quandary. I normally have no compunction about using used camping gear of this vintage to accomplish the tasks for which it was designed. Most of it is bomb proof, especially when compared to modern lightwieght equipment. But here I have that, plus a collectible cereal premium, a market that's relatively vibrant when compared to vintage camping gear of this period. I'm fairly certain its more valuable as a cereal premium than it is as vintage camping gear. I'm not sure what the stovie value of this thing would be given that its pretty much a "one off" item and not exactly swimming in the middle of the "mainstream" classic stove market. But, given that this thing is exactly what I'm looking for as a light weight vintage piece that can be used to make coffee and oatmeal in the morning and weighs more than three pounds less than what I have been using, I think I know what I'll do. To expand its utility, I'll use spacers of some kind to allow the use of a Palco one quart pot and/or frying pan from the cookset I use. The pics below show 1/2" diameter nuts, but I can use tent stakes, small stones, or even medium diameter sticks on the lid to allow airflow under the pots. I also figure I will be able to use the "oven" to cook a biscuit or muffin in a cut down food can or single muffin tin. So. My search for a lighter weight, reliable cook stove of the proper vintage to go with my 1950s/60s camping kit is ended because once again, 60 years later, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon has come to the rescue of a wayfarer in the trackless wilderness. Albeit, the trackless wilderness is the National Forests of Texas at the dawn of the 21st Century, and not the Canadian Yukon at the twilight of the 19th.