Some notes on the evolution of the Monitor High Speed Picnic stove

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Twoberth, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Twoberth

    Twoberth United Kingdom Subscriber

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    The Monitor cyclist’s cabinet stove later became the High Speed Picnic stove (photo by trojandog).

    [​IMG]

    The Monitor ‘Campers Cabinet Outfit’ stoves were first mentioned in the Bukta Campedia catalogue in 1939 here and advertised in the Lighting Trades catalogue the same year (here). There were two versions - the smaller ‘cyclists’ ½ pint lipstick stove and its big brother the ‘motorists’ 1½ pint roarer version, known respectively as the No. 1 and No. 2 cabinet stoves. The motorist stove didn’t last long, but the smaller version did – reappearing after the Second World War as the High Speed Picnic stove here, and described below.

    The pre-war cabinet stoves were steel cased, but after the war aluminium was more readily available than steel and so all the cabinets for the new ‘High Speed Picnic’ stove are aluminium.

    There are at least three versions of the burner - the earliest has a small captive spirit cup and a burner bell with no slits and a non-captive cast iron burner plate. The next has a much larger spirit cup with the same burner bell and plate, and the latest version has the large spirit cup and the patented burner (introduced in 1950) with slits in the collar, and a captive brass flame plate.

    DSC08995.JPG

    There are two versions of the cabinet, but I cannot tell which came first. One has two rivets down each side and two in the back to hold the stove locking shelf in place, and the other has one rivet down each side and two at the back.

    DSC08996.JPG DSC08997.JPG

    I suspect the two rivet version came first as usually small fabrication changes are to save effort and money. I have only seen two examples of the ‘two side rivet’ versions, mine and lanevitt’s and both have the earliest burner version with the small spirit cup.

    There are also at least two versions of the tank – the earliest described here by Trojandog with male threaded pump collar etc and PARAFFIN ONLY pressed into the side of the tank. The latest version has the more normal female threaded pump collar and PARAFFIN ONLY MADE IN ENGLAND pressed on the tank. These details are described here. There may be other versions of the tank out there if the design changes and stamping changes occurred at different times.

    The stove remained in production from 1948 until 1954, but the success of the similar but cheaper Monitor 17B (introduced in 1950) lead to its demise.

    IMHO the High Speed Picnic is one of the very best early post war camping stoves, and an iconic design that still has appeal today. It is no coincidence that most of the later versions of its tank and burner features were incorporated into the hugely successful 17B.
     
  2. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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  3. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    @Twoberth
    Yes, great work.

    I’ve wondered why a variation with a gold-painted case was offered - works paint finish, hasn’t been painted around the ‘Monitor’ decal. I featured this variation HERE.

    E4B78B45-8538-49E9-99DF-22C6F7614E16.jpeg
     
  4. Twoberth

    Twoberth United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Good question John. I also wondered about the gold versions.
    The early steel cabinet stoves were painted gold, but why paint an aluminium one?

    When the HSP first appeared in the 1948 catalogue, the last page mentioned 25 years of experience. Could the gold ones be anniversary editions?

    In his SRG post of his HSP @ally mentions that he also has a gold one. Maybe he can shed some light.
     
  5. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    I can't tell much about Monitor cabinet stoves unless there is some scale comparison.
    I have a gold-painted big one. I can't tell if John's is a big one or a small one.
     
  6. ally

    ally Subscriber

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    apologies

    I've been very slack in my duties

    I'll fetch goldie out and get some images in the next day or two

    I also have to fire up a little 'injun that @David L kindly sent me from the states

    :)