Soyer's Magic Stove, Burner Only

Discussion in 'Other Brands' started by Doug Eisemann, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. Doug Eisemann

    Doug Eisemann Subscriber

    Apr 27, 2009
    Here is the famous Soyer's Magic Stove, registration date 1850, although the actual date of manufacture of this example is unknown. Sadly, this is the burner unit only, as this would have been paired with a beautiful copper and brass piece that formed the stove proper. A quick search of "Soyer's Magic Stove" online will provide plenty of drawings and photos that can do a better job explaining what the complete unit looked like
    Nevertheless, I was thrilled to have found this, even incomplete, as I do not think any examples of Soyer's stove are exceedingly common, especially not in the United States.

    A British firm actually produced these for Alexis Soyer under license, but the name escapes me at the moment. (Edit: According to, the stove was actually made by an H&J Gardener & Co. but I cannot find any information regarding this firm.)

    This one again works on the principle of the Eolipyle, where an alcohol flame heats alcohol in a separate, enclosed "boiler" creating pressurized vapor, which is then expelled through a nozzle and kept alight by another wick-fed flame. The resulting horizontal jet of fire is then conducted through an upwardly curved flue in the (missing) stove portion, and directed at the cooking vessel sitting on top.



    R0024966.JPG ... Showing vapor nozzle, ignition wick, and wick cap. Square tubular projection engages with corresponding socket in stove portion of unit for alignment only, no fuel etc. passes through here!

    R0024967.JPG .. Both burner and boiler are stamped with same serial numbers, 1218. Note "bayonet" style locking system of boiler and burner base.

    R0024968.JPG .. Registration information and "Fill boiler only Half Full" on removable vapor dome atop boiler. Dome appears to be made in 2 brazed-together halves of cast and machined brass.

    R0024969.JPG .. Top of open boiler showing vapor pipe.

    R0024970.JPG Bottom of boiler showing vapor pipe and jet as well as locking projections on brass latticework. Latticework is very brittle and fragile and cracked in several places.

    R0024971.JPG .. Burner itself showing ignition wick, boiler heating wick and filler cap. Top of burner "lamp" is made of cast brass, bottom is sheet brass.

    R0024972.JPG .. Sheet brass bottom of burner.

    R0024973.JPG Detail of boiler dome, and wick caps, filler cap. Note the hand file work on the caps, each is slightly different and threads are not quite interchangeable, indicating they may have been hand lathe turned? The entire unit shows a great deal of hand finish work, making it feel more late 18th century rather than mid 19th century.

    Hope you like it!
    Doug E.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  2. nmp

    nmp United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

    Jul 10, 2011
    Very interesting little stove thanks for posting. Beautifully made!
    Cheers Nick