Svea No.5

Discussion in 'Svea No:5' started by Jack Enright, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. abbahco1

    abbahco1 Subscriber

    Aug 17, 2007
    Dear Jack,

    I think that the kerosene business simply evaporated (especially domestically) after the 1950s, as bottled gas became more common (and safer). Primus in the B.A. Hjorth days was a much larger outfit than Optimus (they once occupied the entire island of Lila Essingen in Stockholm), churning out a huge range of products in enormous numbers, but by 1963 they felt that the kero business was no longer profitable. It's too bad, because the late AB BAHCO stoves from 1955 - 1963 were among the best ever made. Same for Svea: Sievert/Svea moved over to bottled gas and also let the kerosene business go to Optimus, which kept it going through into the 1990s (I bought my last new domestic Optimus no. 5 around 1986). Optimus also went through many changes after their move from Stockholm to Upplands Vaesby, and the company today is merely a shadow of what it once was, having downsized and changed hands a bunch of times (the quality is also not what it once was - in the 1920s I think Optimus made some of the very best stoves, especially after 1914, when they bought out their rival LUX, which became Electrolux and made vacuum cleaners). From LUX they inherited the Globe filler cap and the dimpled spirit cup. They kept the distinctive and impressive filler cap through the 1920s, and the dimpled spirit cup for much longer. You only have to explore the catalogues for these multiple firms, all based in Stockholm, noting the sheer range of products they offered, in order to see just how giant a business it once was, and how radical an improvement the use of vaporized kerosene represented over coal gas! Kero takes a bit more time and trouble than bottled gas, but I infinitely prefer its simplicity and safety. 19th century industrial technology at its finest,

    cheers, Peter
  2. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

    Aug 20, 2004
    Tacoma, Washinghton, USA
    Peter, your historical insights and knowledge, as always, are truly fascinating. Most interesting post indeed.
  3. Jack Enright

    Oct 16, 2016
    @abbahco1 @Ed Winskill

    I agree, Ed - and my thanks, Peter, for taking the trouble to share your knowledge!

    With best regards,