Swiss stove; unknown maker

Discussion in 'Military' started by ArchMc, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. ArchMc

    ArchMc Subscriber

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    I purchased this stove a couple of years ago. The seller called it a "Swiss military stove" and estimated it was from the 1940s. He was vague when I asked for details.
    Portrait of Stove.JPG

    Clearly an alcohol burner, it's made of steel except for the fuel cap, burner, and snuffer, which are brass. the stove body is painted in nickel, and the pot support is black.
    Top View.JPG
    Despite its "two-pinter" look with its pan ring, it's a small stove as this comparison with a Svea 123 shows. Reminds me a bit of a Primus 70, with the finger ring for carrying the stove.
    Size comparison with Svea 123.JPG
    The wick in the burner is not movable during operation. Flame control is achieved with a movable damper that covers part of the wick. There are notches in one of the pot supports to hold it at a couple of set levels.
    Flame Control.JPG
    The only markings on the stove are a small Swiss cross, followed by "ASM41ER".
    Marking.JPG
    I have found nothing about this stove on the web. I've looked at both military and civilian stoves, and even at fondue burners, but have come up blank. I'm wondering if "ASM" is "Aide Suisse aux Montagnards" (Swiss Mountain Aid), a Swiss NGO that's been around since 1942 and provides support and rescue services for the country's mountain farms and villages.

    If anyone knows anything about this, I would be interested in hearing it.

    Now I'm just waiting for the sun to go down so I can get some good flame shots.
    Here we go.

    Naturally, as soon as I light the stove, the wind begins blowing. Here is the flame on the low setting...
    Flame on Low.JPG
    ...and here it is on high.
    Flame on High.JPG
    I put on a pot with a pint of cold water.
    Flame with Pot.JPG
    It came to a rolling boil in the blinding time of 14 minutes.
    Boil.JPG
    Ok, so maybe I won't take it on a winter trip... Thinking the wind may have been to blame, I repeated the test in the kitchen. (Not something I'd do with most stoves.) With no wind to contend with, it brought a pint of cold water to a rolling boil in 8-1/2 minutes -- a bit more respectable.

    ....Arch
     
  2. Radler Switzerland

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    Hello Arch

    This is a typical Swiss Cheese Fondue rechaud. It is not made to cook on it but to keep the Cheese Fondue hot (liquid) on the table while eating. The cross and the ASM 41 indicates it was property of the Swiss Army in 1941. A rare example, I never have seen one before!
    After 1945 US soldiers deployed in Germany often visited Switzerland during furlough (as tourists, not in uniform). Probably one of them got this rechaud and took it home as a souvenir.

    How I use to eat Cheese Fondue using a TURM Sport stove:
    P3050004.JPG

    Best Regards
    Radler
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  3. Radler Switzerland

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    I found some more informations:

    Typical for a fondue rechaud is the wick burner and its control and also the trivet. Not typical is the size of the tank.

    A Fondue Rechaud must be tilt-proof when several persons are moving around their forks in the pot. The tank (usually brass) must therefore be at least as wide as the trivet. This one is not.

    The "ASM" means not a producer. The marking was used for army medical equipment, such as surgical clothing and instruments (= Armee Sanitäts Material). That means, the little stove was intended for medical use (laboratory or sterilizing under field conditions). It was made for the Swiss Army during WWII using the well known fondue wick burner. The tank is made of steel because brass was not available during the war. I think it had no trivet originally.

    The burner inspired somebody later to use a trivet and make it a very special Fondue Rechaud. I like it!

    Radler
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  4. ArchMc

    ArchMc Subscriber

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    @Radler, thank you for the information. I thought it might be a fondue burner, but my searching turned up no fondue burners that looked like it.

    My family is familiar with fondue; it is a tradition for us on Christmas Eve.

    After reading your first post I thought, "Wow, the Swiss Army is very civilized, providing fondue stoves for the troops"! Your next post clarifying that it was for medical use makes more sense.

    I believe the trivet is original. The seller (a military surplus dealer) had several of the stoves, and they all had identical trivets. I just checked and, unfortunately, they are no longer in stock.

    Thanks again for clarifying this, and for explaining the acronym ASM (Armee Sanitäts Material). Also for confirming that the "41" is likely a date. (It could not have been a date if ASM had meant Swiss Mountain Aid.)

    ....Arch
     
  5. gremlin70

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    Radler, I saw the candle holder. Is it one of the "Courting" candle holders used to keep time?
     
  6. Radler Switzerland

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    Hello Arch

    you wrote: "Wow, the Swiss Army is very civilized, providing fondue stoves for the troops"!

    You were not wrong at all! It's a tradition in the Swiss Army to serve fondue once a year. Fondue rechauds, caquelons (pots), forks and everything else are lent to the troop by the national cheese marketing organisation.

    I am sure the trivets were fabricated for fondue rechauds. But during the war everything was scarce and so even the Army had to use what was available. A trivet produced for the army would have certainly a less charming pattern. :content:

    Regards
    Radler
     
  7. Radler Switzerland

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    @gremlin70

    I don't know what a "Courting candle holder" is. There is a knob visible in the lower part of the coil, left side. With this, the candle can be rised turn by turn while it burns down. Is it that?

    Best Regards
    Radler
     
  8. gremlin70

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