USA made Primus No. 1? Details

Discussion in 'Primus Early US Made Models' started by Doug Eisemann, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Doug Eisemann

    Doug Eisemann Subscriber

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    I was not sure where to put this entry, as it's a Primus, but made in the US, with no indication of exact model.
    I know we have a few US Primus No. 1's in the standard Primus gallery, so I will put it here in the "other" model category.

    I got this one about a year ago as part of a beautiful antique formaldehyde vapor generator (sickroom disinfecting) and got round to fiddling with it a bit.

    Of particular interest is the plain styling of the tank, with no marking save for the filler cap.
    In fact, the tank resembles that of the AE Lovett stove as featured in the US ref. gallery.
    Also, note the non-removable pump tube and NRV that is similar to the Swedish style but with some modest differences.

    The burner is unmarked and features a screw-in inner cap as is found on the other US Primusses displayed. Outer cap is an incorrect type I stuck on for effect.
    The pump rod has a very nice 2-piece brass washer carrier, and features a brass washer soldered to the rod, backed by a leather washer to form a good air seal on the pressure stroke.
    A nice bit of refinement.

    The NRV works much like the common Swedish style, but has a sheet brass body perforated only by the thin slot in the rounded end.
    The sealing pip is of cork and fits in the brass carrier. This in turn slides over the elongated end of the NRV body. The spring is substantial and made of brass.

    Overall, the stove is utilitarian, but shows good workmanship in all details. Machining is excellent, the burner looks very well made, and the tank is of fairly heavy brass which shows no signs of stress cracks.

    I hope to upload some more photos when I get round to really fettling it and have it running again!

    Regards,
    Doug E.

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  2. idahostoveguy

    idahostoveguy R.I.P.

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    Very nice, Doug! You're right. The NRV is very interesting and unusual. As for the shape of the tank and no engraving, it is very similar to my Khotal, except the Khotal has engraving on the side of the tank.

    Thanks for showing your oldie!

    sam
     
  3. ulysses

    ulysses Subscriber

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    Doug:

    I have what appears to be the same stove, minus the outer burner cap. You've gotten me interested in fettling it. Was the NRV difficult to remove? Mine has a very small, bowl shaped priming pan. Do you think that these were made in the US under licence from Primus?

    Paul
     
  4. Doug Eisemann

    Doug Eisemann Subscriber

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    Thanks for the comments, I thought it might be interesting to show these details.
    Sam, you are right, the plain tank styling looks much like the Khotal, except no markings at all. In fact, the tooling looks a lot like the Gary, BernieDawg's AE Lovett stove, with some variances of course. In fact Lovett sold both Primus and Lovett branded stoves at the same time, making me wonder what company actually produced them.
    Paul, The NRV on mine came out quite easily using a standard Swedish NRV wrench. Just be careful when taking the valve apart, as the sheet brass body can be deformed by too much pressure when you grip it to unscrew it.
    I am fairly certain (and the US Primus Literature claims so) that these Primusses were indeed produced in the USA and followed their own design conventions apart from their Swedish brethren.

    As there were obviously a number of Primus distributors in the US, each selling stoves branded "Primus" but with clear differences in design, it is hard to say for certain what compan(ies) actually produced them under licence.

    It is also unclear as to exactly when US produced Primus stoves ceased to be made.

    Best Regards,
    Doug E.
     
  5. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner Admin SotM Winner Subscriber

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    I'm not so sure it was different distributors selling different designs - more a case of different styles over time, depending who was making them.

    Check this item on US made Primus stoves;
    https://classiccampstoves.com/posts/71325
     
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  6. threedots New Zealand

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    Hello Doug.
    A nice find and a lovely old stove. Also an interesting artical.
    Can you show the apperatus that it came with?
    Cheers, John
     
  7. Doug Eisemann

    Doug Eisemann Subscriber

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    Thanks again for the comments.
    John, I will get some photos of the whole device and put them in the general forum when I get a chance. I believe some other members here have similar formaldehyde disinfectors with attached Primusses.

    Ross, thanks for the link to that informative thread, not sure if I saw that one before.
    After reading it, I still think it might be safe to say the history of the introduction of the Primus to the US market is somewhat convoluted, and the actual manufacture of them over here, even more so.
    It would be interesting to find some indication of the actual licensing agreements between the US firms and Primus in Sweden.

    Stoves certainly are fascinating!

    Cheers,
    Doug E.
     
  8. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner Admin SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Convoluted is correct I think - I believe it started with import, then manufacture under licence before back to import again with the US made product a whole lot different to the Swedish.

    A great opportunity for our US members to dig up the story - NY archives, libraries, local history societies? Got to be an article in it!