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January 21, 2005


Dr.Laszlo Levai

I bought, just like this in the USSR in 70s, and worked exelent. It woud be nice to find a new one...

Eva Craycroft

I recently acquired a Primus AS5 two burner camp stove with a plated brass tank and curled legs. I would very much like to know more about this stove. It is old, but I would like to know when it was made and what it burns. If anyone can help with this info, I would appreciate it. Thanks Eva

david l yost

i just bought a primus 210 swiss brass camp stove it works fine look good to just wodering if i need parts for it someday where can i get them ?


The Optimus company website tells a somewhat different story about the origin of backpacking stoves. Was Optimus and early imitator of Primus? I've been trying to understand the history of these two companies. www.packstove.com


I acquired a Primus Model 71L "Miracle Midget" Pocket Gasoline Stove. But I don't know how old it is, and am not sure what type of fuel to burn in it. The instructions say petrol mixtures such as "Discol, benzole mixure, clean, uncolored petrol, or benzoline" may be used. But the English instructions may have been aimed at Britishers, and I'm not sure what the U.S. equivalents are. Coleman fuel? white gas? regular unleaded?


As to the apparently intertwined history between Primjus and Optimus when it comes to camping stoves, here is how it was explained to me (by a patent attorney, though his field was biotech):

Primus was started in Sweden in 1892, by a diesel mechanic. Back then you had to preheat certain parts of a diesel motor to get it hot enough to run. This was done with a pressurized blowtorch. This mechanic thought to himself "hey, why not make a version of this blowtorch (same hand pump pressurizing) and make it vertical - turning it into a mini-stove." He did just that and patented it; link: http://patentpending.blogs.com/patent_pending_blog/2005/01/the_primus_camp.html

Now you might ask, "what about that hand-held, pump pressurized blowtorch, wasn't that sort of similar?" Yes, it really was similar (technolgy-wise), and was patented in 1881, eleven years before Primus. Nearly identical technology, but different application.

So if you're in Sweden in the 1890s and you wanted to compete with Primus, seems like you're SOL - Primus has the patent. Apparently the loophole was to go back to a earlier similar technology patent (that hand help blowtorch) and pay a patent royalty to the blowtorch guy. Even though your camp stove really looks the same and is a direct competitor to Primus. Yep, that's how Optimus got their start seven years later in 1899, making the same type of stove in direct competition to Primus. Link: http://www.optimus.se/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10&Itemid=51

This patent attorney (who loves to go camping, hence his interest in camp stove patents), thought this was a very interesting and instructional story. Make of it what you will.

Hikin' Jim

Dave: A Primus 71L should run on Coleman Fuel, White Gas (if you can find it), Chevron Blazo (if they still make it), and I believe unleaded gasoline. I would think unleaded gasoline would be a last choice. SpritBurner dot com is a hobbyist/collector site that has a lot of information on old stoves.


I have become a recent fan of the Optimus/Primus stoves. Within the past several weeks, I have puchased, cleaned up and used two Svea 123 stoves, two No. 00 primus, one No. 71 box stove that is in very ggod shape and one Number 8R.

I have done the boiling water test with these and better yet, I have made breakfast with all of them with my cast Iron Skillet.

If you really want to see a cool youtube video, check out "a Stove with class". The gentleman in the video is from Sweden I believe, and shows several trips he made while using the stoves. Very interesting.

These little stoves are very neat and clean up well. There are several oin eBay for your viewing and bidding pleasure.


I just wanted to say that there seems to be a lot of confusion in the above comments about fuel for petrol/gasoline stoves.

These stoves were around a long time before special fuels like Coleman fuel were ever available over in the UK or anywhere else I imagine. We simple Brits just use plain old petrol from the car.

I have been using my old Optimus 8R for about 40 years on normal petrol and the only problem I ever had was back in the 70s when I was climbing in the Alps. Every time I put Italian petrol in the stove it caused a huge lump of lead to form around the jet. I don't know what the lead content of Italian fuel did to their blood back then but it certainly made mine boil!
Normal leaded fuel in the U.K. was never a problem, and of course it is all unleaded now anyway.

I also have a Primus 71 miniature stove which I have never used other than a test lighting, it is in near mint condition. I think that it dates from 1969 according to the faint date stamp on the cardboard box it came in. I am shortly to put it on Ebay (UK), so if anyone wants to indulge their fancy keep watch and start bidding.


looking for information on the
Primus Lantern #2186
Let me know at [email protected]

Thanks n Advnace

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