Objects Database

Primus No. 71 Petrol Stove in Optimus Tin

Accession Number


Object Name

Primus No. 71 Petrol Stove in Optimus Tin




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Portable Primus petrol camping stove in red and blue Optimus tin with white stripe. Box has hinged lid and front folds down to access stove. Box has 4 ventilation holes. 2 on each side. The stove is designed to be used inside the tin and the tin acts as a pot rest. The stove is removable. There is a fuel key attached by a chain. It has removable screwtop for fuel reservoir. The spreader plate rotates. WARNING -Some fuel remaining in reservoir.


brass and steel with tin box


14(h)x9(w)x9(d)cms. Stove 12(h)x8.5(diameter)cms.

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

Inscription on lid "OPTIMUS" on world map logo. On fold down front "MADE IN SWEDEN" and
"IMPORTANT When using stove in box always have front flap open" beside illustration. Inscription on stove "TRADE MARK PRI-MUS NO 71", with picture of a stove between the pri and the mus. Inscription on fuel valve "MADE IN SWEDEN"


tin-red, white and blue. Stove-dirty browny gold.



Object Production Place



We've got a wee conundrum here with a Primus No. 71 stove inside an Optimus 80 tin and to add a little mystery the date code, which can usually be found on the base of Primus stoves, is missing from this one.
The logical conclusion is that someone put the wrong stove in the wrong tin by accident, but we think it is rather more complicated than that.
For reasons we are not quite sure, both Primus and Optimus produced two very similar looking stoves in the early days and Primus called theirs the No 71 while Optimus called theirs the 80.
In 1962 Optimus bought the paraffin division of Primus, but kept the name as Primus Trading . Amongst other things, this meant that they had interchangeable stoves and tins with maybe more of one and less of another. The Primus date stamp would usually have been put on at the time the stove went to market, but since Optimus didn't use date stamps there was no need.
So, an educated guess tells us this Primus/Optimus stove combination dates from around 1970 which fits nicely into the provenance since it was one of a large number of stoves which the Ministry of Defence bought from Optimus in the late 1960's for use in North Norway by the Royal Marines during their Arctic Warfare Training.

Acquisition Method

Donated by Royal Marine Quarter Master

Acquisition Date



Interior of tin is rusted

Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



Go Back

Related Items

Optimus 80 Petrol Stove

Click to see larger view

Click image for enlarged view

Click to see larger view

Click image for enlarged view

Click to see larger view

Click image for enlarged view

Click to see larger view

Click image for enlarged view

Click to see larger view

Click image for enlarged view

Back to top