Objects Database

Optimus No 96 Paraffin Stove

Accession Number


Object Name

Optimus No 96 Paraffin Stove




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Small brass camping stove with six associated parts. Base with three hinged feet, pump and screwtop for refuelling and screwtop for burner. Three cylindrical holes for removable pot rests. Spanner. Burner. Metal strip with pin on end for the fuel nozzle called a 'pricker'


brass, aluminium, tin


base- 7.5(h) x 38(circumference) cms. Burner - 8(l) x 13(circumference)cms.

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

On base "OPTIMUS NO 96 MADE IN SWEDEN" On metal strip "MADE IN SWEDEN" On spanner "MADE IN SWEDEN"





Object Production Place



The history of the paraffin pressure stove is somewhat confusing to say the least. The Swedish company, Primus, were the first on the scene in the 1890's and unfortunately set a precedent for the next hundred years or so whereby just about every paraffin stove which was produced afterwards was called 'Primus', even if it wasn't actually made by them. Another Swedish company, Optimus, came not long after and did pretty much the same as Primus until the two companies merged in the 1960's.
Quite why, we are not sure, but both campanies produced a stove in the early days and decided to call it a '96' . There's an excellent history of both versions on a website called Classic Camp Stoves if you are interested.
The wee stove we have here in the collection is an Optimus 96 dating (we think) from the 1960/70's. It was one of several bought by Mick Tighe's Mountain Guiding Company, Nevis Guides, back in the 1980's. Unfortunately, several of them leaked and had to be sent back for repair.
We couldn't find an Optimus tin to put this one in, but did manage to discover an old Ovaltine Rusks tin which seems to do the job rather nicely.

Acquisition Method

Donated by Mick Tighe

Acquisition Date


Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



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