Objects Database

Optimus 510 rocket stove

Accession Number


Object Name

Optimus 510 rocket stove




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Optimus 510 rocket stove with 4 flame tubes and a handmade box.




21 (diameter ) x 25(h) cms

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

On filler screw top "SWEDEN"





Object Production Place



In a world of electric light, computers, central heating and high tech cookers it's hard to imagine a time when such things did not exist. In fact it's not that long ago, and interestingly, the last of these Optimus 510 (rocket stoves) was made as recently as 1982, though the one we have here in the collection, we think, is a 1950's version.
Designed for group catering or instrument sterilisation in remote hospitals these stoves were not the sort of thing to pop in your rucksack, though they would probably have been found in Boy Scout Camps and were used by the military for field catering. This particular one was acquired at some point by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team and included in a 'picnic set' which was used primarily at the annual Glen Nevis River Race, the teams main fund raising event in the early days. The event involved floating down the River Nevis on an air bed!
The stove is housed in a box lovingly crafted by one of the rescue team and it ,in turn, was housed in a much bigger box which housed all the other 'picnic' gear, the idea being that competitors finishing the race,cold and wet could get a cup of soup or tea. There would also have been certain amounts if whiskey added to the tea! You'll find the picnic box and some copies of the River Race programme elsewhere in the collection.
We bought four new 'flame tubes' from a company called Base Camp in 2013 - they were £5.95 each. Base Camp are specialists in spare parts for obsolete paraffin lamps and stoves and as flame tubes are very rare we thought we'd get them while we could.
Optimus 510-rocket stoves are selling for well over £100 each on the internet in 2013.

Acquisition Method

Donated by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team

Acquisition Date


Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



Go Back

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