The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Primus No. 1 Stove


An original Primus No. 1

An original Primus No. 1     Photo: Courtesy of Primus

Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist, a factory mechanic in Stockholm, Sweden, developed the first portable pressurized-burner kerosene (paraffin) stove. He tinkered with the design of a hand-held blowtorch, and partnered with Johan Viktor Svenson to manufacture the Primus Number 1. Their creation quickly gained a reputation as a durable solution for cooking in extreme conditions. The basic design, which works by preheating the stove to vaporize a flow of kerosene before it reaches the burner, has become standard in portable equipment. 

All of the great explorers almost always had a Primus stove on them: Mallory and Amundsen each took one to the South Pole, Norgay and Hillary used one on the first ascent of Everest, and Byrd took his to the North Pole.

Later, inspired by Primus, Swedish manufacturer SVEA made the 123 Portable Backpacking Stove, a liquid-fuel, pressurized-burner camping stove that was the first compact backpacking white gas stove, and one of the most popular camping stoves ever made.

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