Monday, October 5, 2009

portable brass pressure stove



in the days before the portable gas stove, this was the item that we would have to take along when we went camping at pasir ris, changi point or pulau ubin. we did not use solid fuel or firewood for our cooking. we used this brass pressure stove, without which we would be deprived of our main meals. for breakfast, we usually bought nasi lemak, especially at changi point, from the malay boys who came right to the 'doorstep' of the tent.

i think the brass pressure stove works on the same principle as the pressure lamp. both have to be started using a bit of methylated spirit. the difference is that the lamp has a fabric bag ( you can see it in the picture below; the butterfly brand bag was the most popular).




to work a pressure cooker, like the pressure lamp, the kerosene needs to be heated to a point where it vaporises. this is necessary because vaporised kerosene burns at a higher temperature than liquid kerosene.

the kerosene stove has to be heated by means of a primer, usually methylated spirit, which is burnt in a small tray underneath the burner to heat it. the kerosene in the tank is then forced into the burner, which is done by pumping up the air pressure in the fuel tank. this causes the kerosene to be forced upwards through the flue.

although we all took turns to cook, my friend who owned the stove was the one who always got the fire going. he had a small container, with a long thin spout, for the methylated spirit. he would first pour some spirit into the small tray before lighting it. it would be left to burn for a while before he started pumping up the pressure in the tank at the base. each time, there was a problem with the stove, he would be the one to fix it.

without the brass pressure stove, our meals at the campsites would have taken much longer to prepare.

6 comments:

peter said...

what is the name given to the "bulb" which glows very brightly when the lamp is lit?

I used to see the man pumping until the fire reaches a cloth-like "bulb" and then it catches fire.....

yg said...

peter, isn't that the fabric bag? i don't know if there's a technical term for it. there's also a knob to adjust the pressure which in turn determines the intensity of the light.

Anonymous said...

Hi!

Lea Hin Co. Pte Ltd at Alexander Road sells the Butterfly brand pressure lanterns

The fabric bag, which is coated with chemicals, is called a mantle.

yg said...

anonymous, thanks for the info and for the asnwer to peter's question.

simPerBlog said...

Peter, kampong days it was known as tai kwan teng...

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