Originally Posted by Gearheart
I have an ancient Coleman that has the cylindrical copper tank and the folding legs that also lock the lid shut when in storage. Works like a charm. My hiking stove is an Optimus 111 that will burn anything from wood alcohol to jet fuel.
Coleman Stoves live on...great old thread! We were out browsing yard sales a few weeks ago and found this gem up for grabs. It looks very similar to what you describe in your post. Bronze painted cylindrical steel tank, folding legs with locking brackets at the front corners and folding wind baffles attached to the cover. The stove body is steel, painted in that familiar Coleman green. It's marked "Coleman 425".
The 425 Series was manufactured from 1948-1999 ending with 425 F. The second model in the 425 stove series is a 425 B. It was in production @1954-1961 (there wasn't a 425 A). The 425 B changed the style and shape of the fuel tank and in 1958
the color went from Bronze to the more familiar danger themed Red. Gary GCinSC2 talked about his 425 E model with a date code of 771 aka July 1971. The 425 E was produced from @1967-1981. Unlike his stove with dates stamped in the fuel tank tabs, the 425 is undated and only branded with a Coleman sticker on the inside of the cook top lid. Near the carrying handle, the steel casing bears two lines of raised lettering, "Coleman 425"-"Wichita, Kansas".
From my research the Coleman 425 is a two burner stove that came out in 1948
. Production ran through @1953. There were 3 variations to this first model in the 425 series. The earliest versions included different paint colors of the fuel tank. Brown was first and a short time later Bronze became the permanent color for the 425 tank.
The 425 stove has supporting legs which serve double duty functioning as a stand for cooking, and after folding they rotate around to secure the lid closed for storage. Early 1st and 2nd versions had an external bracket at the front bottom corners where the wire leg secured in a detent for the cooking position. The 3rd version of the 425 used a internal bracket that was riveted to the interior of the stove base to lock the legs in the use or store position.
Based upon all this info, the yard sale find appears to be a Coleman 425 version 2 because of tank color and leg bracket location. That means it was built sometime between 1948-1953. With three versions over 5 years, I'd guess V2 in the middle and narrow it up to about 1950ish.
History and all the facts are interesting, but here's the best part - As others have said already in this thread, I find Coleman liquid fuel lanterns and stoves fun to use and they fall right in with our AirStream Traveling and Camping. From lighting needs to cooking or the late night corn-hole challenges, it's pretty neat to light up and use them while on the road or out for that long weekend. As tech development continues it's advances, there will always be other ways to do the same things, but how cool is it to use the "older" vintage stuff? It can be challenging and it's not for everyone, but it works for us.
Oh, what about the stove? Does it work?
Fuel cap needed a new seal. The old seal was dry and didn't hold pressure in the tank. Fuel tank needed to be flushed to remove light rust and debris. Valve stem packing nut needed to be tightened to stop a slight fuel weep. Pump cup leather was in good shape but needed to be oiled for building pressure in the fuel tank. Years of debris from critters using it as a dining room needed to be blown out of the stove case. Added fresh fuel and applied flame.
After pumping pressure in to the fuel tank, turning the lighting lever to the up position, I cracked open the main fuel valve. The 73 year old stove started that familiar sound of fuel rushing under pressure to the burners. I applied open flame to the main burner. "Houston" we have ignition! Flames started with some yellow and danced above the burner. The flames began building more heat and the low roar of the burner increased as the liquid fuel was heated and transformed into a gas vapor. As heat built up, the burner settled into those beautiful blue flames we're familiar with to concentrate heat on a pan of the chef's choice. Only I'm not cooking, just running the stove so it can stretch out it's legs and run for a bit after being stored for so long.
This 425 model stove is a survivor. Its got a lot of good working life left in it, even though it's 73 years old. We'll be cooking some bacon in the cast iron with that stove, and telling our neighbor about the "73 year old Coleman". Might even have to light up a 60 year old Coleman Lantern to see better in the dawns early light. Careful though, the light may show the wear and tear on that "Old Coleman Stove". Not all of them survive. Some are just beyond a restore. I guess that makes them sorta like an old AirStream. Good bones, parts, time, lots of cleaning and some stoves can be revived to become vintage classics.
This one has been fun! It'll be a conversation starter for sure. just like our AirStream.