Abercrombie folding campfire grate

Discussion in 'Cooking & Water Purification' started by GKiT, Jul 10, 2018 at 6:54 AM.

  1. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,693
    Likes Received:
    6,333
    Location:
    rural America but not as far out as I would like
    Here is a folding campfire grate that was reproduced using the dimensions listed in the 1907 and 1908 A&F catalog. They were sold in three sizes, grates with either 4, 6, or 8 arms.
    237E6333-3BF7-4AD7-A556-8795EDBF0C98.jpeg
    Two images of the grates can be seen in these illustrations by Henry Watson below (1907 and 1921).
    BDA2D416-07A6-418A-AD2B-303DC9573120.jpeg
    B0581890-C0FA-4A8A-8233-A2A170BF79F6.jpeg
    The campfire grates are made from 5/16"X1"x18" flat bar riveted together.
    F523DA85-DEB8-4512-8AE4-6DAB8103EC47.jpeg
    5962B514-9047-4455-B29A-EA759A89DA44.jpeg
    6BDBE133-8C9C-43E8-9E68-C4752BD7C5C6.jpeg
     
  2. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    2,633
    Likes Received:
    2,541
    Location:
    Missouri
    Thanks for the images of when A&F was earning the reputation that the modern A&F squandered. There's a real nostalgia, at least with me, about that period in American woodsmanship. And I'd love to see those high leather boots make a comeback. They make so much sense! Did you make the reproduction or did you find it somewhere?
     
  3. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,693
    Likes Received:
    6,333
    Location:
    rural America but not as far out as I would like
    I was going to make it up myself as it is a fairly simple project but I didn’t have the right size stock on hand. I wanted the dimensions to be true to the original so I had a blacksmith make one up for me. Cutting the lengths. Rounding the corners, drilling or hot punching holes and installing rivets is about all there is to it.
     
    Dadio, NevadaBlue, Vilke and 6 others like this.
  4. hdbeav

    hdbeav Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    382
    Very nice! Another project for the list, thanks much!
     
  5. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,923
    Likes Received:
    12,693
    Location:
    Northern Minnesota
    That’s really cool, looks heavy though. “Back when the men were made iron, and the ships were made of wood”, they probably didn’t notice the weight. I have a wee trench grill made of stainless tube steel. It weighs only a five ounces and I fret at the weight of it...

    Love the great old ads too,,,
     
  6. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,693
    Likes Received:
    6,333
    Location:
    rural America but not as far out as I would like
    Yes, it is over 8 pounds. With early camping items, compact-ability was often the focus more than the weight since the basic materials of construction were more limited. This will hold very heavy pots. This design could certainly be lightened/updated with lighter metals and drilled holes etc.. but then you no longer have a vintage grate...:D
     
  7. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,923
    Likes Received:
    12,693
    Location:
    Northern Minnesota
    I understand the space requirement,,, “Canoe space is limited” is something I’m constantly telling folks I camp with...
     
  8. Young Blacksmith

    Young Blacksmith Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    879
    Location:
    East Texas
    The vintage items you've been posting lately are amazing GKiT. Thanks!
     
  9. motman241

    motman241 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    602
    Fantastic! I agree with the others - what a fantastic time it would have been back then. I, too, would love to see more camping items from that time period.

    Sadly, and item like this wouldn't work so well with today's fire rings or burn bans.
     
  10. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,693
    Likes Received:
    6,333
    Location:
    rural America but not as far out as I would like
    Not always practical I understand but this is one of the reasons I try my hardest to camp exclusively on private land. In order to camp the way that people camped during the time period that interests me, I want to be able to cut a few poles, build the kind of fire I want and generally do as I please. I’m not talking about destroying a place but just using it responsibly. Public lands with excessive regulations have little appeal to me anymore. I do practice strict leave no trace on public lands like that...simply by not going.
     
  11. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    19,942
    Likes Received:
    79,568
    Location:
    Bogart, GA
    Yet another great post.
    I’m wondering if titanium would work for a modern reproduction?
     
    Red Ochre, Lichen, NevadaBlue and 5 others like this.
  12. Merk3030

    Merk3030 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    951
    Likes Received:
    1,733
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Keep em comming! Very cool.
     
  13. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    10,422
    Location:
    WI
    Very cool. Light weight option it is not 4 arm at 5 1/4 lbs, 6 arm at 8 lbs, 6 arm at 10 3/4 lbs. From back when a back in the woods was a man's back.:18:
     
  14. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,693
    Likes Received:
    6,333
    Location:
    rural America but not as far out as I would like
    It’s important to view items like this with a historical context. Recreational backpacking as we know it today didn’t really exist. It was a big project just getting to where you were going and so trips were longer. Parties camped for weeks or even a month at a time. Imagine just the food for a party of six for a month. Carrying it all in on your back very often wasn’t done. Horses, mules, wagons, rail, canoes and eventually automobiles were the way to get things moving. People hiked or tramped about but they may have just carried lunch and few items in a pack, returning to a more permanent camp supplied by conveyance other than people carrying packs.

    Over time backpacking, hiking and camping all started to mean the same thing. People took short trips on foot and the gear needed to do it changed to suit that activity. It changed “camping” and the “gear” almost to a point of being unrecognizable from what it once was. It is a persistent notion that is easily observed on this forum. Look at any new piece of gear post and almost immediately the question of weight comes up.

    An eight pound grate seems crazy to some but you have to look at it with an underlying view of the time frame and culture.

    I don’t mean to imply that folks didn’t throw a pack on and head into the woods for a weekend, they certainly did. It just wasn’t a popular enough activity with the masses to shape the manufacturing and retail of equipment or “outfits” until closer to the 1930s. The differences in gear in catalogs from the early 1900s and catalogs from the 1940s is quite noticeable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018 at 11:48 AM
  15. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,661
    Likes Received:
    39,018
    Location:
    upstate south carolina
    I have made several of those, but with only 3 sections and 12" long. First time I have seen a commercially produced one. Good post young fellar, except I thought it was my idea. joe
     
  16. motman241

    motman241 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    602
    Know that I am envious that you have places where you can go and camp how you like. Rock on!! :)
     
    Red Ochre, hdbeav, NevadaBlue and 4 others like this.
  17. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,256
    Likes Received:
    24,690
    Seems to me that wooden slats would be the ticket. Lightweight and could be used for other things. Seems to me that someone had mentioned having a bunch of paint sticks. @NevadaBlue ? @Skeptiksks ?
     
  18. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,693
    Likes Received:
    6,333
    Location:
    rural America but not as far out as I would like
    Ha! Let me know how that works out for ya! :18:
     
    Red Ochre, gohammergo, Lichen and 3 others like this.
  19. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    10,422
    Location:
    WI
    I think this product would be one of those things where someone would have stashed at a regular camp location. Like an annual hunting or fishing camp. The steel would easily survive many years of use exposed to the elements left in place. It also would work for cooking on a key hole fire where the cooking side was sided with bowling ball sized boulders/rocks too.

    Stability for large communal water boiling comes to mind for its regular usage. Also, I could see it accompanying a Wannigan chuck box.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018 at 2:26 PM
  20. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,693
    Likes Received:
    6,333
    Location:
    rural America but not as far out as I would like
    I think that is a good point about stashing it at a camp. Maybe that is why I have never seen an original one. On the other hand a dollar was a good deal of money at the time, I'm not sure they would leave it. I thought about it in a canoe with a wannigan as well. To be honest I don't know when boiling became a common practice for drinking water but I would almost bet not many were boiling any water for drinking purposes in the early 1900s other than for tea and coffee. Cooking , dish washing and maybe some laundry would require some boiling/heating in quantity but when a spring or creek was nearby I think they just drank it straight up. Probably some whiskey thrown in too.
     
  21. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx Guide Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    2,911
    Very cool piece of historical gear! I love those illustrations. It's sad that A&F has swirled down the toilet into the realm of skinny jeans and soy boy tees. :(
     
    Red Ochre, central joe and GKiT like this.

Share This Page