Stopple Kook Kit / Upton Kook Kit

Discussion in 'Cooking & Water Purification' started by GKiT, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Here is some information on one of my favorite mess kits.

    1911: “The Stopple Kook Kit Company has been organized at Alma Michigan, with a capital stock of $10,000 for the manufacture of a patent cooking outfit. W.W. Stopple and O.W. Hayes are president and secretary, respectively, of the new company.”

    The design was patented in 1914.

    These kits were popular with campers, hunters, outdoorsmen and Scouts. The pocket kit contains a 8x7 folding grill, two 9x4 frying pans that can be combined to form a baker, two pint cups, removable wire handles and one quart pail. It was designed for two or more people and weighs about 2 1/4 pounds. A slightly smaller Scout kit only includes one pan and one cup. It was designed for one person. It measures 2x4x8 and weighs 1 1/2 pounds.

    Warren Miller used and wrote about the kits and Horace Kephart endorsed them stating “Most compact thing of the kind I have ever seen: it is thoroughly practical throughout.”

    Sometime in the mid to late teens, they became an official Scout kit and some are marked with the BSA logo.

    In 1918 the Stopple Kook Kit Co. was bought by Upton Machine Co. who later were more well known for manufacturing Kenmore appliances.
    They changed the name to the “Sterling Kamp Kook Kit” and then to the “Upton Kamp Kook Kit”.

    The Stopple kook Kit Co. marked kits (1911-1918) are understandably a bit harder to find than the newer Upton Machine Co. Kits (1918-1920s-30s?) There are also unmarked kits and BSA marked kits.

    The sets are often missing some pieces, especially the wire handles but those can be easily replaced.

    Here are some of the kits that I have collected as well as patent drawings and some advertising.

    A8138924-280B-4643-A431-4CC0E0F9641B.jpeg
    An unused Upton Kamp Kook Kit with original packaging and instructions.
    E291C295-57AE-4F97-92A2-D2529F590849.jpeg
    08771E6F-4364-4BF6-9DC3-9F62C684E180.jpeg
    695B2F06-11F2-4B8B-9B89-C712FD9C1B4E.jpeg
    5540D0CE-35B5-4689-83B2-7C005DB4B150.jpeg
    79436AE8-111A-42AD-90D6-996459276E6D.jpeg
    A kit with a homemade leather case:
    3E52C9E2-12E5-49E5-B384-58D6AF6B69F7.jpeg
    C27B0BAA-9C84-4EA6-9686-29925E218396.jpeg
    A Scout version of the kit in original canvas case:
    C4AF08F6-882B-4384-8055-75FB44603810.jpeg
    An original Stopple Kook Kit,
    357DC0DA-20BC-4762-B0C8-1EF2E3C4AE5F.jpeg
     
  2. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    01C516B8-142A-4CDD-90CA-A2428C9B7C33.jpeg
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    Here are a bunch of adds for the kits that I have found:
    074AC344-6504-408D-B640-4490525F8B21.jpeg
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    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  3. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Young fellar you have some VERY nice vintage gear. Thanks for posting it. I'm not sure they have really been improved upon. joe
     
  4. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    6BFEFBE5-BAFD-4EA1-8633-6F768B4FA807.jpeg
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  5. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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  6. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I love these post of the old cook gear. This one seems very handy
     
  7. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks fellar ( I was gonna say old fellar but I dont know if that applies;) I’ve been fascinated by this kind of stuff for many years.
     
  8. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks. This one is my favorite. I don’t think there is any other kit than can do so much in such a small package.
     
  9. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thanks... A few years back, when I started reading more by Warren Miller, I mentally tried to follow his description of using the Stopple, but it wasn't until I googled an ad that I understood. He loved that kit.
     
  10. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    3F9000F3-A0B7-4F7B-A8B7-02194A448FE5.jpeg Nice kit. I actually have the Scouts kit. Just found it actually just a week ago.
     
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  11. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    The tin plating on these does eventually wear off with use. In order to prevent rust forming on the exposed steel, I do the same thing that I do with other tinware, wipe everything with a light coat of mineral oil.
     
  12. AngryDaddyBird

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    Same here. Oils good. Seasons it too!
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  13. Vilke

    Vilke Guide

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    These are rare as hens teeth. The search continues...
     
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  14. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    Amazing pieces of camping history,,,
     
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  15. Glock Holiday

    Glock Holiday Scout

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    Getting pretty jealous!
     
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  16. MartyJ

    MartyJ Scout

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    Great research as always. The graphics are great and the research is nice to see it all in one place. Mine was missing a couple of handles when I found it but as you said, they were fairly easy to make. It is a “Scout” model and the only markings on it is “PTD APPLD FOR” which, according to your research would make it a Stopple made between 1911-1914? Unless the Scout model was designed and patented later which seems unlikely. Anyway it has seen some use although because California is currently completely on fire I have not had it out in the woods.
    D4E545E5-6F57-4961-AF15-A869486576B0.jpeg 815ED191-33B9-4204-A11D-DB8965310351.jpeg
     
  17. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Very nice find MartyJ ! That’s the first one of these I have seen with the patent applied for mark, which probably makes it among the first ever manufactured.
     
  18. MartyJ

    MartyJ Scout

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    I was thinking so. It it is in fair shape, most of the time gone but no pitting rust and no dents. The grill has seen some use. I’ll take it out this fall when the woods aren’t a tinder box.
     
  19. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    @MartyJ
    Mine looks very similar to yours. Very nice find!
     
  20. MartyJ

    MartyJ Scout

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    Any markings on your ADB?
     
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  21. AngryDaddyBird

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    I’ll take pictures.
     
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  22. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Guide

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    Stove lust! Almost as bad as knife lust! Great kits!
     
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  23. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    I found another one except it’s a Stopple Kook Kit
     
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  24. AngryDaddyBird

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  25. AngryDaddyBird

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    @MartyJ @CSM1970@Vilke @GKiT I think it’s only missing the cup handles but looks like the kits grill is never used. 11DA17BC-9BD4-4A9F-9CA0-A1A252FB3BF6.jpeg 49FF593D-DE14-48F6-9F32-BF46B4055F29.jpeg 61ED44B6-5140-448E-87B0-92E6E222F660.jpeg B1C9E7C6-3A36-4670-BFA8-5A88BE51AD3C.jpeg
     
  26. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    My earlier find the boy scouts kit is a few post above.
     
  27. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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  28. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    I bid on one of these sorts of kits, NIB, on eBay a good while ago,,, once my bid was a bit beyond $100, I wimped out... probably one of you fellas have it now,,,
     
  29. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    NIB isn’t going to be cheap. A decent user just sold for around $60. The least I paid for one was around $30-$40 but that was years ago. Going eBay rate seems to be $60-$80 for one , probably double that for new in box condition.
     
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  30. MartyJ

    MartyJ Scout

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    AngryDaddyBird you are right that whole kit, not just the grill looks unused. Good find. BTW, I only paid $35 for mine but I think it was because it was unmarked so hard to look up if you didn’t know where to start.
     
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  31. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    Haha. Not me! Mine are local finds
     
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  32. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    That’s as score!
     
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  33. zelph

    zelph Guide Vendor Supporter

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    Awesome pieces of history, thanks for sharing:dblthumb:
     
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  34. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    Anytime brother!
     
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  35. Birdman

    Birdman Guide

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  36. SoreFeet

    SoreFeet Scout

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    Now if a enterprising Chinese company was to make a nice reproduction of one of those cook kits in stainless steel, I don't think they'd have much trouble selling them. I'd buy one.
     
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  37. Corso

    Corso Guide

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    And I thought the yugo cant teen set was cool.

    This is on another level
     
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  38. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    You’ll find one!
     
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  39. Birdman

    Birdman Guide

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    You spelled American wrong.
     
  40. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    I’m not sure exactly why but i think it would bother me some if these were reproduced in stainless steel. Part of the charm is lost when you change the materials, and the fact that some of these originals remain in usable condition illustrates to me that there isn’t a thing wrong with the the way they were made. What do they say? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve seen enough reproductions of things to know that they never get it right. If it’s not just like the original than it isn’t right...at least to me.

    I can see the repro now with its big warning sticker about how a baby could drown in it, rubber crap on the handles so you don’t burn your tender little city fingers, a stupidly overbuilt tactical pouch with all kinds of synthetic garbage on it, little Orange plastic tips covering the sharp points of the grill legs,...yuck. There’s plenty of stuff already available for people into that kind of thing, don’t mess with the Stopple!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  41. DKR

    DKR Scout

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    A very clever piece of kit. For folks that love nesting gear, this would have to be top drawer.

    I would would spend some real coin on a SS reproduction, just to be able to gift one to each of the Grand-kiddos.

    At age 11, I give them a 10 x 10 tarp, Canteen and matching SS cup (.mil) w/cover, a ferorod and a Swiss Army knife.. The real fun is showing them how to set it all up and cook with the 'kit'

    My thanks to the OP for taking the time to share the images of his collection!
     
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  42. MartyJ

    MartyJ Scout

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    The grill in itself is worth owning. A very well thought out design. When I picked mine up, the latch and tank holder were all bent wrong because someone didn’t understand how to fold it but the patent drawings showed me the right bends. It is a clever design and I can’t wait for fall so I can have an open fire again and try it. The other genius of the design is to have the passive hot water or stew tank on the side picking up the reflective heat while you are cooking on the grill. If you like boiled coffee, and I do, it seems a handy way to fix breakfast. I must admit the rectangular shaped pots and cups do put me off but that is just me. I have paired mine with WWI army utensils.
     
  43. AngryDaddyBird

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    I’ve only used the grill and pans myself. Can’t bring myself to clean off the rust on the case! I think it looks good on it. Although if I do ever use the cup/s and or pot/s I’ll have to clean it somehow. How would anyone do that ? Electrolysis?
     
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  44. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Since the tin plating looks like it’s gone from those pieces, I would clean under hot water with a soft bristle brush to remove surface rust and then use the set. The cook fires will do the rest. After it’s been used some, wash it well and lightly oil with mineral oil. You can kind of build up a seasoning on them of soot and cooked on oil that will help protect them some from rusting.
     
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  45. AngryDaddyBird

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    I was thinking about that. No sanding or wire brushes to keep the used look !!
     
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  46. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    I agree. The grill is well though out! I may dig out my Steel Boy Scouts mess kit that looks like today’s aluminum 5 piece mess kit. To play with it. I like the pan from that kit a lot!
     
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  47. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    I have Chinese copies of the standard 5 piece mess kit in stainless steel. Although I thought I’d like it I didn’t and the quality wasn’t good at all. I finally found a Coleman version and another unmarked one locally that’s pretty nice but still to me the original is what I kept. Just has soul to it!
     
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