The next time you fire up your 2 oz. titanium butane stove before you enjoy (or tolerate) some freeze-dried delights, you might want to give a quiet nod to Alexis Soyer: chef, humanitarian, and inventor of the first portable stove.
His pioneering Magic Stove paved the way for early camping stoves like the original Primus and started the evolution that eventually lead to the back country cooking convenience we enjoy today. It's astonishing to think that in the nineteenth century Soyer could have even envisioned the concept of a multi-fuel portable stove when the convention of the day was to literally pack up entire kitchens and reassemble them in the countryside for the Victorian version of "roughing it". If you want to get a good perspective on how far we've come with backpacking stoves, read the full article here.