Welcome to the Fan Page. This page is mostly a photo gallery of my collection of antique oscillating and fixed table fans along with my commentary about them. Many of the 12" and 16" fans in my collection are actually used quite a bit in the summer months from May-September, and as such, I don't readily consider myself a collector of antique fans per se. I do refuse to buy new fans because of their poor quality and styling. On the other hand, I do have quite a few more fans than would really be required for the summer season, and I have bought fans that do not work simply to have them.
None of the fans you will see here have been restored. I clean them, at the very least, but to the many that run I oil them, and make electrical repairs if needed, and replaced the base felt if needed, so they may be used.
Click upon any outlined picture to enlarge.
This little 8" oscillating fan, 'Trail Blazer', was made by the AC Gilbert Co., of Erector Set fame. It was made in the early 1920's and is single speed.
This is a Model 79648 AK. It is a 16" fan using Improved Parker blades. It is also a 79-series fan. Emerson Model number encode certain features of the fan: 79 is the series, 6 is the frequency in tens of cycles, 4 is the number of blades, and 8 is the radius of the blades in inches, and the AK denotes the motor type and finish. It was made in 1938. Nearly all Emerson fans made from the 1920's to the 1970's will have a date code on the lower right corner of the name tag. By adding 20 to this number, you will be able to determine the date the fan was made. In this case, adding 20 to 18 gives 38, hence 1938. Emerson fans are legendary for their longevity and reliability, and this fan is no exception. It uses Emerson's unique hollow stationary shaft single bearing. The fan blade hub screws onto the rotor, which rotates on this hollow shaft, which is filled with oil from the single oil port on the fan's back. A system of spiral grooves, rotating spiral spring, and scraper pump the oil form front to back. It is a truly amazing design, and it is quite rare to find an Emerson fan with worn bearings. The motor is a permanent split capacitor (PSC) type, and is very efficient and runs very cool. I put Emerson fans at the top of my list with Hunter & Robbins & Myer fans for daily runners. If oiled once a year, they will outlive many generations of owners.
This Emerson 79646-AQ was made in 1942, as evidenced by the 22 stamped over the 21 on the motor tag. Manufacture of fans stopped in May 1942 due to the war. The fan is a 12" model, and uses Improved Parker blades. The distinct cage, unique to Emerson fans, was introduced in 1939 or 1940, replacing the traditional s-wire cage that was used on the 1938 fan shown previously. This fan has a few features making it a lower-cost model such as a 6-pole shaded pole motor. The fan still uses the single-bearing design for which Emerson fan motors are famous. The fan in the photo lacks wires because at the time the photo was taken they had been removed for replacement.
This overlapping-blade 12" Emerson 77646-AN was made in 1947. It features wide, overlapping aluminum blades and a brown crackle finish that was popular at the time. The postwar 77 series fans are considered by many collectors to be the pinnacle of desk fan development for their many outstanding features, such as variable oscillation, quiet air delivery, styling, durability, and efficiency unmatched by fans made new even today. The fan uses a 4-pole PSC-type motor with Emerson's unique single bearing design and runs very cool and efficient. This particular fan can be run on high for days on end and the motor will be felt to be barely above room temperature. The fan in the photo lacks wires because at the time the photo was taken they had been removed for replacement.
The 79648-AU pictured here was made in 1949. It is a 16" fan and uses Improved Parker blades. Like the 1942 79-series fan shown previously, this fan has a 6-pole shaded pole motor, making it a lower-cost model than those with the PSC motors. The fan still uses the single-bearing design for which Emerson fan motors are famous.
This 77648-SO was made in 1955. It features wide, 25-degree pitched blades which overlap slightly, making the fan very quiet while still moving a volume of air. This fan uses Emerson's famous hollow stationary shaft bearing like the other Emerson fans shown on this page. The motor is a 6-pole PSC (permanent split capacitor) type and will run many days on end without trouble or heating. This fan makes much less use of cast iron than the other Emerson fans on this page. The base is aluminum, as is the oscillator gear box. The front motor cover is stamped steel. The motor is still cast iron, as is the neck. The line cord is original, I think. The headwire has been replaced. This is probably the quietest running antique fans I own, and the attractive cage, with its distinct design, and the light bronze metallic paint on the rest of the fan certainly makes it attractive as well.
My first GE fan, a Model 49X612. I picked this fan up at the Tulsa flea market in the mid-1990's. I don't have any recent photos of it because Doug Roberson of Ewing Electric Motor Co., Stillwater, OK, has had the fan since I dropped it off for repairs in 1998. It wasn't a rush job (replacing the head wire), so he said it would be a couple of months! Give a Doug a call at 405-372-2078 and ask him if he remembers where it is at! Fan has three speeds and oscillates. Motor, frame and base are nearly identical to the 55X165 pictured below.
This 8-inch GE Quiet Fan was made in the early 1930's. It is a model 55X165. Unlike full-size 12" and 16" GE fans, the 8" uses a quiet motor that does not have the characteristic GE hum.
This 12" fan was made in 1937. It is a Model 49X491 and was originally made as a Quiet-Fan with wide blades like those on the 55X165 pictured above. Sometime along it long life this fan acquired the Vortalex blades you see it with here. Vortalex fans came out in 1938, and such fans used the unique blade design you see here, an exclusive GE design. I suspect these blades may have been installed by an original owner to "modernize" the fan after the Vortalex models came out.
This 1927 12" GE Type AOU Form AF2 Cat. 75423 fan hangs on a wall in my living room, so it doesn't have all the spiffy photos like the other fans do. It is a loop oscillator, and runs very quiet for a GE fan. The large blades are not original to this fan. They are Emerson blades from the 1940's or 1950's. The original blades for this fan would have been brass.
This fan sits atop my home-made Victrola in my dining room. It is a 16" Type AOU Form AK1 Cat 75425 and was made in 1930 or 1931. The fan is black instead of the Pullman Green of the other AOU, and has black-painted aluminum blades. The AK1 version of GE's venerable AOU was the first to have aluminum blades instead of brass.
Many thanks goes to Steve Stephens for the info he has shared about the GE fans.
This is an early 40's 12-inch Hunter Century Type C-12, Catalog No. 235. Hunter fans have very quiet motors and are excellent air movers. Hunter fans made before 1946 will say Fulton, N.Y. on them. Fans made from 1946 to 1949 will say Memphis, Tennessee. After 1949, they will be marked Hunter Division of Robbins & Myers as the CG-16 shown below is.
This fan, dating to the same time period as the C-12 shown above, is a Type C-16, Catalog No.262. Like all Hunter desk fans, this one is excellent for daily use and I usually use it at work. It has 16" blades. You'll note they are standard "pizza-slice" blades instead of the wide blades of the C-12 shown above. It seems the catalog numbers ending in 2 signify narrow blades, and those ending in 5 had wide blades.
I have yet to determine what the real difference is, if anything other than just the name, between the Century and Zephair models. This little fan is a 10" Zephair made between 1946 and 1949.It's a type D-10, Catalog No. 75. You'll note it has wide blades like the C-12 Cat. 235. The 10" models have only 2 speeds, compared to the 3 speeds of the 12" and 16" models. They also have shaded pole motors, so expect them to run noticeably warmer.
Another 16" model, this time a Zephair Type C-16, Catalog No. 265. Again. compare with the narrow-blade 262 above. Period catalogs seem to indicate that Hunter named virtually its entire product line Zephair in the late 1940's. I have never seen a Fulton NY Zephair, I have seen a few Memphis Tenn Centurys online. This fan was made between 1946 and 1949, and I suspect the black painted blades are due to post-war shortages.
This 16" Hunter fan is from the 1950's. It was made when Hunter was a division of the Robbins & Myers Co. Hunter was purchased by Robbins & Myers in 1949, and operated as the Hunter Division of Robbins & Myers until 1984. It is a model CG-16. This is another excellent fan for daily use. This particular model was made into the 1970's, the only changes being more modern cages around the blades. After the merger, it seams that they used the Hunter motors and bases with the R&M blades and cages. The R&M model 1604 shown on down on this page used the same blades.
Below is a "family portrait" of all my pre-R&M Hunter fans:
Knapp-Monarch was a St. Louis company that made many electrical appliances, such as this late 1940's or early 1950's 8-inch table fan. This fan is finished in an attractive brown crinkle finish and does not oscillate.
This 12-inch brass-blade fan was made in the late teen to early 1920's. Still faintly visible is the gold pin striping on the base and motor. The model is 2410.
This 16-inch Robbins & Myers fan is from the 1930's. It is a model 1604 and is a great fan for daily use. If you want a reliable, quiet, cool-running fan, this model or an Emerson would be my top 2 choices. This fan features a knob that allows you to adjust the oscillation arc like an Emerson, but with a knob-operated clutch that will release if the fan strikes an object.
This 12" Western Electric fan is basically a rebadged Robbins & Myers fan. In fact, other than badges and motor tag, it is identical to the 2410 shown above. With 4 brass blades, this model 7804 was made in the late teens or early 1920's. As you can see, mine is missing some oscillator parts.
This little 8-inch fan, made circa 1915, is an AC-DC type fan. Made in Chicago, it was sold under the name Breezer.
DT Vintage Fans
Early Electric Fans
Vintage Fan Restoration
Fan Wiring Diagrams
OTR Reproduction Antique Fan Wire
Emerson Fan Features
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