Monday, December 31, 2007

Good Timing

I usually try to blog once a month at least and today is my last chance for December 07. I sent my check to the AFCA today too... I don't have a picture for this story yet, but I will add it later.

The other day I was checking ebay as I always do and when I sorted by newly added items, I saw a "buy it now" on the cutest little Polar Cub Type G. A little six inch fan. The price was unbelievable, so I figured there must be something wrong with it. I looked it over real good. Then I remembered that my wife had switched our checking account from my paypal to hers...

I racked my brains then thought, "Jerr!!!" I called his house... no answer, then his cell... ring... ring... ring... I was thinking, "oh great, voice mail..." Just then he answered. I was so relieved.

I said, "Jerry, do you trust me?" He said, "why yeah..." He told me he was in the middle of Wal-Mart. I said I need you user name and password for ebay... He asked why, and I gave him the briefest of explanations.

After repeating the scenario with paypal the deal was done. I told him thanks and hung up.

Fast forward two days... (To be continued...)

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Very Sad Story

For over a week now I have been eyeing this little beaut. I love Northwinds, and the little colored ones don't come along real often. I had the plan all laid out. I thought I had bid number high enough to stave off all other bids. Boy was wrong. Ebay can be so cruel. Tonight I got down my lonely little Type 55 from its perch above all my neatly arranged Northwinds and plugged it in. I said, sorry little guy I couldn't bring your little brother home :( Perhaps it wasn't meant to be...

Crazy fan person...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dumpster Doom

Many many moons ago my friend Jerr, whom I get many fans and fan tip offs from, had me over for something or other. He lives in this fantastic old Victorian home. He collects a great many wonderfully historic items. We were visiting and were about to leave to come back to my house when he said, "hey, I wanted to see if you wanted this old fan..." See if I wanted it... as my children say, "Duh!" He told me that he was just going to through it away.

I know it looks decent now, but picture it solid rust and covered in cobwebs, dust, and grease. It was missing its oscillator arm. I asked him if it ran and he said, "I don't know, I was afraid to plug it up." "I am not afraid," I said as I grinned from ear to ear. Something about this cheaply made, undesirable fan that appealed to me.

I took the fan home and Jerr and I took it to my work shop to plug it up. It ran great.

The fan was dismantled that night and I made a promise to it to clean it up and restore it.

As with many of my projects, I start them and then they sit on my workbench until I get back around to it. My break lasted probably more than a year this time. I usually think of colors and necessary repairs during this period.

One day I caught the fever to paint and so I talked colors with the wife. She said, "Red and Black..." I was thinking Dark Green... You can see who won. I went to the store looking for paint. I have several folks talk about using enamels, but never had. So I bought a couple cans of Rustoleum Enamel Red.

I was really pleased with the ease of application. It really flows smoothly and delivers a great gloss finish. A couple coats of white primer, a couple coats of red, and a coat of clear. Bought all new hardware. Fabbed a new oscillator arm from one off another fan. Drilled a new whole and shortened it... I made the new badge using a computer generated image I got from a fellow fan collector, Todd Mann. I changed the colors on the computer to match my fan colors and printed it on a sticky ups label. Then I cut it out by hand and stuck it on the badge. Then I painted over it with several coats of clear.

Finally reassembly. The little fan that was almost no more, now has new life.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Green With Envy

I should have posted this awhile back but I have been just too busy. Last weekend, we were just getting out of the house and everyone was feeling that relief. There was a lighthearted aire in the mini-van as we drove north in search of a recreation. As we approached the exit that leads to some of my favorite antique malls, I felt the mixture of excitement and nervousness as I tried to decide whether I wanted to ask my wife if she'd care to stop or not... Sometimes she growls, other times she just smiles and says, "that's fine..." She knows what I have up my sleeve.

Same ole routine. Griff goes in with me. Teaching him right. He wants to climb on all the little metal tractors, and I am continually saying come on son, don't touch that son, and get off that son... All in fun.

I usually start off this process with little optimism. I doubt there will be many fans, and even if they are, they'll be too high priced. The first mall proved my suspicions correct. Nothing, nodda, zilch... Still I am looking forward to the one up the road.

I like the smell of this one for some reason. This day there was great old piano music playing. It really set the mood for anitques. I just assumed it was a cd playing over some speakers. Then as I walked down the first aisle I noticed it was getting louder. After about 6 or 7 fanless booths I noticed the music was coming from a player piano. I watched in awe since I had never seen one in action. Then it occurred to me that Griffin must have truly been amazed so I looked in his direction. I couldn't help but laugh. He had the most horrified look on his little face. He said, "Daddy, who is playing that piano?" I looked at him with love and care in my heart and said, "It is a ghost..." He grabbed my leg and we went on shopping.

There are only two aisles in this store, and I was starting to think there would be nothing. Then just as we were about out of booths, there sat this little cutie. A G.E. Cat No. 27X840. I think the label says 1931. There was no cord and the price was a little too high. I was about to walk away. I had a feeling that this was one of those instances where some antique dealer or someone tried to fix it and ended up screwing up something internally and decided to removed the cord so no one could test it. Then they'd be forced to by it as is... It happens.

As I was about to head out the door, I decided to ask. The lady seemed nice enough. I said, "Do you know if the dealer of this booth will take $x for that fan back there since it doesn't have a cord?" She said, "We don't normally call for items this cheap." I guess she liked me cause she did it anyway. She wasn't on the phone long and I just thought for sure that it was going to be a no, judging by the sound of the conversation. Then she looked at me and said, "Okay, he said he'd do $x."

We went on to the next town and did our shopping before returning home that Sunday afternoon. I ran downstairs as always and got out my tools. I tore into the fan. Happily, I found two lead wires intact. I cut a piece of cord and some heat shrink. Remade some connections. Realigned the motor housing pieces. I put the blade on without the cage just in case I had to do more. I grabbed a Bakelite plug from my stash threw it on the end of the cord. I plugged it in and it came to life. Oh what a feeling! It is my drug.

Later, after church I came back to put the cage on. When the cage first came off it was on there real tight. It was just about as hard to get back on. The screws that hold the cage on go through to the motor. Keep that in mind. After putting the cage back on, I wanted to run it again. This time it didn't want to start. Censor!!!!! "Okay Larry, what is going on," I thought. It worked fine before the cage. Hypothesis: the cage is putting tension on the screws and then the motor is out of whack. So I remove the cage. Still no go. So I repeated the steps that brought me to success in the first place, without replacing the cord again of course. Thenreassembled. It worked fine again. This time I decided to adjust the cage so the holes lined up without being forced. Then I took a sec to align the blades by hand. Attached the cage and magic happened. Another happy ending.

Dreams really do come true.


Monday, August 06, 2007

A Good....No Great Day!!!!

Wow, what a day... My kids are gone with the in-laws and I have the day off from work. Couldn't get much better huh??? Well hold on to you seat.

I had promised my wife that I'd take her shopping one day, and today ended up being the day. I asked her where she wanted to go, but she could not decide between the few towns we frequent. I took it up myself to decide. I decided to go to a town where there might, just might, be some antiques. Needless to say I did not announce my reasons... he he.

Anyway we were off for the hour drive to our destination. Once there we sat about our normal routine; this store, then that one, then lunch... It was during lunch that I asked where she wanted to go next. She said, "home I guess." I said, "No way, I didn't take of work for this alone. We have to do something else." She said, "You just want to go downtown and look at antiques..." To which I replied, "You know... That is a great idea!" I was a little sarcastic...

She agreed to go and much to my surprise she actually wanted to get out of the car and go with me... (I do love her sometimes. It is all about the little things...) Back to the point. We hit the usual places. Old multi-story brick downtownish type buildings. Store by store. One of which had gone out of business. We perused them quickly. Then I, nearing the end of the block noticed that only one store remained. My first vague recollection was that it didn't have much in good antiques, it was also a sports card shop and memorabilia store. Then just as I was about to do an about face and head back to the car, I decided to go on in.

I entered the establishment, wife in tow, and remembered the three stories of antiques and how I'd purchased a GE Vortalex here a few years ago. We casually wondered around eyeing carefully every nook and cranny of every booth. I saw a small GE, steel blades, and remembered my recent promise to myself, that I wasn't buying anymore fans unless they were exceptional and decently priced, so I kept on walking.

I made if up the stairs and surveyed the familiar layout almost missing a closet-like indention in the back wall. I carefully avoided tripping over the objects in the floor that littered my path as I walked back toward the area that I had just noticed. I was thinking all the while that there would be nothing worthwhile in there. Probably a bunch of crafts or some type of antique object that is furthest from my relm of interest.

I think I actually looked and started to turn away when my feet froze on the spot... I thought to myself, "Larry, there I think there was some brass in there..." I whirled around and sure enough I saw several fans in the this little, nearly invisible, area.

There was a mixture of fans in there some really interesting and some not so... I first noticed an Emerson 28645 and then glanced to see a small Peerless too. Then I started flicking tags. I couldn't believe my eyes. I had to sit there and stare at them for a while. Not only were they nice fans, but the price couldn't have been lower.

I got up and walked away, trying to recover from the shock. I grabbed my cell phone and gave my wife a ring. I said, "Honey, I..." She said, "I know, you found some fans..." I sheepishly replied, "uh yeah, I gotta have em."

After my heart started working again I ran back to them and picked up the two beauties below and ran down the stairs to the check out. I haggled with the guy and got 5 bucks knocked off the price. Always haggle, that's the fun part!

Emerson 28645

Peerless 230510

Well I got the finds home and gave them some oil, straightened their cages a little, and tightened their bolts. They came right to life.
Post hunt info: We got home and still being childless we went to eat dinner with some friends at a fabulous Italian restaurant. Then we went with them to our local rodeo and watched a few events there. (See, I told you I would blog about you Ginger.)
The day turned out to be a great blessing. Great fan finds, quality time with my wife, and good times with great friends. It was a great day!

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Business Trip

About two weeks ago I had to deliver a sealed bid to a bid opening. I was going to a town that I had never been to before and it was a pretty fur piece off, as my grandma says. Anytime I go on these trips I keep an eye peeled for antique stores. We'll the weather was not real nice and I had to take a detour way out of the way one time because of an accident on the interstate, but old Eagle Eye Hancock was on the job. I spotted two billboards on the way that boasted 200 plus booths. I thought to myself, "Self you're gonna have to check these out."

I went on about my rat killin' as dear old mom says. I met a client for lunch, delivered my bid, went to the bid opening, and visited with a sub-contractor. Soon after all this hoopla I was back on the interstate.

I don't remember what exit it was, I wouldn't tell even if I did, but I whipped the car off the road and pulled onto this service road leading to a large white building. I was getting excited just thinking about the potential inside.

When I got inside, I could tell this was a great antique store. It was not your typical antique/crafts store, it was pure antiques. There was a lot of things like old signs, telephones, furniture, toys, and yes fans!!!! There were several.

I followed my normal game-plan. I browsed the entire store aisle by aisle, taking mental note of all the goodies and their prices. When I saw the fan above, I thought well you don't see many of these around... It is a Delco fan and I understand it was manufactured by the General Motors company. I always was a Chevy man. I think this fan was manufactured around 1935...

I decided on it after my tour, and backtracked until I finally found it again. I went up to the lady at the front and asked her if she'd consider taking less for it, since I didn't have enough cash left to pay the sticker price. It was deal or no deal... She had her husband bring it up and she got on the phone with the booth owner. She stepped in the back as if it was wrong to for me to listen to the conversation. A few minutes later she returned with a smile and said, "okay."

I thanked them for their time and for a great antiquing experience and headed out for Sikeston. When I finally got home, I brought it in and plugged it up (fingers and toes crossed). It worked great and oscillates great. Good Fan Day!


Wednesday, June 27, 2007


My fan world was rocked the other day. I was informed that I would be the new webmaster of the AFCA. I have been wanting to help with the site for years. We'll here I am, I have my wish. To those who made it possible, thanks! To all the AFCA members, I hope I can serve you well. To all fan fans everywhere, Enjoy the hobby and Join the club. The magazines alone are awesome. To my cohort Rod, thanks for your vote of confidence.

I will be back here real soon to tell you about a cool Westinghouse I picked up the other day... BTW, if you're reading the BST forum, send me a strut... Come on.

Party on party people!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Have You Ever Been There?

I found myself wondering recently, as I looked at the multitude of fans on ebay, what fans interest me? Well we all know Northwinds do, but I am also a bit of a tightwad. So I have to find an interest first then be able to get a good deal. I just cannot bring myself to pay big bucks for a fan when cheaper and just as satisfying fans are available. For instance, this little 8" Star-Rite fan. I watched it dutifully for a week. Then I threw out a bid I felt comfortable with and bada bing, it's mine.

This little jewel came from California. The guy said he bought it along with 18 other fans from a friend who traveled the world in search of antiques. He is supposed to be getting some more information for me.

Anyway, the fan came in Tuesday night. It was packed very well. I plugged it up and it ran remarkably. I didn't realize that it was an AC/DC motor until I received it and saw the cute little brush caps on the back. Anyway, here it is straight from some guys attic in Salida, CA. Click the photo to enlarge.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My First Pig Pickin

Well I finally got to go. I have wanted to make the journey for two years now. I wanted to see the legendary collection, yes, but mostly, I wanted to meet some of the folks in the AFCA and shake some hands. To me some of these individuals were just faces in magazines and text on a message board. Now I can say otherwise. It is easy to read people wrong when all you do is correspond via email and message boards. I will say for the most part, everyone was friendly, and they welcomed me in to their midst. I was labeled "that guy with the web page..." Which I am used to. In high school I was "that guy with the cool Monte Carlo." It's okay. You have to start somewhere.

Fans, fans, and more fans!!! They were everywhere. Everyone, knowing that it was my first time visiting, kept saying, "what do you think?, kinda overwhelming isn't it?" I would smile and say yes. I spent much of my time walking around looking at the vast collection. I actually made a video and took several photos. I am in the process of converting it to a DVD with music. While I was strolling one time, I found a pile of old Fan Collector magazines. I decided to sit down and skim through a couple. Wouldn't you know that fate would lead me to an article on the Dr. I think it was in one of the 98 issues. Anyway I decided to read it. It talked about how he started and mentioned his influences, but one comment that stuck out in my mind, was he said something like, "I originally intended to get around to restoring each fan, but I quickly acquired more than I could do in a lifetime." It really got me to thinking about the future and my priorities. Fans are great, to me, but I don't want to become obsessed to the point of neglecting my family. Thanks for the lesson, Doc.

Where To Start...

As usual I take little breaks from blogging due to the goings-on in life. This past intermission was made of several little distractions.

First May, is always a busy month. I usually get roped into producing a video/slideshow for our churches graduating seniors. This year was no different. My son had preschool graduation this year also. To top it all off I decided to go to my first Pig Pickin. I must say for those of you who haven't gone it was fun. It blew my mind that one person could own so many fans. All I could think was these are fans I will never have the chance to find. I met a lot of great people. I watched guys work on fans in the workshop. I even brought home a few fans all from the free pile. This ties directly into another story, but first the fans. I got a Northwind 450, Westinghouse Power-Aire pedestal, and two little 8” Zero fans. All free!!!!

My friend Russell had actually pulled this Power-Aire from the free pile and started working on it. I said, I can’t believe that came from that pile and he said you want it? I said sure and threw it in the back of the Honda. I brought it home and drug my new fans to the cave. One night my kids went to spend some time with their grandparents so I decided to take a look at the ped. I started cleaning and dismantling it. I got the bright idea to cut some wires out of the switch housing. What tool do I use instead of wire cutters???? A pocket knife…. That was real sharp… I cut my middle finger to the bone! Mind you this was ten at night on Sunday before Memorial Day. We rushed to the ER and 4 hours later I got 4 stitches and a nice bill. Stupid!!!

Then about three days later my wife has a hysterectomy. So that gave us four days in the hospital. Another nice bill, but we’ll survive. It has been two weeks since her surgery and you can’t really tell anything changed except she can’t drive or lift anything.

Well that’s my story and I’m stickin to it. I have some things to share, but that will come a little later. More on pig pickin and other things.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Gift

I know what you are thinking, Larry you hate those fans... Well, that's not true you see, I hate working on the motors of those fans. I had one bad experience. That experience taught me something though. So all in all it was a good experience.

Anyway, the other day a guy emails me about the value of this fan. I told him that these fans weren't worth a lot because there are so many of them. I was on my business trip to New Orleans at the time so I didn't hear back for a while. When I finally did, the guy, much to my surprise offer to sell me the fan for the cost of shipping. I have never had such a generous offer. I was touched and I want to tell you why.

Some of you already know I have a somewhat sappy attitude toward fans. My collection is not just a collection, but retirement home for fans of sorts. Really it is more like fan heaven. They come here and rest. They are cleaned up and given a place of respect among their peers. Now, I am not crazy, I just pretend like it. It gives this boring world a little spice. I don't talk to them...much... I digress. I also keep a spreadsheet with information about each fan. Age, where it came from, who owned it if possible, etc... (I hope to have the information available to you when I finish my updates to my website.)

That is why this fan means so much to me. The fellow who gave me the fan, told me it had belonged to his parents and grandparents before. He was taking care of business that we all have to take care of at one point in our lives, handling our families estate. It is sad, but there are little rays of sunlight that shine through from time to time. I was touched one such ray, and am thankful that Tom and I crossed cyber paths. I love fans, but I also love the history of them. This little Westy is rich with it. So I wanted to say thanks Tom for sharing!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Second Look

I bought this little fan a long time ago. I took it downstairs like I do all my fans for testing. This particular fan did not run. Boy I can tell you I was mad! Anyway, I bought this beast before I learned about AC DC motors and brushes. So I gave up and put it on the shelf. For a couple years I would just walk by and look at it and groan.

The fan is A Star/Fitzgerald 1200. It was manufactured in Torrington, CT.

After my Northwind experiences I learned a lot about AC DC motors. So the other day it occurred to me that maybe I could take a second look. So I did. I notice that I had no brush spring or cap on onside of the motor. Duh... I rummaged around in my shop and found a leftover spring that fit and a piece of metal which I bent to fit over the brush housing. I oiled it and applied power. AHHHH!!!! It really is an unequalled feeling. Success.

Moral: Sometimes when you get frustrated, just set it up on a shelf for a while and come back later. Time just has a way.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

At Long Last...

I have been after this fan for sometime, but the prices on ebay have been through the roof. You maybe saying, "Larry don't you already have a few of those?" Hold on a sec.

The price on ebay have been a little erratic lately. Some fans will go crazy others slip in under the radar. Like this one. This was a case of a seller not know what he had, or maybe he did. Anyway... The photo on ebay showed the oscillator (fuzzy). It was like looking at photos of UFO's. I was like, "is it? yeah, squeak for joy, I think it is." Now your asking what. True I do have 3 Northwind 450's, but not one like this....

That is a Ball Detent oscillator. Emerson Northwind Type 450A. The first 450 model.

The ups and downs. I could see in the photo that the head wire was blown. It happens on these. The seller did describe the item as nonworking so I was taking a chance that nothing else was wrong. This seller was not real prompt in returning email. They did however ship it quickly, which poses a question. Riddle me this...does a plastic sack and shredded paper constitute proper packaging materials. The answer is no. The cage was pretty warped. Fortunately no irreparable damage.

I stayed up pretty late last night working on this fan. Straightening the cage and blades, greasing the gears in the oscillator, oiling the shaft and oscillator, Oooo here's a tip you may have known that my Maintenance friend James told me about... sanding the edges of your carbon brushes back down to flat then clean the commutator with the white stick he gave me. Then I replaced the head wire with my signature green and yellow cloth. Moment of truth... Remember this is a 1917 universal motor... Well, I will just say I was impressed and scared at the same time. Impressed with my skills and scared by the haunting perfection with which this fan performed. The RPM's oooo the sound of those blades whirling at that speed.



Monday, April 09, 2007

Westinghouse Flashbacks

As most of you recall, I had a bout of serious frustration with a Westinghouse fan a while back. Well, I still have that fan on my workbench, but I would have to give the victory on that one to the nut jobs that worked at Westinghouse during that era. That stator was not intended to come out easily.

I have a list of antique stores that I try to go to often. Two are just off the interstate on the route to our favorite shopping and dining town. Usually I run in there and do quick once over and then split. These establishments are just next door to one another and are competitors. One is a little older than the other, but neither are more than five years old.

Right after the first one opened I went in and found a Westinghouse like the cursed beast that plagued me for month, except this one ran great. There were several fan including the one pictured in the upper left hand corner, another Westinghouse. This fan had brass blades, as you probably can tell. I passed this fan by on many of my visits to this store due to the fact that I didn't know if the blades were correct.

One day on a visit to this store I noticed that this fan was gone and I lamented that it had gone the way of so many antiques... schuffled from booth to booth as the owner tried to hard to make a quick buck...

A few weeks later I noticed that a new store had opened next door and stopped by to survey their goods. I found many less desirable fans mixed in amongst the other rusty items. Then there it was and I must admit my relief to see that the little fan that was missing was found again. Still doubting its originality, I passed on the fan once more.

Keep in mind that this has all been more than two years ago.

About a month ago we set off on our little ritualistic journey and we stopped into look for new prospects. That day, as I was headed out the door, the fella behind the counter asked me if there was anything particular I was looking for and I almost said nah, but I said yeah I have a question. "Is that old Westinghouse fan back there in working condition?" He replied, "Why yes it is, but let's check." We went to get the fan and brought it to the counter. He hooked it up and flicked the switch...Nothing. He checked the surge protector and it was on. He said, "Well it used to..." Finally after looking real frustrated he said,"will you give ten for it?" I told him I lived just down the road and I'd think about it.

Last Saturday my family and I decided to "make a run". I told the wife about this guy's offer and that I thought I would stop by and see if he would still have it. As I walked through the store I became increasingly concerned as I couldn't find the fan anywhere and was about to walk out when I decided to just inquire. The same guy was in behind the counter with a bunch of folks who were joining him in some fast food. I looked at him and said,. "you don't remember me but I was in here the other day..." He said, "oh yeah the fan..." I asked him if he knew what happened to that fan and I braced to hear the expected, "I chucked it..." Much to my surprise he said, "it's under the counter right there." I asked it he would still take ten and we had a deal.

I threw the fan in the van and went on our trip. Later that night I visited the Fan Cave and broke out my surgical instruments. (I have learned that seldom are good fans unfixable or at least that was my hope for this little 10 dollar piece) After removing the base I quickly surmised that a wire to the switch had simply come unsoldered. A little fresh solder and the fan was working again. It runs really smooth and puts out good air.

This fan made the long journey and I almost missed it several times. For ten bucks I don't even care if the blades are original. It also offers me some appeasement toward Westinghouses. Later y'all.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Friends and Fans

Today was just like any other day in regards to normal activities. I took the kids to school then took myself to work. As usual, I thought about fans as I worked. I reviewed eBay during lunch... I longed to come home.

I had to come home early today to meet with our heat and air guy. He had installed a monitor in our home to measure particulates. Not good news there.

My daughter's ninth birthday is coming up so mom and her were delivering party invitations. Just so happens one of my friend's daughter is friends with my daughter so there were stopping by his house.

After the HVAC guy and I were well into our meeting the other half of my family returned home. My daughter came in and announced that Mr. Chris (my friend) had given me a fan. I whirled around in my seat to see what the fan in the above picture. I called to thank him for this generous gift. One reason I consider this fan so special in my collection is that this fan belonged to Chris' Grandfather (Paul Eakins). I know how much Chris' Grandfather meant to him...

Mr Eakins was known for his collection of band-organs in Sikeston. He had one of the largest collection if not the largest collection ever know to exist in one place. Later in life he sold most of his collection to Disney.

As you can tell it is a GE. More specifically it is an F126047, Form-AE2, Type-AOU Spec.-272148-1, Cat. 75423. It is a 3 speed 16inch. Great running fan.

I just wanted to share it.


Monday, March 26, 2007

This Lumber Jack Is Hungry For A Pancake

For the longest time I have been pinning away for a GE Pancake. I am not sure if I even care what kind. Trunion, stick mount, etc...

Then the other day it occurred to me to post a WTB add. Duh, I am a little slow.

Anyway this is it. If you have a Pancake you want to sell let me see them.

email me at: or (work).



Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Little Eskimo

Just the other day. I was surfing the Northwinds and I noticed this little jewel amongst the overpriced brass. Somehow it ended up on my watched list. The morning of the bid close I just happened to make my morning review. So I put a reminder in my Microsoft Outlook to aide my feeble mind.

Later that day we were called into a sales meeting. Just about twenty minutes before the auction was to end. Doh! We went through our normal stuff and then, the man got a call. Seeing that it would not end soon, I excused myself for a moment and ran down the hall to my office. Jumping on I saw I had six minutes. I thought to myself, self do you really want this fan? Okay lets do the minimum bid test. If it flies it flies. I threw my bid in and ran back to the meeting.

Time seemed to drag as we slowly concluded our proceedings. I couldn't help but wonder if the little eskimo would be changing climates. After returning to my office, I jumped on my email and saw the email that told me I had scored. I hurriedly filled out the paypal info and closed the Internet Explorer.

Fast Forward....Yesterday (Monday) the fan came in. True to Eskimo fashion, froze up! The cord was badly broken. Cage on upside down. I swear some folks cannot see or something. I got to the Fan Cave late that night after a quick trip to Lowe's to acquire some heat shrink and a new switch. I took a couple before shots. Then I cut the old wiring out and removed the old switch. I removed the cage and grabbed my ruler and adjusted the blades.

After the new wire switch and oil, the little eskimo came to life strong.

I am starting to pride myself in finding those little inexpensive but neat fans. It can be done. You don't have to be rich or stupid to be a fan collector.

Later Y'all,

Promised Photos...

Here are the pics I promised from my unexpectedly perky Saturday. First the 73648:

Next a Junior 2560-C:

Now I know I am the greatest photographer in the world and I don't have a great camera, but you get the idea. I have read the articles in the Fan Collector and am working on getting my "three dollar shade".

The 73648 needed the blades adjusted to resolve some wobble. It also needed the cage straightened a bit and the struts needed tightening.

The Junior needed blades adjusted some too. Also missing the oscillator screw. Then there was the matter of the missing power cord. Little oil and Abra Cadabra!!!

Lets face it, the hobby would be no fun if they were already perfect. Thanks Jer.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

A Day Unexpected

We'll let me tell you about today. Saturday morning... so naturally I am trying to sleep in. My wife had already informed me that she and her mother were going shopping, so I did not expect the day to be very eventful. Besides the fact that I had fan hunting fever so bad because I had just read the most recent issue of fan collector where Darryl and Dick were both showing off their latest jewels...

So I finally roll out of bed around 8:30, I wonder into the kitchen , warm a doughnut, and grab a Dr. Pepper from the fridge. Next, To the recliner! Remote in hand I surf the channel guide to find that King Kong was just coming on one of our movie channels. (1st unexpected perk)

Then during King Kong, my friend calls. He is telling me that his new boss has this computer that he wants to see if I can help with. (This is the same friend that you've read about that works in the antique store.) He goes on to tell me about how this guy brought in 3 fans for sale and he thinks one is a junior... This gets my attention and I'm thinking I may have to make a trip to check these babies out. He asks if I want him to bring the computer over and I say yeah since I have the kids and all.

He brings the "puter" over and I work on it for a few hours. When I see that the solution is close at hand, he mentions that he might take care of getting that junior for me since I had been so kind. (2nd unexpected perk)

Then he asks if I have any old monitors and I say yeah and show him this great old 17 inch CRT that was in my basement closet. He likes it so I mention something about a trade for another of the fans... He smirks and agrees. (3rd not-so-unexpected perk)

He is going to work tomorrow and will bring the fan or fans back to me. I am a big fan of anticipation and especially fan related anticipation... I will post photos when they arrived. Today turned out to be a great day after all.

Later Yall


Monday, February 26, 2007

A Long Time Coming

Gather round children for yet another fan story.

You may recall my post about my brother and how he seemed to show an early spark of interest in antique fans. He went on a fan buying spree and bought me an old Hunter and Emerson. Well back then is where this story begins.

On one of my brothers hunts he recalled "a fan called a Northwind". He passed this fan up for two reasons. One was the fact that the cage was "bent bad outta shape". Two, the fan was way too expensive. I am going somewhere with this story.

The antique store that this fan was waiting for me in was owned by a family friend that my brother and I had known all our lives. So even though my brother continued to assure me that he still wouldn't come down on the price, I held out hope.

Months went by, I made several trips to Arkansas and drove by the store many times. I never forgot this fan. I didn't know what model number it was, but that didn't really matter.

Finally weekend before last my family decided to make the trip once again. This time the same brother was getting married and I had the duty of best man. (beside the point) We decided to leave early Friday afternoon. The trip was about 1.5 hours, so we arrived in my hometown around 4:45. The store was still opened so I told the wife, "I'm gonna stop in here real quick." The eyes began to roll.

After searching around the store a little while I finally gave up and called my brother on the cell phone. He quickly led me over to the booth where heaven's light was shining down on a little mangled 444B. I couldn't believe my eyes. I had just been sure it would be a 44 or a 450 as there seems to be more of those. After looking at the price and the shape of it (wondering if I could reshape the cage or not) I decided to pass too. We walked around the store and were about to leave when I saw my old friend who owned the store. We exchanged small talk a moment and I told him about my brother's wedding etc... Toward the end of the conversation, I thought, "what the heck, I'll give it a shot." I said, "I have a question about an old fan you have." I asked him what his bottom dollar was. He looked at me and then the tag and said, "for you, I'll take half." My eyes lit up I just know it. I looked at the wife and she said, "okay..."

Needless to say, I was elated at the thought of rescuing yet another little fan. My only fear was did it run and could I reshape the cage and blades.

When we stay at my Grandmother's house there isn't much to do because she lives way out in the country. Saturday morning I woke up early, ate my breakfast, and started thinking about that fan. I decided to start working on it. I went to my late grandfather's toolbox and grabbed what I needed. I sat down by the old woodburning stove in her house and began to disassemble the fan. Once I had it apart, I started pushing and pulling gingerly. Before I knew it, the cage was perfect again. I picked up some pliers and started working on the blades. Then the moment of truth. I plugged it in and switched it on. I came right on, smooth as silk. A smile spread across my face and I felt that feeling. That feeling makes it all worth it.

My grandmother was looking over my shoulder then she turned to look at my wife and said, "same ole Larry."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Stop the Insanity

This fan is a Northwind 450B. It is a 32Volt DC motor. Sold on ebay for 90+. People... Do you have a fever? I like them too but come on...

Let me know what you think...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Behold the King!!!!

For the longest time I have felt this interest in Emerson's "less desirable" fans know as the Northwind Line. This line has all steel blades. Most of the motors are AC/DC universal. Near as I can tell Emerson began making these little monsters around 1916 (based on AFCA info) then I don't know how long.

The first Northwind I ever bought one of the first line know as the Type 44's. I understand from a source that the very first was a Type 44A, then B, then C, etc... Mine happens to be a "C". I bought it off ebay from a lady in Washington I think. Some northern state... Anyway, when I got the fan, one of the brush housings was broken and the spring was missing. The fan sat on my shelf for a long time as I waited to get to it in restoration. I had considered having a friend machine some new ones for me, and in fact we did one. Then the strangest thing happened, our maintenance guy showed up in my office one day with some brushes from some old motors. Guess what...perfect fit. yes they were not period correct technology, but they fan runs great now...

Then one day a friend of mine gave me two Emerson Northwind 450's. One was actually a 450J and it was in terrible condition. From these two fans I learned about rewiring and repairing switches made with nichrome resistance wire. Not nearly as complicated as it sounds... I have an AutoCAD blueprint if your interested... My wife also bought me a Northwind 450 for our 10th Anniversay. It was this 450 that really drew my interest to the Northwinds. Something about the speed and the sound of these fans really impressed me.

Sorry this is so long. I watch ebay just as many of you do, and I had seen a Northwind labeled 444A and 444B before. There is also one in the AFCA gallery. I thought to myself, "Self, you need one of those." Somehow I never got around to buying one. They one day when I felt like my fan buying had slumped, I saw something that made my eyes bug out. An Emerson Northwind Type 55. I couldn't believe it. I looked like one of the first Seabreezes, 8" and beige. This leads me to believe it would made around the same time... People work with me on this!!! I got this fan in oiled it up, and it ran great. Even has that faint smell of burnt carbon that I had come to appreciate in the Northwinds.

Lastly, Monday of last week my latest addition came in. A Northwind Type 444B. (see photo above) It was in pretty bad shape. The brush cap was missing and so was the spring. (Still haven't decided on the proper feedback for this fella). I had some parts laying around so I grabbed them and threw them together with a little love and oil and spare parts (new wire "Hancock Green", new plug) the fan ran for the first time in 20 years I bet. Judging from the rust. Welcome to the family little guy.

Yeah I know some of you are convinced I have lost my mind (Oh BTW, thanks for the little 12-step comment... you know who you are... ;)) Just in case you aren't convinced, I have decided to do a research project for the Northwinds. I don't know how in depth I can even go, but it will be fun just to see. If you have any information start sending it. See my post on the AFCA's site, they must think I'm crazy too, only one person has responded. Thanks for the encouraging words Darryl.

Later yall.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Balancing Blades

I had a question sent me the other day. "How do you balance blades?"

First let me say, there are better ways of doing this than my way, but I don't own a strobe light nor do I know how to use one. That being said, here goes....

I have a couple fans that when they came to my "Fan Family" (I like that better than collection) they would run okay, but they were so out of balance that they would walk across the floor on their own. After applying my method they work really well.

First thing you will need to do is remove the cage. Second, find some point on the motor that you can measure from. (I usually use the handle if there is one.) Then you rotate the blades, measure each one in relationship to the stationary point. This will give you some idea of which one is off. (usually there will be one critter that is straying distinctly bad) Once you have located the offender mark it with a sharpie or something with a little mark that is discrete. Then, and this is the difficult part, I use my hands, vise, or channel locks (depending on the blade/hub) cautiously to bend the blade slowly back into place ****VERY IMPORTANT**** Don't bend the blade itself. This is how blades are broken or creased, as you often see them. YOU MUST TRY TO BEND AT THE HUB.

This information is blade specific. If you have a cast iron hub, don't try this, it will break. If your fan's blades are brass, be very careful, brass is very easily bent.

This is the best I have for info on this topic. If you are still unsure of your abilities. I would suggest getting more information first or seeking a professional for assistance. There is nothing worse than destroying a fan with your own hands... GOOD LUCK!