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.


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