Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

Just the other day on a "nothing better to do" day. I was combing through some antique stores looking for goodies. I found myself day dreaming about a fan I had seen in another store many miles away that I had avoided because the cost was too high... I thought, "Boy, I sure would like to get a nice brown 16 inch Emerson." Well this is the part where you're gonna say, "you are making this up..." I swear it is true. I had been through nearly the entire store and was coming back downstairs and around a corner when I saw it. If it had been a snake.... or something link that. I knelt beside it thinking, "I couldn't be so lucky." I worried the price would be too high or some part might be missing.

I looked at the tag and it was a little different than any I'd seen before 77648-SG. Color scheme is the same as the AS model. Price was almost half the fan in my dream. So I picked up the beast and bounded to the cash register to request my normal 10% off.

I asked if I could test it which they always let me do. The fan came to life like a proud Emerson should.

I paid for the fan and went about our normal shopping before making the trip home. Once back at the ponderosa, I unloaded the cargo including several pounds of ancient wind mover which quickly went into the workshop for servicing. The fan needed new felt, which it got. It got a new cord and plug, fresh oil, blade balancing, and a wipe down followed by a wax job. The original paint is nearly mint. Such a joy to watch these fans operate on low speed. What a find.


Monday, October 27, 2008


Lately, I have just not had much time for fanning of any sort... Ironically yesterday morning at church two different individuals brought the subject up separately. One was telling me a story about his visit to the big apple and a guy he saw with a fan sticking out of his backpack on the subway... I guess that is better than the alternative considering our ever-present terroristic concerns these days. "SAY YES TO FANS AND NO TO BOMBS"

The other fellow was my coworker in the audio/visual room that morning and we were just catching up on both our interests. I had ask him about an airshow that he had recently attended which I guess prompted him to ask me if I'd made any purchases lately. I thought real hard and couldn't immediately come up with anything. These to fellows managed to get me thinking fans. Coincidentally we were going to one of my favorite antiquing towns just that afternoon. I hatched my plan... he he...

As always I have a mental awareness of fans in my proximity and this 12 vorty (i.e. General Electric Vortalex) was where my focus fell. This fan was probably the newest addition to the circuit and it was priced way too high. My goal you see was contingent, if I could somehow get the right deal I have the fan and if not I could easily walk away fanless and unscathed by the wifey-poo.

As I had mentioned I knew this fan existed and had stopped to check it out on several occasions. One thing that I had noticed was that it seemed to be relatively frozen. The blades turned about 1/2 rotation back and forth but they would freeze again, so I decided this was my reason for the "low-ball" offer.

I had to find the attendant to instigate the conversation that I rightly assumed would lead to a phone call (thank the Lord for cell phones). She called the booth owner and I recognized his name when she called it as a guy I had bought several fans from. I could tell that he must have been busy on the phone because her conversation was hurried sounding. She asked me question obviously prompted by him like: Does it have brass blades... Typical antique dealer mentality, not realizing there is much more to it than that. I happily answered "NO". She walked away from the counter toward the booth and the fan. I didn't follow but could still here her discussion with him. Then the slight murmur ended with an, "okay thanks". She emerged from a mountain of furniture with the fan in hand. Bullseye!!! You know sometimes you just know when it's your lucky day...

So I get the fan and take my verbal abuse happily from my wife who likes to equate my hobby to a lack of respect for her. I threw it in the back of our vehicle and we decide to walk around since it was a nice day.

Later that evening after getting some chores done, I decided to try to get that play out of the new vorty. I grabbed my Royal Purple, (Good Stuff) and went to work on it. I squirted everything I could find that moved on it. I rotated the cage because someone had turned it so that the label and everything was crooked. Then, even though the cord was pretty cracked, I decided to hook it up. I figured if I could get it to turn on its own it would work out the freeze a little faster than I could by hand.

After a slow start the hum turned into movement... Then faster, faster, Faster, FASTER!!!!!! WooHoo! I was alive and lubed. Everything worked great, oscillator, switch. It even has the original felt in-tact on the bottom... Talk about a good fan day.

Larry "Up at 3:30 with reflux from that tuna sub blogging" Hancock

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Long Live King Northwind

I love my family so much. One day I am surfing the web and I find this Northwind 44A available for a buy it now. I email the link to my wife. I wasn't thinking anything about it after that because I really just did it to irritate her... Plus we were getting ready to go on vacation so we had much more on our minds.

We get to the beach and go through the routines of swimming, beach walking, sand castles etc... and we are sitting together in the condo one night and my wife calls me over to the laptop along with my children. Then she turns the computer around to reveal a successful auction page and she says, "Happy Father's Day" in unison with the kids.

There are no fans like the fans that come from your biggest fans, family and friends...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kidney Surgery...

One night at church a friend, who knows my fan addiction, says, "Hey Larry, I have a fan for you." I said, "Oh yeah?, Keep talking." He goes on to explain that it belonged to his wife's grandmother. He said, "It is a GE!" I am thinking in the back of my mind. It is probably a teal blue GE quiet blade with the cursed rubber grommet. None the less it will be a fan. So I inform Jeff that I will be at his house after church.

As usual when I go anywhere, my son Griffin wants to go, but I am glad to have him so we take off over to Jeff's house across town. Upon arriving and ascending the stairs to his porch I notice a cardboard box on the railing of his porch. So my curiosity gets the best of me before I even knock on the door. Folks, in this box is a totally disassembled GE Kidney oscillator (minus the Kidney my luck.) All the parts were there in Ziploc bags. It was a morbid scene for a fan collector.

I knock on the door. Jeff comes out to visit and talk about the fan. Then his wife comes out and begins to tell me about the nights she spent at her Grandmother's house with this fan lulling them to sleep. When I inquired as to why it was such a basket case now, they didn't know. Just that it was found in the barn when they were cleaning after she had passed away. I told them that eventually I would have this fan running again.

After getting the fan home and surveying the damage closely I could determine that I needed a new top strut, stator, worm gear for the oscillator, and of course the kidney and its gears. I put the call out on the AFCA forum. Kim Frank sent me the top strut, stator, and another rotor with the back side cut off for use as a stationary fan till a donor can be located. Thanks Mr. Frank. Then Darryl Hudson came through with a worm gear for the original rotor. Thank you Mr. Hudson.

After spending some more time with the fan getting the three wire head wire attached to the proper places, the fan came to life. I reattached the cage and installed the switch and since we don't have a kidney still. I have a decent little GE on dialysis. If you know of a donor fan. Lemme know. It would be a beautiful end to a story.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My First Fan

I am Caroline Hancock. I am Larry's daughter. I hope to be a fan collector. This is my first and only fan. I got it when we went to Cape Girardeau. In this antique store. We walked in and a little Montgomery Ward fan was in the window. My dad asked how much for the fan. I got it. I came home from Cape. We worked on it. IT is the best and will bring the best memories and stories.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Elusive Western Electric

This fan is a Western Electric 7404. It is stationary. It has brass blades. Someone painted the motor and base red. It looks really good for its age. The fan was manufactured by Robbins & Meyer for Western Electric around 1922. I have three R&M 3804's that are exactely the same but are oscillators. This photo is how it looked as I found it. Now for a little history.

In my hunt for fans I ran across this fan about 3 years ago in an antique store/mall located in a smaller town. The fan was marked extremely high no doubt due to the brass blades and an uneducated antique dealer. I saw it a couple more times over the years but always passed on it due to its high price. Then one day while passing through noticed the fan was gone.

Fast forward at least 1.5 to 2 years.>>>>

Then last Sunday I was antiquing in a town that I hadn't been to in a while and in the last store I turned the corner and almost walked right by when I noticed this familiar fan sitting there on the floor of this booth. I rushed it to check the price (happy to see the fan again) and notice that the price was nearly half the previous. So I went to the desk to inquire about the fan and the lady said well I can give you 10% off... Well I know that... I asked her to call for the B.D. (bottom dollar) she tried but didn't get anywhere. I left my cellphone number and asked her to call but she never did.

I recently realized that I am a hunter of a different kind of animal with the same feeling of conquest as compulsion. Besides the fact that I love just working on them... Oiling, cleaning replacing the cords, refreshing the oil cups, balancing the blades. Okay I am off subject... Sorry

Last weekend, we went to the same town that the fan was in for a little family time. Eating shopping etc... We didn't get to the antiques but that was where my mind was. Then the next day my wife and daughter went off to church camp so me and my son were home alone after Church. We messed around at the house for a while and played hide and seek. My neck was hurting terribly because I slept wrong or something, but all the while I was thinking you know I really need to hunt. So my thoughts fell to this Western Electric because though it was made by R&M I don't actually own a Western Electric and I wanted it. I decided that I would take my son with me and we'd go try to negotiate for that fan.

We drove the several miles to the town and directly to the antique shop where the fan was. I didn't have much time and I was feeling lucky. We went in and walked directly to the back then located a different lady and asked her for the discount. She grabbed the phone right away and a few moments later she said their BD was X, I said "NO, call them back and tell them Y. She hesitated as if to suggest that they'd be put off by this request, but relented and called again. Much to my joy she came back with an approval and a comment that I was lucky because earlier that day they'd made a really good sell so they were willing to loose some money. Yeah right.

Anyway, my son and I celebrated with a drink from McAllister's. We stopped at the river park to look at the rising river and walk and talk a while before returning home.

Tonight I decided to work on the fan. In it's found condition, it looked as if it had been dropped. The cage was pretty bad shape for steel. One of the struts was bent very badly, but that happens with R&M struts. They have a pretty weak point that can bend easily. So I get my cage straightening piece of wood and clamp it in my vice and go to work. Done. Then I re felt the base plate. Done. Re wick and oil the cups. Straighten the blades. Put a lighter cord on it. Rotate the motor 180 degrees. Then we are in business. The paint is not original I am sure and it is old. It is flaking pretty bad, but I like it's look as is plus it just runs cherry. Here is a cell phone picture of it after I cleaned it up.

I am really pleased to add this to the collection. It is a great example of the great fun in antiquing. Have a great day!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Century Fun Part 1

Geez where to start.... Well, first I am sorry for not blogging more but I have been stupid busy. Excuses excuses. No one reads this anyway.

Dear Diary.... Right? Okay, so I went to Pig Pickin though I didn't stay for the pig part... On the way down I decided to enjoy the drive and hit the antique stores. I have already decided that all the good fans are gone, but I will keep on looking for some reason. I stopped in at one store and there is some nice stuff, but over priced. A 16 inch Century for 95. A Red badged Junior oscillator for 125. Come on guy they won't sell for that. This was an upscale antique store thought, the kind the folks think their stuff is gold at.

Next joint I passed but turned around to go to... Before I could even get through the door I saw it. A stinkin Century Skeletal. 12 inch S3 model. I almost missed it because it was under a tarp hanging off a folding table on the porch of this place. Now I know a lot of you guys don't think much of these but to us blue collar collectors. This is a find even if the switch is gone. I dreamt about fans like this... Little did I know what else was lacking on this fan.

Later on at another store I found a great little Vornado. I never figured I would want one, but when I saw it, I couldn't resist. It was a good deal and it runs great, but this post is about Century's.

Went on to PP. Took the thing to the shop and had a couple guys look it over. I learned that they won't start without a switch and speed coil, so the Doc hooked me up with a fairly reasonably priced stump for parts. Then we determined that the blade was incorrect. Not brass, but rather steel... Que the Doc one more time, If I wasn't paying him for the parts, I'd feel like a mooch, but for some more cash he remedied my blade issue. Now I have a fan...

This fan quickly became known as the cursed fan. But I will tell you more about that later. I want to thank everyone for their contribution to this fan's reincarnate state. Thanks Jay Bernard, Bill Fanum, Tim Trahan, Paul Graves, Larry Mong, John McComas, Geoff Dunaway, and other fellas whose names I don't quite know yet. I know many of you probably wish I hadn't showed up with this fan. You'll see me holding it in the next issue of The Fan Collector, if Tom Newcity gets my picture in there. I am going to conclude cause I am tired. But more will come later.

Century Fan Fan Larry

Monday, March 31, 2008


I recently reached a milestone. I don't know if it is a milestone personally or if other collectors feel the same. There was a time though when I just couldn't bear the idea of selling a fan. Recently though as if by some divine at peace with the universe feeling I was able to let a few go. I shipped the first one today. I felt kind of good. I felt like I was sharing my blessings. Anyway it was notable enough to me to blog.

Most of my entries are about acquisition. So it was good to tell about letting go. How many more will go? Not sure yet, but one thing is for sure, more will follow. Hang on my children, there are many good deals to be had yet. I want the young collector to have some actual antiques.

Till next time, this is crazy fan guy saying, "fans are pretty...I like fans..."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Going Postal

I've been assisting in a class that helps encourage and develop leadership qualities in men. As an assistant one of my responsibilities is to give a sample speech now and again. A couple of weeks ago I had to give one where I talked about something that interested me. Well, you can guess what my topic was... Teehee...

I prepared my spill about how my instinctive interest in fans just appeared and grew throughout my life... Part of the speech required a display or an exhibit which I was more than glad to do.

I spent the better part of Wednesday evening polishing some brass and practicing my speech. Then I hauled my fans to the class and set the fans up for display. For affect I decided to cover the fans and unveil them at just the right moment for drama.

When it came time to give the speech I tore off the covering so all the students could feast their eyes upon the glimmering brass. "OOOOOoooo AAAahhhhh!!!" After I finished speaking, I received the typical questions of value and age... Then I took my seat.

The class continued on for a little while longer as we discussed our plans for the following week. We then concluded. As is the usual situation, some gents hang around and chat. This night I was approached by several individuals who asked me many more questions. One fella brought to my attention that he worked for a post office in a nearby town. He proceeded to tell me that this building was very old and was due for renovation. In some of the "junk" he said there were two fans that he was looking to get rid of. (The two above) He told me that he was glad that he had found them a home. I told him, that was what I did. I ran a retirement home for fans.

The next Sunday morning before church services began, he came to me and told me to come with him. We walked to his car and he opened his trunk to reveal the twins you see above. These two fans are obviously both Emerson 16 inch fans. They are 79648 AK's. The interesting part is the cages and the fact that they are non bullet backs. The oil spout has a spring loaded door like a 73648. The other interesting thing is that the badges have the newer artwork. The blades are the newer Parker Blades just like my 79648 AP-G (Government issue) except these are the standard Emerson Screw-on types. The fans themselves look identical to the 73648's I have, except the differences I mentioned above. The only thing that I can conclude is that Emerson was trying to use up old parts while in a transition phase. If anyone has any explanation other than this, let me know.
Thanks to Ron Hicks for the fans. Your compassion for fans is appreciated.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fan Deformities

I have a short list of antique stores that I frequent in different towns. I know nearly every fan in each one that I have not yet purchased. After all, I have to have something to look at when I go through. It is kinda like seeing dogs in the pound. Some are just too poor to consider. Okay poor analogy... Sad part is they all have a story behind them and there they set waiting for someone to take them home.

You might recall a few blog posts back I had a very disturbing disagreement with a Westinghouse fan trying to remove the stator to replace the head wire. End result, I destroyed that fan, but I kept the carcass for parts, thinking, "you never know..."

A few weeks back I went to one of my favorite antiquing towns and one of my favorite shops. I have bought lots of fans in this shop... You might recall the Peerless and Emerson mega find. That same booth held a similar Westinghouse with micarta blades (early brittle plastic) except one of these blades was broken. I immediately thought of my spare blade laying motorless at home. The price read 25 so I asked the proprietor for a discount which much to my disappointment was rejected. With my feelings hurt and no fan added to my collection, I left the store and town dragging my pathetic lip.

This past weekend my wife said that it was mandatory that we go back to this town to shop for our daughter a new dress... Since I really offer no profitable services in the dress shopping department, I mentally arranged my alternate plans.

We took another couple along so I had one of my good friends in tow on this fan expedition. We dropped our wives and children at the mall and downtown we went. It was a cold day and the wind chill off the river just made the store hopping nearly unbearable. Store by store I found what I expected, really nothing to speak of. Last but not least, the home of the Three Winged Westy...
I combed the store for any new finds and quickly determined that there were none to be found. Having visited the Broke Blade Oscillator just briefly to make sure it was still there, I returned to take it to my buddy the shop owner for a motor test. After another failed attempt at a discount, he showed me that I did in fact run so I ended up with it for 26 and some change.

I brought the filthy child home and took it to "the cave". I figured I'd leave it overnight to give me something to look forward to. Today I cleaned it up real good and transplanted the new blade like a surgeon does a donated organ. Finally that idle blades of the cursed westy have wind in them again. Now the other little fans can't make fun of the fan anymore.

It was a good weekend.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Good Timing Part 2

A few days after the ebay adventure, I was driving through the most pleasant part of Kentucky, returning from a bid opening when my cell phone rang. It was my brother in antique arms, Jerr. He had had some correspondence with the seller. The seller wanted do discuss an issue with the fan and left his cell number. I wrote down the number and thanked Jerr again for his trouble. I really do love this guy.

I had this feeling of nervousness come over me. Was this guy going to tell me something that he "forgot to mention" in the auction... I was just sick, so I hastily dialed the guys number. He answered real quick and explained that he had sold this fan once before and the buyer didn't realize that it was this small so he refunded their money. He went on to say that there was a screw missing from the plug where the wire was to attach. I thought, "no problem!" and said, "oh really..." He went on to say, "I wanted to offer you a $5 refund for it." I said, "That would be fine." I also asked him where the fan came from. He told me it was his grandmother's and she had lived in upstate NY. I forget the town. I was a weird Indian type name. I know that really narrows it down.

After many days of waiting for Jerry to get the fan it finally came. He called me last Friday and said, "Laaarrrryyyy, it's heeeerrrreee..." I told him I'd be there after work. I ran by, opened it and checked it out and hurried home.

A couple night later I set about testing it out in my shop. I replaced the plug with one with two screws. I plugged it up and it ran fine. Then I stopped and grabbed my oil. After a good oiling, I tried it again and nothing... Oh that stinkin, sinkin feeling. My mind raced with possible problems ranging from drastic to simple. I naturally assumed the worst. I took the motor apart and checked all the internal wiring before reassembling and checking the wire inside the base. There I found that the insulation was dry and cracked very near the motor. I grabbed my wire strippers, some heat shrink, and the heat gun. I cut out the broken part and spliced it back together better than before. I crossed my fingers and plugged it up. Yippee!!! It was alive again. It is a real runner!