Thomas Edison Electric Battery Fan
         Larry & Carole
Meeker

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Internet
Antique Dealers & Brokers

Purveyors and Dealers of Americana  /  Patented & Mechanical Antiques







Antique & Vintage
 Electric Fans / Water Powered Fans
& Other Alternative Fuel Powered Fans

If you have an interesting or unusual early electric fan , hot air fan, water powered fan, or other alternative power fans that that you want to sell please contact us by email at LCM@AntiqBuyer.com as we are always interested in new and different fans.

To see examples of antique fans and other antiques that we currently have for sale please go to our sister site at www.Patented-Antiques.com and visit the numerous sale pages you will find there. To see examples of fans I have bought and sold in the past find the appropriate link in the right hand column.  To learn about the types fans we are interested in and can help you with see below.

Battery Fans

The first electric fans were battery powered.  The Edison style fans motor pictured edison fan motoron the right or the Manhattan Battery Fan that is in the top left corner of this page are prime examples of the types of collectible antique electric fans that I want to buy or help you sell.  There are several other fan makers from right around the turn of the century who made and marketed this type of early battery powered electric fans.  All of them are of interest

The Edison Electric Fan, which derives its name from the famous inventor Thomas Edison was the first commercially produced electric fan. They were introduced in the 1890's, and there were about 10,000 of them made.   It was offered with or without a cage or blades, and also came in a very desirable version with wall-mount base.  These early battery motors were sold as plain motors as well as fans, and came with different bases when offered this way.  All are considered desirable and are of interest.

Early battery fans can sell for over a wide range depending on the maker, model, condition and other factors.  In general Edison fans and motors sell in the $1,000 to $3,000 range depending on the condition, which version, and other factors.  I got my first one for $20.00, and have seen them sell for as high as $4500.00 in some situations.  Condition is critical to value.  As is completeness.

Some other very rare battery fans can command higher prices, but in general most battery fans like the Manhattans and other similar smaller battery fans sell for much less than Edison fans typically do.


DC Electric Fans 

I am also interested in early electric fans that run on DC current.  Battery Antique Electric Fan power is direct current, and many of the first fans commercially offered for sale were designed first to run on direct current, and later to run on alternating current  as well.  My understanding is that Nicola Tesla was the force behind alternating current, and that Edison pushed the idea of direct current.  Tesla's ideas behind how electricity was to be delivered were adapted, and become the standard, but Thomas Edison was more personable and a better business man and became far better known . The story of how, and what went on there can be found on other sites.

Most vintage electric fans that are of interest are going to date from near the turn of the century to no later than the 20's in most cases.   Most of these early fans will have plaques or tags on the head or elsewhere with the patent and other information about the maker, current, AC or DC, type, etc.


Electric Fans w/ Unusual Oscillators

Later fans that are of interest are going to have unusual oscillating features or other unusual features that make them stand apart from the norm.  Some of these fans can go up to 4 figures or more, but most common or typical fans even by good makers made after the 20's struggle to sell for more than 100 or so.  An example of these would be green Electric Tank Motor FanGeneral Electric fans with rear oscillators that date from the late twenties, and most other typical looking fans from later than the 20's. Unusual oscillators would be those operated with vans / using the fans own breeze to move them back and forth, or what are known as sidewinders, a fan with a very complex mechanical oscillator attached to the side of the fan as opposed to the rear as is typical on later fans.

In general the fans that I am going to be able to help you with are going to have brass blades at a minimum, and almost all are going to have cast iron bases as opposed to later fans that have stamped steel bodies.  Cast iron bases with "Beads" or multiple steps are better than smooth ones, and so forth.  Cast iron tripod like bases with three fingers are better than round bases and so forth.

Many of these earliest fans represent the first uses of commercially produced electrical power in America back near the turn of the 20th century and are an interesting and important piece in the development of electricity and make a dramatic statement about the development of electricity and this technology.  We are also interested in buying and selling early open frame or bi-polar motors from this same era that have exposed coils and armatures as opposed to fully incased later motors.

I use antique electric fans around the house, with some running all day long, while I just threw out the new plastic one I bought 2 years ago that had only about 50 hours on it.  That is the kind of statement that much of the old technology we collect and buy makes, and is one of the prime reasons we are drawn to it.

Bi-Polar or Open Frame Electric Fans

I am also interested in other early or vintage open frame or bi-polar electric Bi-Polar Fan Motormotors or fans similar to the early Westinghouse fan pictured on the left.  It is actually harder to find than the Edison motor above, but does not sell for as much in most cases.  As can be seen the condition of this example is marginal which would hold it value down considerably.  It too is often found without a cage or blade which also affects the value greatly.

Many of these early fans were sold in different configurations and could be had with or without a cage and were also available as just motors for other uses around the home or farm. This style of open frame electric motor can range in size from as small as a couple inches like the toy or demonstration motors that I also deal in (you will find a page about them elsewhere on this site) to those used to power factories and small businesses and weighing many thousands of pounds.  Edison dynamoes like the long waisted "Mary Ann" pictured and described in the archives on this site are a prime example  My focus and interest in buying is mainly on the smaller more manageable varieties.

Alternative Powered Fans

Some vintage fans are powered by alternative sources of power such as hot air or water.   The Lake Breeze hot air fan / floor model to the right that is driven by heat supplied by a kerosene or alcohol lamp, and operates on the Sterling engine design are a prime example, and are sought as well.  The Lake Breeze came in both a floor model and a couple of different desk top versions. Lake Breeze Hot air Fan

These fans were not necessarily earlier than the first  electrics, but rather were aimed at consumers in those areas where electricity was not yet available or where the cost to electrify was prohibitive or not feasible.  Hot air fuel driven fans are a contradiction of sorts, and smelly to operate to boot.  The concept of using heat to blow warm heated and smelly air to cool you must have meet with some scowls and disbelief even back then, no matter how hot and humid it was and how much one longed for a cooling breeze.  This is what makes this style of fans so desirable as a collectible today.  In general these style fans sell for 800.00 to 2,000.00 depending on the condition, maker, model, and other factors.  The Lake Breeze fan came is several different sizes or models over the years, and there are several other makers that can be found including those by Jost and European models.

Antique Water Powered Fans

The fan just to the left is a water powered fan, and all versions or examples of water powered fans Antique Water Powered Fanand water powered motors are eagerly sought.  The fan pictured here is a double-headed fan with a blade and cage on both sides to blow cool air in opposite directions.  This style fan is typically referred to as a partner fan and they also came as electrics.

This fan was made near the turn of the century and was marketed to those people who had a seemingly endless supply of water.  What a strange concept given the situation in today's world.  I sold the fan to the left back in the hey-day of fan buying for something near 4,000.00.  I have sold others for nearly as much, while some of the more common varieties might sell for 1000.00 or so.  All are of interest.

Other Fans

Other antique electric fans that are of interest date from roughly just before the turn of the century to about 1920. Antique Electric Fan Some of the examples shown below are fans that we still use on hot days.  The big GE below on the right moves as much air as a whole house fan and its breeze can be felt over 20' away.  Another of the fans shown below is nicknamed "the tank" because of the large, heavy circular shape of the motor housing as opposed to earlier and thinner "Pancake" motor fans.  Skinnier and slimmer models with a larger diameter motors are often referred to as having "pancake" motors, and these are always of interest. Prices can fluctuate over a large range depending on condition, model and other factors.

I am interested in buying many of these early electric brass bladed cast iron fans, and particularlyGE Antique Electric Fan those with decorative fluted bases and fancy cages or odd or unusual oscillating mechanisms.

After the 1920's most fans moved away from cast iron as the material of choice and into lighter more streamlined materials like sheet metal, plastics, and the like.  Although there are some interesting designs from this period and many are actively collected, I am mostly interested acquiring and helping you sell the earlier models like those I have pictured here on this page.

The fans you see here are examples of the caliber, condition and quality of antique fans that we primarily deal in and can help you sell. 

Click this link if you would like to see past sales results for Antique Fans we have sold.  Past Sales Results for other types of Antiques including early electric motors are linked on the right.

If you have similar antiques you would like to sell, please contact us at LCM@AntiqBuyer.com with details.

To see examples of similar antiques that we currently have for sale please go to our sister site at www.Patented-Antiques.com and visit the numerous sale pages you will find there. 

Thank you!!
Larry & Carole






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Larry & Carole Meeker