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
we currently have for sale please go to our sister site at
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 Powered Electric Fans
The first electric fans were battery
powered. The Edison style fans motor pictured
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
DC Electric Fans
The Edison Electric Fan, which derives
its name from Thomas Edison the famous inventor, was the first commercially
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. Any or all versions 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 bought my first one for $20.00 at a yard sale, 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
also interested in early electric fans that run on DC current.
is direct current, and many of the first fans commercially offered
for sale were designed 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 businessman / salesman and became far better
known. That story of how, and what
went on there can be found on other sites and in numerous books on
Electric Fans w/ Unusual Oscillators
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.
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
fans with rear oscillators that date from the late twenties,
and most other typical looking fans from later than the 20's.
Bi-Polar or Open Frame Electric Fans
Unusual oscillators would be those operated with vanes or Lollypops
/ designs using the fans own breeze to move them back and forth.
Or what are known as
sidewinders, fans 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 electric fans represent
the first uses of commercially produced electrical power
back near the turn of the 20th century in America and are an interesting and important piece in the
electricity. They can make a dramatic statement about the development of electricity
and this technology when displayed and understood. We are also interested in buying and selling
early open frame or bi-polar electric motors from this same era.
Those early motors that have exposed coils and armatures
as opposed to fully incased later motors are of special interest.
I use antique / vintage 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 no more than 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
and shy away from later stuff.
I am also interested in other early or
vintage open frame or bi-polar electric
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 as well or 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.
Alternative Powered Fans
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.
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.
Jost is another well known maker of this type of fan.
Antique Water Powered Fans
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 several European
The fan just to the left is a water powered
fan, and all versions or examples of water powered fans
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 water powered motors fans and other
devices are sought after and of interest.
Other antique electric fans that are
of interest date from roughly just before the turn of the century to
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, vintage and other factors.
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.
I am interested in buying many of these early electric brass bladed
cast iron fans, and particularly
with decorative fluted cast iron bases and fancy cages or odd or unusual oscillating
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.
Click this link
if you would like to see past sales results
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
To see examples of similar antiques that
we currently have for sale please go to our sister site at
visit the numerous sale pages you will find there.
Larry & Carole