If you have an interesting or unusual AC or DC electric
fan, battery powered fan, hot air fan, water powered fan, or other alternative power fans
that that you want to sell please contact us by email at
To see examples of antique fans and other
we currently have for sale please go to our sister site at
. To see examples of fans I have bought and sold in the past find
the appropriate link in the right hand column.
Battery Powered Electric Fans
The first electric fans produced and offered for
sale in the US were battery
powered. The Edison style fan motor pictured on
the left or
the Manhattan Battery Fan that is in the top left corner
of this page are prime examples of the types of
early collectible antique electric fans that I want to buy.
There are several other fan makers from right around the turn of the century
who made and marketed battery powered electric fans. All of them are of interest.
The Edison Electric Fan derives
its name from the famous inventor Thomas A. Edison. Edison's
battery powered fan 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 powered motors were sold as plain motors and came with
different bases. Most are 6 volt battery
powered, but he also produced a 3 speed 110 volt DC model. Another variation is referred to as the ironclad fan,
and it had a cast iron housing encasing the motor. Any or all
versions of Edison Electric Fans are sought.
Condition is critical to value as well. As is completeness
meaning the blade and cage which are oftentimes missing.
DC Electric Fans
also interested in early electric fans that run on DC current.
is direct current, and many of the first commercially sold electric
fans were designed to run on direct current. 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
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
I want to buy Fans that have unusual oscillating features or other unusual features that
make them stand apart from the norm.
Unusual oscillators would be fans operated with vanes or Lollypop designs using the fans own breeze to move them back and forth.
Or fans that are known as
sidewinders, fans with a very complex mechanical oscillator
attached to the side of the fan as opposed to the rear on most
In general the electric fans that I am interested in buying are going to have brass blades at a minimum, and almost
all are going to have cast iron bases as opposed to fans that
have stamped steel bodies. Cast iron bases with "Beads" or multiple
steps are better than smooth ones, and so forth.
Electric fans with three finger cast iron tripod bases are of
Many of these earliest electric fans represent
the first uses of commercially produced electrical power in America and are an interesting and important piece in the
electricity. They make a dramatic statement about the development of electricity
and this technology when displayed and understood. We are also interested in buying
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.
Bi-Polar or Open Frame Electric Fans
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.
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. This style of open frame electric motor can range in size from as small as
a couple inches like the toy or demonstration motors I also
buy 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
Alternative Fuel Powered Fans
Some vintage fans are powered by sources
such as hot air or water. The Lake Breeze hot air fan / floor model to the right
is driven by heat supplied by a kerosene or alcohol lamp. It operates on the Sterling engine design. Lake Breeze
Fans came in both a floor model and a
couple of different desk top versions.
These hot air fans were not necessarily earlier
than the first electrics, but rather were aimed at consumers in those areas where electricity
was not 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 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. 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
Antique Water Powered Fans
The fan just to the left is a water powered
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 partner fans 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. All water powered motors fans and other
devices are sought after and of interest.
Other Antique Fans
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.
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 earlier models like those I have
pictured 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
AntiqBuyer@gmail.com with details.
To see examples of similar antiques that
we currently have for sale please go to our sister site at
Early Electric Motors / Generators / Dynamos & More
Other scientific related antiques that we
are interested in buying and can help you with
would include very early electrical devices such as pre 1900 electric
motors and dynamos. These are oftentimes referred to as Open Frame
or Bi-Polar motors. (see pic at left).While Edison fans are probably
the best known early electrical device that is typically seen he was also
instrumental in developing stand alone motors and dynamos. These
ranged in size from as small as battery powered toy motors to dynamos
large enough to power entire towns. See the
electric motor / dynamo archives to see an example of an
Edison Long Leg Dynamo that dates from 1884. Water powered motors
from this era are of interest as well. Toy size electric motors and
dynamos have an info page found at this link.
Early electric and
water powered fans of all types have their own page on this site.
Past sale results for antique electric and water
powered fans can be found
at this link. We are also
interested in any pre 1900 electrical devices such as demonstrator
or open frame bi-polar motors antique dynamos, and generators, early telegraph keys and
pieces, early light bulbs, turn of the century or earlier electric
appliances, and so forth. This would also include pre 1900 meters and
before the turn of the last century. Any antique electrical devices by Edison,
Western Electric, or that have
the name Tesla associated with them would be of special interest as well.
We are full time experienced antique dealers who specialize in patented / mechanical
& scientific related antiques as well as
tools and technology. I
can help you sell early examples of electrical technology ranging
from early or vintage electric motors, antique electric fans, telegraphy
and telegraph keys,
medical quackery devices, all the way to
vintage electric light bulbs, early electric meters and more.
On this page I will show you some pictures
and provide you some general info to give you an idea of what we
are interested in and can help you with. Basically, both full size
toy size or miniature electric motors that date from near the turn of the
last century or before are of special interest and most desirable. Full
size bi polar or open frame electric motors, and antique fans are covered on their own pages on this site.
Past sales results for all can be found through the links to the right
Most small vintage electric motors resemble early large electric motors
from the same time period. They are referred to as open framed and or
bi-polar in design. The first few miniature electric motors
about 3 or 4" tall. Some like the Porter Electric Motor on the left just above or the
Manhattan electric motor came in graduated sizes up to 10 or 12" tall.
can be found with fan blades or not.
Different versions sell for different amounts, but in general the values
range from about $20 to $300 or sometimes more for these small toy motors.
On the right is a common form battery powered
electric motor from near the turn of the century.
It has a label that says Ajax and can be found marked Hustler and a few
other names. This one is a bit
different because of the fan blade, but it is a common small electric motor none the less.
Full size early electric motors and open
framed or battery operated electric fans look similar but are much
Small electric motors that came with erector sets are pretty common as well. Toy
Electric motors that came with toy steam engines like Weeden and Bing
as shown here are similar in design, function, and a step better. They
too came in graduated sizes and generally sell in the $100 - $300 range
Just to the left is an example of an
type toy electric motor. It has a cast iron base and a flywheel. It
was most likely sold as part of a steam toy or as an electrical demonstrator. This
type or style motor can be found in a variety of different sizes as well.
The next picture is of an
electric motor called the Manhattan, and this motor came in various sizes
and configurations as well. The one pictured is one the smaller
available and was most likely sold as a simple demonstrator or toy, but
larger sizes like the #3 size were sold as working
battery powered fans in early novelty catalogs.
Early Toy Steam Engines
next picture is of a common form of toy steam engine that was
made by a
number of different makers over the years. This particular one is
called "The Pioneer" and was made or marketed by a fellow named Edgar Side of Philadelphia, PA.
near the turn of the century. It is unusual in that it is in
its box, and for the fact that it cost a whopping $15.00 back near the turn
of the last century. It is a hard to find variation. Most toys
from this era cost but a dollar or two including most child size sewing machines
made for the girls of the day .
must have been bought out by Weeden or some other maker as his toy steam
engines are quite rare and hard to find but are almost exactly the same design as
those offered by these larger better known makers in later years.
These can sell over a wide range from $100 or so to well over $2000 for
rarer and more unusual variations.
Other makers of similar toys were
Weeden, Bing, Jensen, and Plank to name a few. Some of the nicest
and most detailed examples of toy steam engines were German and made in
the 1880's and up to the first World War. Some of these toys in the
form of boats trains and both vertical and horizontal steam engines can
command prices into the 5 or even 6 figures.
have also pictured a contemporary model of a slightly larger steam engine that is
quite well done.
types of models are also available as kits and are really nice pieces of
craftsmanship when finished properly. They are often sold at Christies
auction venues and identified as works of art. There are many
similar but earlier examples that were shop
built by skilled machinists, and many of
these models are desirable and of interest as well.
Another type of motor or generator found were used as
demonstrators in classroom settings. Later examples are oftentimes
found marked Central Scientific. They offered things like seen here
as well as cutaway models of motors and engines.
next couple of picture are of other small bi-polar and open frame electric motors of the
vintage and form that I am actively seeking. Please contact
AntiqBuyer@gmail.com if you know of or have similar pieces
that are for sale.
The electric and steam powered devices
pictured are examples of the
caliber, condition and quality of this type of antique that we can help
you with. Past sales results can be found by clicking the
appropriate link in the right column
To see examples of antique motors, fans, and
electrical related antiques
that I 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.
Larry & Carole