Founder of Fanimation, Tom Frampton, enjoys digging in the archives of fan history. Antique fans have been an inspiration for many of his Fanimation designs.  Recently, Tom came across a gem from 1928.  The title in the advertisement read, “Mark Twain was wrong! He said everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.” The ad was for a ‘Polar Cub’ fan.

Polar Cub Fan

The ten inch oscillating ‘Polar Cub’ fan was made by The A.C. Gilbert Co., in New Haven, Connecticut.  This fan was sold for $9.95.  The smaller size went for $3.50. The advertisements read, “Let it fill your soul with heaven sent breezes.” Snap on the switch and sleep like a babe, for the price of a theatre ticket.” Below is a picture of the ‘Polar Cub’ fan from Fanimation’s museum. Click Polar Club for the whole advertisement.

1920s Fans

The “Roaring Twenties” brought about an age of mass culture to the United States.  Americans had extra money to spend, and they had plenty of options on things they could buy, excluding the whole alcohol thing, of course (thanks to the Volstead Act). From a Ford Model T to a new fashionable wardrobe, consumerism was alive and kicking. What you may not know is the 1920s marks a significant place in history for fans.  During the 1920s ceiling fans were utilized by almost every American consumer services oriented business, such as restaurants, in the country.  People wanted to feel comfortable and they had the extra money to make that happen.  International recognition of ceiling fans also spiked during that time.

Diehl Ceiling Fans  

Diehl Manufacturing Company ushered in the modern age with this ceiling fan. Philip Diehl first invented the ceiling fan in 1882, around the same time electricity was beginning to spread into homes and businesses throughout the country. Over the next decade, Diehl improved his original idea and made it more practical. Two improvements were that he made the motor smaller and added electric lights.

Emerson Trojan Ceiling Fan

In 1897, J. W. Emerson said, “We will endeavor to furnish the handsomest as well as the best fan motor on the market. If you need relief from the heated term, try our fan motors and be happy.” J.W. Emerson was a pioneer in the ceiling fan arena and his company grew leaps and bounds in the 20s. Below is a sharp looking fan from that era. The blades were painted with gold paint.

Fanimation Fan Museum

Fanimation designs are inspired by antique fans with modern safety and control features. We take inspiration from the fans of the 1920s for some of our designs. Feel free to stop by Fanimation to get a tour of our custom Fan Museum. We have fans dated from 1880’s before they were electric. Fanimation’s Fargo, is a throwback to the classic desktop bank fans of the 1920s. Users were able to create a big breeze without disturbing their paperwork on their desks. Some other fans from the Fanimation Antique Fan Museum: