Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crocker Wheeler c.1892

For so many years of fan collecting I wondered it I would ever own a truly OLD fan.  At the Antique Fan Collectors Association's annual FANFAIR in 2009 there were several members with impressive displays of early fans.  One fan that intrigued me was this 1/12 HP (horsepower) Crocker-Wheeler made in New York c.1892.  I commented to the owner "if you ever decide to sell that fan I would love to buy it".  He surprised me with a reply: "give me a few weeks to think about it; I have a duplicate and may be selling this one".  Wow!  Great news and he did end up selling me the fan.  Now I had my first very early fan made with no protective cage around the blade or "fan" as the early blades were referred to.  The motor was called a "fan motor", the blade was the "fan" and the whole contraption was called a "fan outfit".
This is how my Crocker-Wheeler looked when I bought it.  More photos will be added as the fan comes together into a working fan.
(Please click on any of the smaller photographs in this blog to see a larger version)

Photo above, left (from AFCA gallery) shows an earlier (No. 3461) fan motor sporting what may be an earlier Crocker-Wheeler plaque on the front of the base with the added MOTOR CO. N.Y. that my plaque (No. 4901) does not have.

Two motor tags are shown above; my fan (No. 4901), right, which was made in New York before C-W moved their factory to Ampere, NJ (outside of Orange, NJ) in 1893 and the red tag, left, which is one from Ampere manufacture (No. 8599).   Most of these C-W fan motors seem to be 110 or 115 volts

My new Crocker Wheeler did not run.  I found out that the switch was missing and the blade a reproduction used on the larger 1/6 HP model Crocker Wheeler.  A friend who is very knowledgeable and a genius on early fan restoration and repair supplied me with an original switch that mounts to the side of the motor and he is in the process of building me a proper blade.  He also got the fan running briefly so we know that it works.   I am looking forward to getting the fan completed and running as it is supposed to.

Photo below shows what the two speed switch, mounted on the side of the motor, looks like.  This particular fan motor sold on ebay but had its original fan still with it.  The light socket on top had been added; none of these Crocker-Wheeler fans had a light bulb.

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