Over the years the design was adapted and tweaked, with the first recognisably modern electric fans being produced in the s. The model's issue number will tell you exactly when it was made and give you an idea of its value. After the technology had advanced to the stage where fans were small and cheap enough to go in the home. However, manufacturers were forced to switch to steel as global reserves were co-opted for the war effort. Initially fans were mainly produced in a stark black, with the notable exception of General Electric - which used green. As fans became more widely available, designers began experimenting with different colours.
If there are no reproduction of an original pancake switch that should work fine.
In time I think someone will make more reproduction pancake switches as was done a few years ago. If you can get that switch mounted in your pancake it should work.
For Example, GE Refrigerator Model No.: TBX22PAYARBB with SN: ZR was Manufactured in December (F). For Example, GE Dishwasher Model No.: GSDTBA with SN: RLB was Manufactured in August (F).
Pancake reproduction switch knobs are available in both sizes and can't be told from the originals. I believe mine is a Can anyone verify what makes the different than other years?. What's neat about my fan is my Mom's great grandmother purchased this fan new.
Bill, I am drawing a blank here to come up with some details to help you with your fan. I think the pancake in a GE catalog were like the models but I am not sure. Compounding the matter is the fact that what is shown for illustrations in some GE catalogs are the last years' models.
I'll send you mine and then you can send me some photos of your fan. Good evening, I have been handed a GE Pancake Fan Swivel-trunnion 13" cage 4 12" blades Cage construction is "s-wires" there are brass thumbscrew terminals on rear of motor where power cords connect.
The off switch plate it turned up like a smile the base is half ribbed. There is a brass disk on the rear of the "GE Badge". Although I have learned a lot about these fans with the above article, I am very confused, the brass plate states the last pat in June but the article says that might not mean that it was made in Thank you for your article and thank you for letting me know what I can do next to figure out this master piece.
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I welcome comments, corrections. Thursday, February 17, The GE "pancake", Be sure to read this:. Last ated Highly revered among collectorsthe early General Electric desk fans known as a "pancake" are one of my favorites. As far as early fans go, they are common enough so they can be found at a somewhat high but still affordable cost.
They have been named "pancake" by collectors due to their relatively thin but large diameter motor.
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With a single motor bearing instead of one at the front and rear of the motor as is far more common, they have a unique appearance. Other companies made pancake style motors; Westinghouse, Emerson TrojanHoltzer Cabbot, and a few others during the very early, c. To cover all the models and variations of the GE pancake might take a large book. I hope to, in time, show many of the models and variations.
Different versions were made in 10", 12", 14" and 16" sizes, with solid, swivel, or swivel-trunnion frames. There were some wall mount bracket pancakes and even a 10" spring mounted fan where extra quiet was desired such as in a telephone booth. Possibly my favorite pancake is not a particularly rare one, nor one of the expensive ones, this GE "stick mount" pancake to the right and below.
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This model is able to swivel about its vertical axis but does not tilt up or down. For that feature GE offered their "trunnion" model which had the motor sitting in a trunnion allowing the motor to tilt forward and backwards. Thank you John Fetner for these photos and for selling me this nice original and smooth running pancake. As with virtually all GE pancakes there are thumbscrew terminals at the rear of the motor where the power cord connects, completely exposed and live, with roughly volts.
This is not your child-friendly desk fan. You don't want to pick it up to move it without first thinking of what's back there to bite you. I will mention briefly one exception to the statement that all pancakes have the exposed power terminals; the stick mount 16" pancake does not have them and the power cord enters into the base through a grommet. All wiring is within the base going up to the motor which is a rigid part of the motor casting.
Technically the 16" pancakes are not true pancakes as they have a double bearing motor and a somewhat thicker motor than most 10", 12", and 14" models.
Both black japan and nickel plating were used on the GE pancakes off and on prior to when the brass parts were left plain with a lacquer or gilt finish. The first pancakes from through the middle of had a single speed motor. In mid the bulge was added to the rear of the motor which housed a regulator coil with a two speed switch in the center.
In GE fans got a 5 speed switch and, inthe rear motor bulge was eliminated with the speed coil and switch being placed in a larger, higher base. Three speeds was more common on quality fans. Now for one of the more popular GE pancakes, below, the fully ribbed base trunnion model. This year the models started out with a fully ribbed base, cast hub blade, and 10 wire cage.
Later models introduced the partially ribbed base, stamped hub blade, and 8 wire cage with three cage struts and with a slightly modified cage badge but it is the former, earlier style that is the more desired among collectors. In addition to the trunnion model a "stick" version was also made in most years of pancake production. Early GE 12" pancake, 5 speeds.
In late or a simpler and less attractive motor design was used. On the right is a photo showing the "notched clamp" introduced on the trunnion models to help hold the fan motor in position on the trunnion when the brass wing bolts were tightened. The rippled washer has an extended arm which goes downward and is slipped over a protruding pin on the side of the trunnion arm.
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This version of the GE cage badge was used on the 10 wire cages from and about halfway through when the 8 wire cage was introduced. The badge is unique to these models only although the method of attachment to the cage was different; cage badges had a thin brass strip soldered to the back of the badge which then clipped to a small open ring on the cage.
For mid the notched washer and nut was used to attach the badge to the cage center via a threaded stud soldered to the rear of the badge as shown in the photo above. Badges of this era show a little finer detail overall and finer dots than on later badges.
GE cage construction for the years was as shown in the left photo above. Instead of the 'S-wires' being wrapped around the rear cage ring as was done prior to and after the wire was 'pinned' or riveted through the rear cage ring.
The portion entering the rear ring was narrowed down slightly to fit a hole drilled in the ring, the wire was inserted and then slightly peened over to make the wire tight.
One serious flaw in this construction is that it is a weak connection and, with any moderately rough handling of the cage, or if the fan falls over, the joint is likely to break right at the front side of the rear ring.
Always check for broken wires here. A somewhat suitable repair can be done by shortening all wires, necking them down, and reinserting them in the rear ring.
The right photo, above, shows the brass 'oil guard' just behind the blade hub. Its purpose was to return to the oil cup under the bearing any excess oil from the front of the bearing. The backside of the fan hub had two grooves in it to spin off any leaking oil into the oil guard from which it would run down the little spout into the top of the oil cup.
A small recess in the oil cup had a tiny hole drilled through into the oil reservoir. The oil guard was an improvement added to model pancakes and was continued for the rest of production.
It is a press fit onto the front plate of the motor. The GE pancake below is a real oddball and the only one I have seen; a stick mount with fully ribbed base. Only upon close examination of the photos from did I realize the fan is probably not a mix of and parts but an actual "made in " pancake using some older parts. This fan is a "swivel" model which became less common than the "swivel and trunnion" model. Both models were offered in most years starting c.
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Due to the different construction of the motors between the two frame styles, the motor tags were different until, I think, the models where the same tags appears to have been used. The "swivel" frame pancakes through used a thin brass strip tag that wrapped almost all the way around the motor and was held captive between the front and rear motor castings instead of being held on with two small screws.
There is nothing really unusual from this view, above, of the fan.
It could be a normal mid year pancake with the new stamped hub blade and 8 wire cage but it isn't- see why below.
The four strut motor gave way to three struts in mid Some notes on the brass finish of pancakes:. The lacquer used to coat brass parts of GE pancakes does not seem to be very durable unlike some other makes which makes determining the actual finish on the brass difficult.
Recently I had the chance to see a very original and unmessed with pancake. The finish, and a pretty fair amount of it was intact, was unmistakenly "polished and lacquered brass" and a full, high gloss polish.
This somewhat surprised me as most of the original pancakes I have prior to did not show much if any remaining "polished" brass even though GE catalogs stated "polished brass fan, guard, and trimmings" and catalogs. The GE catalog states "Lacquered brass fan, guard, and trimmings".
My original finish pancake shows a finish looking something like gilt and which seems to have been the finish used through about on GE brass blade fans. That finish is clearly not "polished" brass. Whether the "gilt" finish was some kind of lacquer or a paint I do not know. The models were made in 10" and a new 12" model was added. Unique to these two years was a fancy cast and nickel plated name plate on the rear of the motor. There was no brass or nickel band around the motor on the 10" models but the 12" model did have a brass band around the motor.
What you see to the left and below is a "fan outfit" comprised of a "fan" blade and "fan motor". Only years later did the terminology change where "fan" meant what we think of it today; the whole of the appliance consisting of a blade, motor, and base.
Fans for were black japanned and brass bearings were fitted to the motor. A 10" solid frame motor and the 12" trunnion frame were the two styles of AC fans. I do not have photos of the models to include here. FORM F. The stator coils surround the motor and are usually very easy to remove from the motor housing.
These coils just fell out when I was inspecting and cleaning the motor. The nickeled brass motor band has also been slipped off the iron core around the stator. Like most pancakes this one is a four pole motor. Six, eight, and ten pole pancake motors were made for other frequencies or for special slower running motors. This is an easy year to identify for it was the only GE pancake year that used a top mounted grease cup over the front bearing.
The early models, however, do not have the badge but have a small open ring cage- probably the same cage but without the badge being fitted. Most '99s will have the badge though a significant number of no-badge '99s turn up and mostly with lower serial numbers. The small open ring cage is NOT an model as was reported in older GE pancake research since the small open ring cage pancakes all have the top mounted grease cup which is identified as an model by a GE report dated The photos above show an early solid frame model no cage badge yet which continued with the smooth base from the previous 10" solid frame models but made about 1" higher than the 10" frame.
Below is an solid frame with the cage badge. The badge is held on to the cage with a small brass strip soldered to the center of the cage. Motor acorn nuts are still smooth without a screwdriver slot.
The line cord would be attached to the two terminals on the base. The two speed switch knob is at the bottom of the wall base.
Power to the motor would exit the base between the two terminals and be attached to the two terminals on the rear of the motor. In this photo the motor appears to be much thicker than a typical motor but most of the earlier motors were thicker. I might assume that this is actually an older motor. The four blade fan is new for replacing the previous 6 blade fans used on all pancakes prior to Original wall mount pancakes are scarce. Changes included making the rear ring of the cage of a larger diameter wire, slotted acorn nuts on the motor replaced the smooth nuts, return to the under-mounted oil cup, and the solid frame 12" pancake was now a swivel frame using the same partially ribbed base as the trunnion motors had since The base was about a half inch taller then the older smooth base.
Other changes were a notched clamp on one side of the trunnion used to help hold the motor in a position on the trunnion, a new blade hub with grooves at the rear end which was to keep oil from moving to the hub spider and blades where the oil could be thrown around the room. An oil return collar was now press fitted to the front of the motor in front of the bearing to catch oil thrown from the grooves on the blade hub and direct it back into the top of the oiler.
The motor was still devoid of the vent holes that would appear on the models.
GE Pancake Terminal Insulators These are insulators for the exposed terminal lugs on the back of GE Pancake fans. Refer to the link to the GE pancake fan above to see the exposed brass terminal lugs on the back of the motor. These pieces keep the current from shorting out against the fan . Jun 24, Your fan would be from , possibly from also and is the first GE model like that with aluminum blades replacing the previous brass blades up through The FORM is what is used to date GE fans if the Form letter is present on the tag. The last patent date on this motor tag, June 25, , was used on all GE fan motor tags from to leading many to believe any fan with that date was made in It is not that simple to date GE fans and the patent date only means that a fan so marked with that patent date, includes features of that particular patent.
The cage badge was held to the cage with the same method as in Last year for S-wires to be wrapped around the rear cage ring. The model's issue number will tell you exactly when it was made and give you an idea of its value. After the technology had advanced to the stage where fans were small and cheap enough to go in the home.
However, manufacturers were forced to switch to steel as global reserves were co-opted for the war effort. Initially fans were mainly produced in a stark black, with the notable exception of General Electric - which used green. As fans became more widely available, designers began experimenting with different colours. So colour is a good indicator that your fan was produced from the s onwards. Sign up for all the latest collecting news, expert blogs and auction lots from around the world.
All activity on JustCollecting is rewarded with exclusive points which can be used to spend on amazing products, special discounts and entry into monthly competitions. Toggle navigation. That is all the information given. You might find more information on the Antique Fan Collectors Post forum if you post with your request. Don't know whether the N. I rescued it from a new neighbor cleaning a deceased neighbor's house out and throwing it away.
Any idea what year this would be? Hi kristinafina. The N. You should be able to date your fan to a particular year. Look on the motor tag in the lower right hand corner for a very small two digit "date code".
Add 20 to that number to get the year your fan was made.
Hopefully the date code will be visible. I have a AT with a "28" date code making the fan from I like these fans, very well built. I can't tell you what the "BB" means on the Type number but it's probably specific to the government model which has some differences from the civilian models.
I have an Emerson type fan and I can't find any info. I welcome comments, corrections. Photos above and below are of an Emerson "tripod" in my collection. This is the first year of this version of the Type FI-1 12" 60 cycle fan.
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Previous versions were made in the years that resembled the original "Meston" motors and ina version made for that year only. The finish on this fan is original but the cage is a reproduction which has since been replaced with another reproduction made in steel as the original for this year would have been. The white porcelain switch is unusual and the only one of two that I am aware of. The switch is usually seen in black porcelain as shown at the bottom.
First cage badge.
Oscillator, second style gearbox. Steel cages in Change from cast hub to stamped hub blade during production. Carrying handle added to 12 and 16" for Still cast hub blades.
Carrying handle added to 12 and 16" fans for Steel cages from here on forward.
Jul 10, Ben, it is difficult to date many R&M fans due to there not being much in the way of catalogs and other information about them. Emerson, Westinghouse and GE made it much easier when it comes to dating. Your List is probably around Aug 22, A General Electric fan (note the brass cage) - Image: . However, manufacturers were forced to switch to steel as global reserves were co-opted for the war effort. After the war most never switched back. Colour. Initially fans were mainly produced in a stark black, with the notable exception of General Electric - which used green. Dating Older GE Fans by FORM Letter * to GE Desk Fan Survey, Don Eckerson, Jan * GE Desk Fan Bill Kreiner: Fasco/Arctic Aire Date Codes *.
Polished brass blades replaced with dull finish gold paint on brass blades starting in for 26xxx and 27xxx series. Pyramid badge Built to Last c.
Improved Parker blade c. Gold painted hub in replaces black painted hub immediately after earliest Steel blades in replace brass blades.
Last mechanical start switch 11xxx and 12xxx types. Emerson "date code" first used c. Add "20" to the one or two digit number on motor tag or cage badge to get. Force Feed lubrication added to all 12" and 16" Parker and overlapping blade models in First overlapping blades77xxx type.
First carrying handles on top of motor on 12" and 16" models in for oscillators, not sure about stationary. Emerson letter prefixes on motor tags as follows; compiled by Bill Voigt:. Forged looking high handles. Black porcelain switch.
Headwire access plate added sometime in the T prefix. Late T or early W flared out larger oil cap. Information from Emerson catalogs. For more information on. The page to the right and those below are from an Emerson catalog dated Jan. Additional pricing pages were in the catalog for 16, alt. Note the three voltages that each fan was offered in. In the days before the fans were convertible from desk to bracket fans beginning with the Type a separate bracket Type model was offered differing only in the base of the fan motor.
Click on page to enlarge. While some other fans used a single bearing it was not of the same size nor hardened steel as Emerson used. The long term advantage of the Emerson design was a very long life for the bearing. The less expensive line of Trojan fans did not use this single bearing but, instead, used two bearings, front and rear, in the motor.
Thank you Tom Newcityl.