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Western Electric patent joint  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Mon Nov 16th, 2009 12:46 pm
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Pete Moulds
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I have always been fascinated by the elegant design and patent of Western Electric of the 45 degree joint  in the base to convert the fan from desk use to wall mount.

Russ Huber posted the patent information in an earlier Forum thread spurred by a Paul Pierson posted picture of a WE fan in the museum. The pictured museum fan differs in motor design from the single example of this joint on a WE fan in the Galleries which has a ball motor.

Steve Cunningham added to the information  in the same thread with a page from Western Electric's 1906 catalogue showing a ball motor. It looks like Western produced the design on a couple of models only before abandoning the design.

What is interesting is that the design was taken up in Europe and must surely have been under licence. I have seen the same exact base as the WE including one tab foot greatly elongated to balance the attractive forward leaning swan-necked trunnion but the base cast with fine surface fluting added. I have seen several examples here and they have been marketed by Bergmann (Germany), Caspary ? and also A.E. Leach of Artillery lane, London. They come in two sizes and seem to be using German made motors.

What is very interesting, is that in the London AFCA meet, Tony Gilbert brought two Ediswann fans from around the same vintage. They had the same joint but in a completely different shaped base. These were vertical and much heavier and robust.

So the question is,"Why did such a widespread and elegant design become abandoned so suddenly?" Any ideas?

Attached Image (viewed 446 times):

composite WE angle joint.jpg

Last edited on Mon Nov 16th, 2009 01:11 pm by Pete Moulds

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 Posted: Mon Nov 16th, 2009 01:46 pm
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Ron Powell
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Pete, Not knowing the true answer to your question all I can do is take an educated guess and say that they went to a simpler design that was more cost effective.
But, I do agree with you on this, that it was a nice design but, maybe a bit of a complicated one in comparison to Emerson's.

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 Posted: Mon Nov 16th, 2009 05:08 pm
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Russ Huber
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Pete, I agree on your sadness regarding the fans short lived time span. The example you have questioned "later" that Paul posted, has the Wellman fan support patent. That patent as you are probably aware was filed in 05. I think...that fan was also a DC? :wondering:

I have seen yet another WE example of a ball motor variety that I consider most outstanding for its time. This also has the Wellman support. I could draw you a picture of it, but then I would be banned from the sight. :D

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 Posted: Tue Nov 17th, 2009 12:46 am
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Geoff Dunaway
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 OK Fan historians , If I dreamed this up , it was not by intention. Wasn't there a fire of major significance in the hawthorn plant that threw a large monkey wrench into the primary manufacturing endeavor of Western Electric ?? Retooling to resume manufacturing a line of DC fans in an expanding AC market would sure be swimming against the current. They were already buying Westy A.C. products for the Victor line and then Hawthorn line. When the westy spun steel motor came out in 1912 they (George) were making DC fans as well . Might the fire have influenced them to give up this DC line , go with all Westy products and save retooling costs ?? Then an unused in America design would be available for overseas production.  That's a long shot , but it makes for good reading :wondering:      

  Loren H. can you support or correct the above ramblings of a happy fan collector ???

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 Posted: Tue Nov 17th, 2009 01:09 pm
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Loren Haroldson
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I don't know of a fire, but it was in this window that WE began shutting down all their manufacturing plants and moving all manufacturing ot their mecca known as Hawthorne. This took about a decade and concluded in 12 or 13 with Hawthorne being ready to roll full speed. It was around 09 as they shut down plants that they decided to concentrate on making just phone related goodies and being ajobber for other products.

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