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General Electric 16" "fishtail" base pancakes  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 01:19 am
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Steve Stephens
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Our current (Feb. 2013) Fan Collector magazine has an article about "Jim's fan" on page 13 which got me to thinking about these strange and curious beasts that are rarely seen or understood.

A more complete article of the writeup in our magazine is in a VintageFans.com newsletter-
http://www.vintagefans.com/newsletter/issue4/jims_fish_tail.html

More photos of that fan are on the Vintage Fans Facebook page but one has to scroll WAY down to near the bottom to find them from the year 2010.

I have found them here-
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=470011586488&set=pb.91767911488.-2207520000.1362618815&type=3&theater
Also hit the "Previous" and "Next" buttons for more views of Jim's Fan.

I did note in the Fan Collector that the motor appears to not have the vent holes around the motor as I have seen on two other fishtail (crowfoot, mermaid, etc.) base 16" GEs that I have seen.

Here's one photo from Mark's Facebook page and I hope it's ok with you Mark to post it here.

Attached Image (viewed 1121 times):

73118_470011586488_1882314_n.jpg

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 01:27 am
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Steve Stephens
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What got me interested in these fans was that I was the high bidder in 2001 and just after I joined the AFCA. Something about the fan appealed to me so my bid was entered in ebay and I was the high bidder but did not meet reserve. The seller and I worked out a price agreeable to both of us and I took delivery. That is the fan, below, that is on loan to our museum by the current AFCA owner.

My notes say it is a 1900 model but I recall that it might have Type AA, Form A on the motor tag. I'll have to retrieve the information and the serial number from someone who visits the museum (Kim, heading up there anytime soon?).

Being a new collector I enjoyed the fan for a few years but, then, my tastes changed some and leaned towards the smaller (real) pancakes and I sold the fan to a club member.

At the time I was talking to the ebay seller he said that only something like three of these models were known. I know that our late AFCA member Lloyd Davis had and brought to Fanfair some years ago his DC crowfoot (that's what I called it but fishtail seems good too) to display. Now that's a rare fan. Does anyone have any photos of Lloyd's DC fishtail? I would love to see it again for comparison purposes to the AC models.

Attached Image (viewed 1110 times):

1900 16%22 Form C crowfoot pancake.JPG

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 01:29 am
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Steve Stephens
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The 2012 Fanfair was stupendous in the area of seeing some truly rare and unusual fans in the Stefan Osdene collection as well as the tons of early motors and fans brought to Fanfair for display by Petra and her daughter from Austria.

Below is Stefan's fishtail's motor tag.

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IMG_0338.JPG

Last edited on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:49 pm by Steve Stephens

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 01:33 am
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Steve Stephens
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The Type appears to be U.I. on the motor tag and the Form is C.
Normally Form C is thought to be from 1903 but, in this case, it's the Type that is different from the 1903 Form C pancakes.

The first AC 16" pancake was introduced in 1899 on a "frame of the trunnion type supported by wall bracket". The fishtail base looks as if it could be a design to mount on a wall but there are no mounting holes. Maybe the 1899 model was different. Does anyone have any kind of information on it?

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IMG_0339.jpg

Last edited on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 01:47 am by Steve Stephens

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 01:35 am
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Steve Stephens
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Other than the base the rest of the fan is typical of the earlier 16" GEs; the usual double bearing motor, large cage badge on 10 wire cage used to or into 1903 and large brass motor tag.

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IMG_0341.jpg

Last edited on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 01:37 am by Steve Stephens

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 01:35 am
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Steve Stephens
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The power cord hooks to the base terminals then goes to the terminals on the rear of the motor up through the neck. On most GE pancakes with the switch in the base the power cord terminals are inside the base.

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IMG_0340.JPG

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 01:39 am
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Steve Stephens
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Quite a fan! Do note the vent holes around the motor and compare with the motor of "Jim's fan" that is lacking the vents.

Has anyone seen other's of these early GE 16" fans with the strange base or have any photos they can post? Please add anything you can here.

Attached Image (viewed 1041 times):

IMG_0342.jpg

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 02:42 pm
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Kim Frank
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Steve, my son works at Fanimation on his days off from the FD. I'll get him to get the tag info. That fan and the bracket fan are the two that draw my interest in the museum. I guess some of the questions that I think of would be why a trunnion mount on the 1900 16 inch, while the 1901 and '02 are stick mount. The trunnion is swept forward like a bracket fan. The 12 inch 99's and 1900's don't have vent holes, like Mark's 16 inch, but the museum fans both have vent holes, which on the twelve inch fans appeared in '01. The form C used prior to 1903 was the type FD-12 for 1898 according to the Everest report.... the scarcity of this type fan makes me wonder if it ever went past prototypes......kind of like the oscillating coin op.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 03:56 pm
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Steve Stephens
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It would be great if your son would get the tag info off the museum's fish tail pancake. I hope he has good eyes as the stamping in the motor tag is VERY faint but still readable.

I was trying to locate a photo or illustration for the 1899 16" wall mount trunnion pancake but to no avail. Perhaps since that first 16" AC pancake was a trunnion they carried it over to the 1899-1900 models but using that crazy looking fishy base. Possibly due to slow sales they tried the stick mount for a few years (1901-02) but then GE went back to the trunnion for all 1903-07 models, at least I think they did.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 04:56 pm
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Kim Frank
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I agree with you that '03 and later were trunnion mount. The full ribbed base confuses a lot of people into thinking that the '01 and '02 16 inch sticks are 1903's, but I haven't seen an '03 in anything but trunnion mount....not sure if the 2 3/4" badge carried over into 1903.....so the fish tail base GE's would number 4 known examples? 1 in the AFCA museum, 1 in Stefan's collection, Mark's, and a Lloyd Davis' d/c version....any others out there?

Attached Image (viewed 985 times):

100_6865.JPG

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:00 pm
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Kim Frank
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The badge on the fan pictured above was out on loan to have some examples cast up......

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100_6862.JPG

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:23 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Kim, those badges are STAMPED so any other method of reproducing them would be harmful to fans with the repros installed.

Now who would think like that? Actually, it's great that we have people who will fashion replacement parts for fans in any way that can to get a good quality replacement. Those large GE badges just aren't out there if your fan is missing one. I'm guessing that you lent the badge to Ted Kaczor to make his cast ones up and he's done a remarkable job. Sure, I'd prefer an original stamped badge but anything made quality is better than none at all.

My old fish tail pancake was bought from John Laughlin in 2001. He mentioned some other fish tail pancakes at the time and I think it was something like three existed or close to that. I do not know of any others than those you mentioned which makes these fans pretty darn rare.

An original (KIm's I suspect) and Ted's reproductions shown below-

Does anyone know the current whereabouts of Lloyd Davis' DC fish tail or have any photos of it or know if any photos were published in the Fan Collector? I think one was in the mag but that's a lot of pages to sift through to find it.

I did notice one thing I was thinking about last night and that's that the struts are the same on Mark's (Jim's fan) as on the later ones in the museum and Stefan's with the struts in an "X" arrangement. I would like to know the dates on all these fish tails to see if any fit into the 1901 model year when GE started to have the struts in a "+" arrangement. 1901 was the first year for all the vent holes in their 12" cakes but it looks like the vents appeared earlier on the 16" motors as early as 1900 models.

Attached Image (viewed 973 times):

100_2760.jpg

Last edited on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:31 pm by Steve Stephens

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:37 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Somewhat along the line of the Fish Tail pancakes are the 16" early wall mounts although I don't know the year of the following examples.

Sorry for the poor photo but it's the best I have and have no other information about this 16" wall mount GE other than it is a 2 speed so pre-1902.

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$(KGrHqFHJCUE7zK)bsOQBO+RCoJp1g~~60_57.JPG

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:38 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Better photo and other details-

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$(KGrHqJHJB!E7)yMCL4iBO+RC0yVv!~~60_57.JPG

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:40 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Another 16" wall mount pancake which likely started life as a fan.

Attached Image (viewed 998 times):

16%22 wall mount pancake to Rancy Welch.jpg

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:43 pm
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Steve Cunningham
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The A, B, C is only for 12" Pancakes.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:51 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Steve Cunningham wrote:
The A, B, C is only for 12" Pancakes.
That is generally the case but now a Form C has shown up on a 16" cake; see post #3, above.

And let's add one more photo from the two photos above of the 16" wall mount showing inside the wall mount style base-

Attached Image (viewed 951 times):

$(KGrHqFHJC8E7y3)O)9)BO+RDfEE,Q~~60_57.JPG

Last edited on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:53 pm by Steve Stephens

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 08:21 pm
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Kim Frank
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Steve Cunningham wrote: The A, B, C is only for 12" Pancakes.

Is that for fans prior to 1900? As I remember, Carlton's 1899 12 inch dc was a form D. If for 1901 and later fans I'll have to disagree. My 16 inch fans are 1901 type AA form A, 1902 is type AA Form B, and my 1904 is type AK form D. I don't have a 1903 but would venture to say it would be a type AK form C. My later 16 inch fans don't have type and form numbers.

Hey Steve, check out the wiring on the bracket fan and then compare it to your 1901......it's an easy fix....

Attached Image (viewed 885 times):

SteveO's 1901.jpg

Last edited on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 08:33 pm by Kim Frank

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 08:48 pm
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Steve Stephens
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I just got off the phone with Mark Neeley who had the information from "Jim's fan" motor tag as follows:

Jim's fan- Type U.I. Form C Volts 104 Cycles 125 No. 56910 Spec. 12772


Stefan's fan- Type U.I. Form C Volts 104 Cycles* 60 No. 61608 Spec. 1277x
I am unable to read the last digit on Stefan's tag "Spec. No." but it could be the same as on Jim's fan, 12772 if Stefan's had started out as a 235 cycle motor. It looks like the frequency has been changed and the 60 stamped in the motor tag after the 125 may have been covered with solder.


AFCA Museum fan- Type U.I. Form C Volts 110 Cycles 60 No.62969 Spec. 12773



The first 16" AC GE fan motor came out in 1899 as a trunnion wall mounted fan and Type U.I. Form A

I would expect that "Jim's fan" should be a Type U.I. Form B and a 1900 model without the motor vents which is does lack but the tag says Form C according to what Mark read from it. If 1899 is Form A then 1900 would seem to be Form B and 1901 Form C. But 1900 seems to be the last of these fish tail base 16" GEs and the 16" line for 1901 and 1902 became the stick mount 16" motor with no exposed terminals on the rear. These two stick mount model years are Type AA Form A and Form B. The earlier Forms A, B, and C on any GE fans were on Type U.I. models, not the later 1901-03 models which are Types AB, AD, AK, etc.

Last edited on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 06:08 pm by Steve Stephens

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 Posted: Mon Mar 11th, 2013 03:01 pm
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Kim Frank
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The museum fan is a type UI form C 110 volts 60 cycle. Spec number will be forthcoming.....s/n 62969

Seems like each of these fans are slightly different from each other according to voltages/cycles and current. The glob of solder on the one badge with the 60 stamped into it is different. I would like to turn that badge over to see if a different cycle can be discerned....still makes me wonder if these were prototypes.........

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 Posted: Mon Mar 11th, 2013 06:33 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Thanks Kim, so much for my memory as I could have sworn the tag read Type AA Form A

Nope, you're right. I must have washed that fan from memory and now have indelibly etched in my brain the Type AA Form A from my 16" 1901 stick pancake which has the type and form.

Please do check on the Spec. in case it might have any significance. I'll also have to get the last digit of Stefan's fishtail spec. no.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 11th, 2013 09:02 pm
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Mark Neeley
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Steve it was great visiting with you the other day via the phone about Jim's Fishtail. I just received The Fancollector and upon reading it, I think I might have sent Maggie the rough draft missing quite a bit of the revised article I wrote for the Fancollector. I apologize to you all for my mistake as the story concerning Jim and the fan is a special one and maybe we can reprint it with some highly detailed photos of the fan at some point. For those of you who did not know Jim Moseley, he was a former officer of the AFCA in the early years of the club and a great friend to many. As I discussed with Steve concerning the fan, I would like to try and do a preservation style restoration with this fan if possible as much of the paint is intact from the trunnion up.We have filled missing paint before with success and I believe it's important to try that first. As bad as it looks, the fan appears to have a very straight blade. I sure wish we knew the history on these fans.

Kim, the first thing I thought when I looked at the fishtail, was that it was intended as a wall mount, then I noticed the lack of holes and that went out the window. Your theory might be correct and we know they obviously had a short run whatever their intended market was.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 11th, 2013 09:14 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Mark, likewise it was a pleasure talking fans on the fone with you last week.

You may not have noticed but I included a link to your newsletter's article on Jim's fan in my first post here and that article is longer and may or may not be your most recent and complete article. Please feel free to post more about Jim or his fishtail fan here.

In time I hope to add an article on my earlyfans.com blog about these unusual and rare fishtail GE fans.

Might their production have been higher than we think? Now there are four documented known fishtails and I bet there are a few more we don't yet know about. Compared to other early GE pancakes such as the football tag pancakes the fishtails are about the same rarity I think. They were probably made in the hundreds or thousands I would think. It would be so interesting to know what the designer of the base had in mind at the time.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 12th, 2013 01:28 pm
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Kim Frank
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The museum fan's spec # is 12773..........

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 Posted: Tue Mar 12th, 2013 06:06 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Thanks Kim, I have that added to the 19th post of this thread. Now I have to confirm the Spec. No. on Stefan's fan.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 12th, 2013 06:19 pm
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Kim Frank
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Steve Stephens wrote: It would be so interesting to know what the designer of the base had in mind at the time.

I would venture to guess the 'fingers' on the front of the base were there to keep the fan from falling forward. With the forward swept trunnion, it definitely makes the fan top heavy. The 16 inch '01 and '02 , their motors were centered on the base, with the whole fan being very stable..........When the trunnion reappeared in 1903, it was centered on the base.....

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 Posted: Tue Mar 12th, 2013 08:45 pm
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Tom Dreesen
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the 'fingers'

Thank you Kim.  I don't know who gets to name things, but calling those 3 things "fishtail" is an insult to all fish.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 12th, 2013 09:17 pm
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George Durbin
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I could be way off here but... Wouldnt those "fingers" look nice hanging on the wall? Im just sayin...

geo...

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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 04:05 am
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Curt Davis
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Steve Stephens wrote: At the time I was talking to the ebay seller he said that only something like three of these models were known. I know that our late AFCA member Lloyd Davis had and brought to Fanfair some years ago his DC crowfoot (that's what I called it but fishtail seems good too) to display. Now that's a rare fan. Does anyone have any photos of Lloyd's DC fishtail? I would love to see it again for comparison purposes to the AC models.
First photo below courtesy of John Trier. 

Nameplate photo also below.  Any advice on where I can get a 115 V DC power supply to test it?  









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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 04:26 am
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Steve Stephens
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Curt Davis wrote: Nameplate photo also below.  Any advice on where I can get a 115 V DC power supply to test it?  
Easy, put a BRIDGE RECTIFIER in line with the power cord and plug into your house AC outlet or variac.   I run all of my DC fans from 1.5 volts to 200 volts this way using a variac to give me the voltage needed.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 04:39 am
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Curt Davis
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Thanks.  Suggestions for specific parts for bridge rectifier and variac and where I can get them? I am "allegedly" a EE, but unfortunately my studies did not cover power circuits/systems....    :hammer: 

but JLD was proud of me despite my shortcomings ... :D 

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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 11:21 am
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Lane Shirey
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Radio shack used to have them, but I’m sure amazon has them.  I think they have an amp and voltage rating, make sure the specs fall in line with what our fans require. 

They have 4 pins on them.  2 are either unmarked or say “AC” and the incoming line hot and neutral connect to them. Polarity doesn’t matter on these since it’s AC. 


The other 2 usually are marked “+” and “-“. Those are the DC outputs.  Polarity does matter with these, if the fan runs backwards, switch these leads.  

The bridge rectifier simply converts the AC power to DC, so you’ll just plug the cord into a household outlet after installation.  If you with to lower the voltage to the 115, you can plug that power cord into a variac and dial it back a little.  You can find a variac on eBay, Craigslist, etc.  used for about $50.  Just be sure to test it with a light bulb (table lamp) before you buy it.   Plug the table lamp into it and then slowly move the knob through its full range. Check for dead spots where the light bulb goes out momentarily. As long as the dead spot is not in the range that you intend to use, it’s ok.  Ideally you want one that has no dead spots.  

I hope that helps. 

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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 11:23 am
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Lane Shirey
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By the way a bridge rectifier is just a little electrical component the size of a postage stamp.  It can usually be hidden in the base of the fan.  Just be sure to attach a tag to the fan so a future owner doesn’t try to run it on DC after the conversion.  

This is what they look like. In the specs, this one shows 1.5a at 250v. To me that’s a little less than you might need but I don’t recall what the Radio Shack one’s were rated. They worked fine.  




Last edited on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 11:30 am by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 11:34 am
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Mel Lagarde
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This is the first picture I have seen of a DC version of this fan.  This is one super rare fan.  Congratulations to the owner of this one.  Thank you for posting. 
Mel

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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 01:33 pm
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Steve Rockwell
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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 01:47 pm
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Russ Huber
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Hey Steve, you have a goldmine with the documentation and ephemera you obtained. I was really impressed when you posted the quality image of the GE cake with patented vane alongside a first patent ….Shedd.  

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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 01:54 pm
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Jim Kovar
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Lane Shirey wrote: Just be sure to attach a tag to the fan so a future owner doesn’t try to run it on DC after the conversion.

Wouldn't make a lick of difference.*


DC in will yield DC out...
  with a guaranteed polarity output.





* A "lick" excludes the Vf (≈1.5V) of the bridge.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 01:59 pm
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Kim Frank
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To date, there are three variants of the 1900 in a/c. The closed motor with stud mounted struts, the vented motor with stud mounted struts, and the vented motor with boss mounted struts.


I saw the DC fishtail when Loyd had it at Fan Fair. An incredible example for sure.  Too bad it's missing it's switch and it should have a wrapped rear ring guard on it.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 03:33 pm
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Curt Davis
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Steve and Lane,

Thanks for the information.  I will give this a try in the new year after we finish up the auctions. 

If I actually get it working I will post a photo.

Curt

Last edited on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 03:33 pm by Curt Davis

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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 06:41 pm
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Steve Rockwell
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AFCA Forums > Antique Fan Collectors Association > Pre-1950 (Antique) > General Electric 16" "fishtail" base pancakes Top



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