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AFCA Forums > Antique Fan Collectors Association > Pre-1950 (Antique) > Can someone pls help me identify model and year of this 8" Polar Cub fan?

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Can someone pls help me identify model and year of this 8" Polar Cub fan?  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Feb 14th, 2017 01:55 am
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Roger Dunkley
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Joined: Mon Feb 13th, 2017
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Hello everyone,
This is my first post on this site. Today I acquired this cool old 8" Polar Cub oscillating fan for a VERY reasonable price  :clap:. It needs a bit of a clean up but it runs well and it oscillates. The cloth loom on the electrical cord needs to be replaced as well but it's safe to use and runs well as is. The blades appear to be steel as they are rusting but that's just fine with me as I like things jenky and with some patina and rust.

I've looked all over eBay (current and completed listings) and have done a fairly exhaustive Google Image search and I could only find one picture of a fan that looks quite similar but I think is a different year. Here's the link to that page:

Link to picture of similar looking fan on Worthpoint.com

Worthpoint.com says that similar looking fan is of 1930s vintage but I think it's quoting an old eBay ad so that might not necessarily be correct. You'll notice that the Worthpoint fan has the same cage/shroud design and what looks to be the same base (different color though) but it has a different badge in the front of the cage/shroud. The badge on this fan looks more like the ones I've seen on 1920s vintage Polar Cubs so I'm thinking this one might have been made in a slighlty earlier year than the Worthpoint fan. Was that a good guess?

If it's hard to read in the picture, the stamping on the underside of the base says "P1850".

Can anyone tell me more about this fan (i.e. year and model/type)? Is it relatively rare? It was so difficult just to find even one picture of a very similar but not identical fan on the Internet it makes me wonder if there might not be too many ones just like this around. That would be easy to understand if it actually was made during the depression era. Not many people had extra money to buy things like this in those times.










Last edited on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 02:08 am by Roger Dunkley

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 Posted: Tue Feb 14th, 2017 10:04 am
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Lane Shirey
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Joined: Wed Apr 30th, 2014
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Hi Roger, welcome to the forum! 
The Polar Cub line was designed and built to be an economical product line. Sometimes they're referred to as dime store fans.  I don't have an old ad handy, but my guess is that fan sold for a couple of bucks when new. Unfortunately they're also made rather cheaply. They are cool fans and if you like it, restore it. 

Unfortunately while they're neat fans, they aren't what I would consider great running fans. They have very inadequate bearings and the oscillators are not very robust either. They need to be oiled frequently due to small oiler felts and therefore they often have worn bearings. For these reasons, they unfortunately do not bring much value from a collectibility standpoint. In unrestored condition, I'd be hard pressed to give more than maybe $30-50 for one and restored, to me it'd be worth no more than $50-60. 

Others may differ in the opinion. When looking for fans to restore and run on a regular basis, you're better off looking for ones with the big names, Emerson, GE, R&M etc.They are made much better. 

But, having said that, I probably have 75 or so different 8" fans, all restored. Few are good runners, but I like them. 

Best of luck with your new found hobby! Time to look for your next one. 


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 Posted: Tue Feb 14th, 2017 02:47 pm
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Roger Dunkley
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Thanks for the great information on the history, value and quality issues with Polar Cub fans. I'm pretty happy with my purchase considering that it works well and I only paid $10 CAD which is about $7 USD for it. If I could turn around and flip it for $30 USD it would probably be my best investment ever on a percentage profit basis but I want to use it at my cabin so I'll just clean it up a bit and do some mechanical maintenance (like lube those bearings) and put it into use. It won't get used much at the cabin so it should last a long, long time out there.

I'm still curious to know what year the fan was made and what the model or type is. Am I likely correct in assuming it's a bit older than the one on that Worthpoint page because it has an older style badge?

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 Posted: Thu Feb 16th, 2017 02:30 am
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Kevin R. Braswell
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Joined: Sun Feb 15th, 2015
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Old a Sport, I would say Mid to late 30's for the year. I have restored several of these.they are easy and have a lot of eye appeal if you use a nice color. I sold them in my Antigue store for around 50 to 100.  Size and quality of the restoration effect the price.

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