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First antique fan, brass bladed Emerson: how to restore it?  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 01:47 am
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Charles Foyle
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Hello everybody.

Today I came home with an Emerson Type 19645 desk fan. It is a little small one with a 3-position switch. Serial number is 780066.
The antique dealer I bought it from wasn't the most knowledgeable about running it--said it worked perfectly, which I doubted with the frayed 3 wires to the motor and all. So he plugged it in(!) and pulls the handle. A flash, a bang, and a smell of ozone, and the old thing ran, stalling out only once because the guy had no comprehension of electric safety.

"Fifty dollars?"
"No, sir, the wires to the motor are throwing sparks. Sorry."
"Well, I guess we could do forty."
 
So forty I did.

Got it home and wiped off a bunch of the dirt and grime. Still messy but not as bad as it was--it'd been sitting forever.

The original instruction card is still inside it and it said to screw the plug into the socket--like an Edison base! I'd love to restore it like that but don't have a conventional socket.

So how do I get inside it to work on the wires, and what can I use to polish it? The intent is to keep it mostly original but perhaps I'd do a 2-prong plug. The actual disassembly is kind of tricky & the paint is somewhat rusted in patches around the stepped base. Biggest issue--wires, then I can do cosmetics.


I'm pretty excited and have wanted a 1910s style fan since I was really little--couldn't afford one. Couldn't really afford this one but didn't want to pass it up after seeing how effective the old thing is at pushing air!

Any info? What year, how to fix an Emerson fan, what it might be worth?

Sorry for the long post. I'm mighty excited and glad to be learning how these are working.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 01:59 am
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Charles Foyle
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Sorry--just checked and found out it was made in 1914, according to the galleries. Exciting!

I have a cabinet Victrola made the same year, fully restored and running beautifully. The soundtrack of high school for me!

Okay, now how to get inside this old thing and clean it out...Any ideas?

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 11:58 am
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Lane Shirey
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Welcome to the forum! 

And nice find! In a nutshell, you must remove the blade ( they unscrew), disassemble the motor, remove the stator, and then you can replace the headwire. It's not an easy task for a first restoration, but it can be done if you have good mechanical and electrical skills. Otherwise you risk destroying a collectible fan. 



Asking how to restore a fan is a little like asking how to build a house. It's a somewhat detailed process with many steps to do it properly. Quick fixes and bad repairs only reduce the value of a fan. For values, I'd check eBay sold prices as that's the best way to see what it's worth. We generally don't offer appraisals here. It is a very nice fan worth restoring, but you haven't quite found one that'll pay for your retirement. 



My suggestion is to take it slow, and use the search function of this forum to answer your questions. All basic restoration steps have been covered in past threads and that's how you find them. If you get stuck on a particular step, feel free to post your question and be sure to include lots of pictures of what you're referring to. 


Best of success on your restoration! 

Last edited on Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 11:59 am by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 03:17 pm
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Charles Foyle
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Thanks a lot!

Well, I really don't want to damage it. Better take it slow & find a good source first for wiring. It's getting old-school wires reinstalled, not the cheesy rubber wire that came with it. Starting it at the store, other than proving the dealer had goofed, showed me how nicely the old motor ran. But those rotten wires really need to go.

I checked eBay for the sold ones--even a non-running 19645 for parts sold for $250! Wow, that's a lot of money for a table fan that doesn't work! Better restore it right.

Anyhow, I'll be asking questions. Mainly I am curious about what hardware is appropriate to install. What would an electrical plug have looked like in 1914? Would the round Bakelite plugs be appropriate?

Also, should the internal wiring use cloth or rubber insulation? The idea is to make it stop back-firing and run properly.


This stuff is getting exciting. Might be more of a spring project if i go home for Christmas,but I can stock up on restoration supplies then.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 06:50 pm
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Chris A. Campbell
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I would like to see a pic of the original instruction card if you wouldnt mind posting one

Thanks

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 07:39 pm
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Charles Foyle
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Chris, I'd do it if I could. But my camera is one of the big old bellows models from the forties, and needs a bit of restoration itself. However, someone else posted a picture somewhere on here about a 19645 card, and it shows it in nice condition--a good replica. I could use a replica myself, mine's falling apart!
.

Couple questions for the Emerson folks here:

1. I can't run an Edison screw base on the power cord. Should I use straight or twisted cloth cord, and what sort of 2 prong plug would look the part for 1914?

2. A good brass polish? I already used soy sauce and vinegar to get the heavy corrosion off, and it wants to shine but isn't. I love brass fans--so rare and beautiful--but so hard to get clean!

3. The motor housing and trunnion are great-looking, in original antique black. But the base, around where the numbers are cast in, and where the feet used to be, has some rust issues where it ate through the paint. How can I touch these up and preserve what paint is still on the base? (I was thinking of using stove black, like you put on a cast-iron stove--after derusting it,.)

The idea is to make it look like it did back in the day. I'm leaning more and more to using cloth covered for the --headwire, you call it?--the thing in the motor you replace.


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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 07:51 pm
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Russ Huber
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Charles Foyle wrote:

1. I can't run an Edison screw base on the power cord.


Attached Image (viewed 301 times):

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Last edited on Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 07:51 pm by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 07:53 pm
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Russ Huber
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Charles Foyle wrote:

2. A good brass polish? I already used soy sauce and vinegar to get the heavy corrosion off, and it wants to shine but isn't. I love brass fans--so rare and beautiful--but so hard to get clean!




Order from Amazon. A dab will do ya.

Attached Image (viewed 302 times):

51CfEG88dxL.jpg

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 07:58 pm
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Russ Huber
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Charles Foyle wrote:

3. The motor housing and trunnion are great-looking, in original antique black. But the base, around where the numbers are cast in, and where the feet used to be, has some rust issues where it ate through the paint. How can I touch these up and preserve what paint is still on the base? (I was thinking of using stove black, like you put on a cast-iron stove--after derusting it,.)


Rustoleum Appliance epoxy in rattle can.

Attached Image (viewed 301 times):

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Last edited on Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 08:08 pm by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 08:07 pm
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Russ Huber
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Rustoleum appliance epoxy finish. The poor man's path to compete with the rich. :clap: :D 

Attached Image (viewed 301 times):

fans 1 3848.jpg

Last edited on Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 08:14 pm by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 08:09 pm
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Russ Huber
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Pssssssst....the appliance epoxy blends well with the original enamel color and gloss if it is done right.


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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 09:05 pm
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Ron Jeter
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Charles: Can you post a photo of the motor tag - would like to have photo for the AFCA Emerson survey as this is the earliest serial number that I have for the 19645. Thanks and a Great Find!

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 09:07 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Charles Foyle wrote: Sorry--just checked and found out it was made in 1914, according to the galleries. 
The 19645 was made during the years 1916-19.
http://earlyfans.blogspot.com/2011/07/dating-early-emerson-60-cycle-and-dc.html

Sent you a pm Charles.


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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 03:56 pm
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Charles Foyle
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Many thanks to Russ Huber for the photographs & to Steve Stephens for the collecting info--and for the sound of a 1904 General Electric!

I'm going to give the fan a break until January when I can order up a new rawhide washer for the motor, and some cloth wires..

As for the date 1916-'19 is the date from Mr. Stephens. I checked the AFCA web site and saw in the Galleries a 19645, brass cage & blades like mine, listed as a 1914 model--that's where the confusion came from.

DID FIND A FEW NEAT VARIATIONS:

1. The wire from the switch to the motor is a triple twist of cloth wire. I don't mean 3 conductor as sold by Sundial Wire, but three single strands twisted together. It is definitely original as there is no trace of re-soldering.

2. The fan was probably used until the 1970s or '80s, because the plug that came with it was a 2 prong plastic one reading UL LISTED--MADE IN MEXICO. So the service life of this fan was about three quarters of a century. on active duty--WHY is the bearing still good if there's no oil on the drive shafts?

3. Black Japan paint is still in good shape where it isn't rusty. I'm only going to spot treat the holes with paint...

Now I need to know what size Mc-Master--Carr leather washer to put in an Emerson motor. (Don't own calipers.)

I'd post pics of this cool fan if I had a digital camera. As for its eventual fate, it gets the Edison wire and put back as original as possible. I then plan to pour it full of good oil, hook it up, and actually use the thing because it gets hot here in Texas.

Last edited on Mon Dec 4th, 2017 03:58 pm by Charles Foyle

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 04:26 pm
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Greg Rodocker
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I have a 19645 (unrestored- except new wires) and use at my bedside nightly. It is a great runner. Do not recall the price of mine but I know it was more than $40.



I have used and continue to use both of the following companies for supplies:



Wire - http://vintagewireandsupply.com/wire-twisted-cloth/ - you can order it longer and add a third wire if you desire. Otherwise they carry wrapped 3 lead wire. They also carry age appropriate reproduction plugs.



The correct grommets (if needed) are available at: http://hudsonscustommachining.com/. He also carries wire and plugs.



You probably could get it going for about $15 in parts from the above.



Good luck.



Greg



PS- Mr. Jeter - you already have my serial number.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 05:39 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Charles Foyle wrote:  I checked the AFCA web site and saw in the Galleries a 19645, brass cage & blades like mine, listed as a 1914 model--that's where the confusion came from.

The wire from the switch to the motor is a triple twist of cloth wire. I don't mean 3 conductor as sold by Sundial Wire

Now I need to know what size Mc-Master--Carr leather washer to put in an Emerson motor. (Don't own calipers.)
Charles, the leather washer for behind the blade hub will be the SMALL size and Darryl Hudson will know what it is for your 9" 19645.
The non-oscillator Emersons had twisted headwires without a sheath but the oscillators used the very flexible and sheathed "litz wire" so your twisted trio is original and correct.

I looked in our gallery and do not see ANY 19645 Emersons shown.  Are you possibly mixing it up with a 19644 (8") or the 21645 shown as being 1914?  That 21645 was not made until 1915.  The 19644 was made in 1914 but was soon discontinued and replaced by your 9" 19645.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 08:05 pm
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Charles Foyle
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NOTE--THIS IS NOT THE FAN I OWN! Mine's the same model but serial 780066.Info copied from the AFCA Gallery, in turn borrowed from Picture Book of Fans.

10" BB/BC
model 19645
Serial ?82353
1914
(PBF)

This was all taken from the galleries, and looks like my own little fan just in a lot better condition. Someone mentioned the 19644 being discontinued in 1914 to be replaced by the 19645. Mine probably is later, but the gallery entry for it had this. In the gallery it's 17 fans down from the top, far left. (At least on my laptop screen. My desktop doesn't display, mainly because it's a 90-year-old typewriter with no internet.)

I slathered the blades with ketchup today--couldnt look at the corrosion for too much longer. NOw most of the filth is off and it's time for proper brass polishes. Yes, it is nearly fully disassembled to rebuild.

Thanks a lot for the parts notes. I'll be getting parts when I can, and hope to start the rebuilding on January 7th.  






Last edited on Mon Dec 4th, 2017 08:07 pm by Charles Foyle

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 09:15 pm
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Steve Stephens
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I do see that fan now Charles and missed it as I was looking for a 9" fan which the 19645 is.  Gallery has it mistakenly shown as a 10" fan.   Mostly one doubles the last number of the TYPE to get the diameter but the 9" fans are the exception.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 09:35 pm
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Lane Shirey
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Hi Charles, PM me your address and I'll mail you a leather washer. On me. 
Please remind me in one week to send it as I'm not by my shop this week. 

Cheers and welcome,!!


Oh,,, and ketchup,?  Really?  Maybe mayo would be better. 


Kidding. Actually Lysol Toilet Bowl cleaner is the best ( blue and white bottle) with some 0000 steel wool. Wash it off immediately with dawn dish soap. 

Last edited on Mon Dec 4th, 2017 09:44 pm by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 11:53 pm
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Chris A. Campbell
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I started using ketchup and when varnish is not present it works well otherwise the toilet bowl cleaner works better

As far as matching the Japan the best solution I have found is the rustoleum black lacquer. The brands of epoxy are lighter and cure time is forever. Generally do base/ clear but this was to look as original as possible

This is rustoleum black lacquer with urethane top coat to match gloss. Just the gear box was painted. Housing all original. I cannot see a difference but the clear coat made it really blend

Last edited on Tue Dec 5th, 2017 12:11 am by Chris A. Campbell

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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 11:55 pm
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Chris A. Campbell
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Chris A. Campbell
wrote:
I started using ketchup and when varnish is not present it works well otherwise the toilet bowl cleaner works better

As far as matching the Japan the best solution I have found is the rustoleum black lacquer. The brands of epoxy are lighter and cure time is forever. Generally do base/ clear.

This is rustoleum black lacquer with urethane top coat to match gloss.justvthe gear box was painted. Housing all original. I cannot see a difference

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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2017 01:11 am
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Charles Foyle
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Thanks for the replies & help. I already found someone who can be around next January and teach me the rudiments of soldering. Rather helpful as I've never owned a soldering iron in my life.

Lane Shirey--thanks for the offer on the leather washer, I'll definitely need one!  I still had the original but pulled it out a bit roughly, thinking it a metal washer, when it crumbled into dry rubbery bits. Probably it needed changing anyhow, I suppose.

As far as black lacquer, I had thought to use model paint since the original base is in fairly decent shape anyway. There are collectors posting pics on this forum of much sadder-looking paint on their new projects. Perhaps I could lacquer the holes and blend them.

I have a little Victrola portable phonograph from 1930, an Orthophonic VV 2-65 for the specifics, which I do enjoy a lot. The particle-board deck had holes punched in it from some inconsiderate soul, so I filled them. It was fun. I was thinking the rusty spots on the bottom step of the base can be fixed with a touch of this lacquer.

Actually I've used spray-on black lacquer before, it works wonders. I was redoing a brass gramophone horn from an India-made fake gramophone dating to the 1980s or '90s. It was supposed to be a custom rebuild, making it more 1900s style,, so I spray-bombed all that brass horn with black lacquer. It was incredibly antique-looking, and far nicer than flimsy cheap brass.




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