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Westinghouse ball motor fan  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sun Mar 3rd, 2013 09:25 pm
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Larry Miceli
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Anyone lnow anything about these fans?

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 Posted: Sun Mar 3rd, 2013 09:27 pm
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Larry Miceli
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Another picture

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 Posted: Sun Mar 3rd, 2013 09:39 pm
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Ron May
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I know something about them, THEY'RE COOL!  I'd love to find one for myself.

Search the forums, I think a similar fan was posted here 2-3 months ago.

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 Posted: Sun Mar 3rd, 2013 10:50 pm
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Charles Tedrick
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Thats an early flipper type fan. I dont think I've seen one without the clear plastic type blades. It looks like yours has the micarta blades. Its not a big money fan but its definitely uncommon and if you ever want to sell it you wont have any trouble.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 4th, 2013 04:00 am
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Greg Miller
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Ah, there's another one...

Micarta, very similar to the design on the PowerAire blades. Very cool little fan- I love mine.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 4th, 2013 04:56 am
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George C. Bailey
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Yes Larry, search "Westinghouse ball fan" if you can and you probably will see mine that is from the late 1940s, as I recall someone said. However, mine sure has a 50s look to it.  Mine has the plastic motor casing that is surrounded completely by the cage. I think yours is a little earlier than mine. These came with a sheet metal window insert that the fan snapped into. You can remove it from the window panel and set it down as a table fan also, as most of them are found today, at least in my experience. I think they also came with metal motor casings, which yours looks like. There is one in the galleries. I was lucky to get one that runs very well and quietly. Mine also has light blue plastic blades. I think these fans are a great use of imaginative design and are very eye pleasing.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 4th, 2013 12:30 pm
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Tom Zapf
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These fans came in numerous versions and housings. Yours is an earlier version with the more ovoid side -view shape of the grille. These came out in the early 50's. the later 50s version had a much more "squared off" side view and the grille cage was much deeper. This model with a black painted or beige (like yours) motor/blade powered the single speed debonaire hassock fans.  also in either beige or with a chrome motor cover it went in the 10" sidewall pull-chain kitchen ventilator with the concentric ring grille (the 8" thru wall fan was standard looking, the 10" was super fancy). When in the Westinghouse blue color (at least by the mid 50s)the fan was used in the window fan/kitchen ventilator panel that was a matching blue. the earlier ads i have from the early 50s are black and white and i dont know what color they were. It is possible this fan you have could have been in an early window panel as the color is the same as the earliest late-forties Mobilaires. There was no stand you could use to tilt these fans when they were out of the panels, so you could only point it straight ahead or sit it on its back. I have had two of the later 50s version of this with no panel i have had a hassock fan (the whole grille/motor unit snapped out) and now have an early blue window fan with the compact griille.  ILG, Diehl, Westinghouse and others made these small panel fans to mount in the top section of kitchen windows in old style kitchens where a built-in fan or a range hood were but dreams for the future...nice find!

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 Posted: Mon Mar 4th, 2013 02:03 pm
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Tom Dreesen
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A need a round2it for mine



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 Posted: Mon Mar 4th, 2013 05:05 pm
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George C. Bailey
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Thanks Tom Z. for the date correction. As usual, I shouldn't try to recall facts from memory. Here is my fan:

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 Posted: Mon Mar 4th, 2013 05:06 pm
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George C. Bailey
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next

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 Posted: Mon Mar 4th, 2013 05:38 pm
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Tom Zapf
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yes sir, that is the "deeper" later 50s' cage/grille (and has the center cap not missing too)

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 Posted: Mon Mar 4th, 2013 05:40 pm
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Tom Zapf
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hard to see but it looks like yours doesnt have the full cage unit inside, the maroon is older , mine was blue and the whole fan unit came right out and looks like the top picture of this thread but with black blade and blue motor...very interesting!

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 Posted: Mon Mar 4th, 2013 05:41 pm
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Tom Zapf
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sorry this last reply was to tom dresssen and the maroon hassock fan

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 Posted: Mon Mar 4th, 2013 06:22 pm
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Larry Miceli
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I haven't received it yet, so I'm trusting the seller's description is accurate ( not always a safe thing to do.) if the case is metal, I'm thinking that buffing it up and leaving it un-painted would look great. What a terrific space race look it has. I'd love to see some of the advertisements if you can post some. Oh boy, my wife is going to kill me... That's three fans in three weeks...

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 Posted: Tue Mar 5th, 2013 11:14 am
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Tom Zapf
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oh dear! ..... fan conflict not allowed!!no wife but i make heck for myself sometimes when i bring home too many!... good luck when you get it.... i will try to post some of my fan ads when i get time.. also the scrapbook of fans has a couple of good westinghouse pages too....

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 Posted: Tue Mar 5th, 2013 10:40 pm
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Larry Miceli
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Appreciate the support. Now I have to figure out how to tell her about the Emerson ...

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 Posted: Tue Mar 5th, 2013 10:58 pm
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Greg Miller
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I use the old, "I've had it for a while. Didn't I already show you? I could have sworn..." thing. She lets me think it's working, anyway. I have over 60 fans in my little apartment, so either she's placating me for the fun of it, or (against all odds) I'm actually pulling it off.

Besides- as long as you don't get any fans big enough for her to feed you through, you should be relatively safe.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 6th, 2013 12:22 am
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Ron May
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Larrry, do what I do..."it was only $5 honey, I couldn't pass it up". Works every time (unless she see the emails from the seller!)

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 12:10 am
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George Durbin
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The key is whatever story you make up... DO NOT under any circumstances look them in the eye when your justifying the latest aquisition. They will smell you out in a heartbeat! They can sense fear... Take my word for this, I am not wrong...

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 09:39 pm
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Larry Miceli
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Just received the little Westinghouse ball fan. Great packing job from another eBay seller. That's 3 for 3 so I'm due a disaster pretty soon. Great original fan. Runs perfect and blows lots of air without any bad noises. What a great find! Even my wife thinks its cool!

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 10:09 pm
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Greg Miller
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George Durbin wrote: The key is whatever story you make up... DO NOT under any circumstances look them in the eye when your justifying the latest aquisition. They will smell you out in a heartbeat! They can sense fear... Take my word for this, I am not wrong...Ooh... left out that important detail... I have fallen victim to that in the past and have learned. I try to look really interested in the acquisition, like a kid with a new toy. That's usually enough to just get her to roll her eyes and leave the room. :thumbup

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 10:37 pm
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George C. Bailey
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Larry, does your new fan have a metal motor casing? What are the blades made out of? Metal or plastic?

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 Posted: Fri Mar 8th, 2013 12:43 am
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Larry Miceli
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The casing is metal. The blades feel like either aluminum or some type of composite but not plastic.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 8th, 2013 01:32 am
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Greg Miller
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The motor is cast (pot metal), and the blades are Micarta, which was a proprietary composite made by Westinghouse back then. Sort of like the bastard child of plastic, fiberglass, and cardboard.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 8th, 2013 09:41 am
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Larry Miceli
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That sounds about right. Feels very much like a mix of cardboard and some type of fiber. But in very good condition. So, when would this fan date from? Early 50's?

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 Posted: Fri Mar 8th, 2013 12:03 pm
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Greg Miller
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Late '40s, early '50s. It's one of the early ones, being that color with the Micarta blades. Later ones were blue with plastic blades, like the one earlier in the thread.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 8th, 2013 12:34 pm
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Larry Miceli
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It's very cool but I just can't bring myself to paint it tan. Maybe just polish the metal and clear coat it would look good.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 26th, 2013 12:29 am
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Larry Miceli
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Finally started on the GE ball fan. Originally painted horrible "dead flesh" tan ( I once had a Jaguar XKE painted the same color -awful!) Given that this is an early fan with a metal casing and not pastic, I couldn't help but glass bead and polish the case to a chrome like finish. Two coats of clear high temp poly and it looks like an Art Deco hood ornament! I'll replace the cord , although I'm considering a cloth coved cord just to give it some pizzaz! I'll post more pictures as the project finishes! Looking really great!

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 Posted: Tue Mar 26th, 2013 02:21 am
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George Durbin
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i like that! that will look good. how are you going to seal it?

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 Posted: Tue Mar 26th, 2013 09:11 am
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Larry Miceli
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It has Two coats of high temp clear on them now. I've used this product on automotive applications before with good success so the heat from the motor shouldn't affect the clear coat.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 26th, 2013 12:14 pm
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Jason Puniak
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My wife tells me that if I get any more vintage fans, then some of the ones I have gotta hit the road....that's ok, she kinda likes my two 2006 Lasko 3743's with cheap motors and plastic blades...they are my absolute LEAST favorite fans..They can hit the road anytime lol

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 Posted: Tue Mar 26th, 2013 05:05 pm
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George Durbin
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Every time I sell a fan for nice $$. she is semi ok with it. I am getting quite a number of them in the basement though. Well over a hundred and counting. I cant turn them down if the price is right can I?? I have to admit the collecting is way out doing my rebuilding so far. I am getting more "picky" now about what I buy. I am sure others here have the same experience as I have...

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 Posted: Wed Mar 27th, 2013 08:57 pm
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Ryan Lemke
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For sure! I have slowed way down over the past year. Sometimes I just have to stop looking, the temptation to buy is too strong. I've refurbished and sold about 10 of 60, so I'm maintaining a collection of about 50. Need a bigger house before I can resume my hobby!!

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 Posted: Wed Mar 27th, 2013 10:41 pm
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Chris Hovey
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Wow I don't feel near as guilty about my 12 fans. :)

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 Posted: Sat Apr 13th, 2013 08:46 pm
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Larry Miceli
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Ok, back to the ball fan restoration. Coming out nicely. Removed the white extension cord and although I know it's not original I have some very nice bronze colored cloth covered wire for it. Now the blades; these are early blades, not metal or plastic. Tan in original color, but even with gentle cleaning, I can't get them right. What's the options? Paint is all I can come up with unless someone has another suggestion. Thanks.

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 Posted: Sun Apr 14th, 2013 01:55 am
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Greg Miller
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Those are Micarta blades. Unless they've already been sanded, try cleaning the paint right off of them with acetone and waxing them. They should come out like this:

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 Posted: Fri Apr 26th, 2013 12:27 pm
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Steven P Dempsey
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Here is a little "Ball" motor fan I picked up yesterday for 10 bucks, it was being used as a vent fan in a shop so it is super dusty, but runs great - metal housing, Micarta blades.

I like the inline switch too - very minimalistic design.

I see in this thread where some were being restored - -any "after" photos? That metal ball will look cool polished out.

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Westy Ball Motor Before.jpg

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 Posted: Fri Apr 26th, 2013 01:04 pm
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Larry Miceli
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That's exactly like the one I picked up but a LOT cheaper! I'm working on it now and will post pictures when I finish up, hopefully this weekend.
Larry

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 Posted: Fri Apr 26th, 2013 01:25 pm
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Steven P Dempsey
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Cool. Let me know if there is any special tricks/weak points to disassemble.
A cloth cord will look cool - how about all polished metal & a silver or lime green cloth cord & black bakelite in-line switch? "Atomic Design" LOL

I'll wait to see what yours looks like!

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Westy Ball Motor In Line Switch.jpg

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 Posted: Fri Apr 26th, 2013 07:00 pm
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Larry Miceli
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That in line switch must be factory because it is exactly like the one on my fan. Same horrible old white cord as well. I just couldn't bring myself to go the white wire route so am using non-braided bronze colored cloth cord. The fan comes apart very easily. I would just say take a bunch of pictures, and when you think you have enough, then take MORE!! Also, pay attention to the washers on each side of the rotor. Some look like they fiber and are very brittle. Here are a few pictures of the finished fan.
Larry

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