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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 11:02 pm
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Matthew Albach
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Good afternoon,

I was wondering what Ge pancake is the best to get and if the 5 speeder was any better then the 3 speeder. I am not too familiar with year of make but I always wanted a GE pancake. I am just gathering information and options for now. I don't think Ge pancake were made with a centrifugal switch. I like to see the rotor and stator similar to the century skeletal. Any help would be great. 

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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 11:30 pm
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Ron Powell
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Matt, A lot of the early cakes had a back sorta like a skeletal with the large openings to see the choke coil but not the rotor like the one below.
I prefer a 5 speed myself and like the half ribbed base of the 04 cake and the full ribbed base of the 03 I believe it is. Check the gallery out, there a lot of cakes there.

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Last edited on Thu May 24th, 2012 11:30 pm by Ron Powell

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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 11:35 pm
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Ralph Bliss
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Matthew Albach wrote: I was wondering what Ge pancake is the best to get .... 


All of them. :up:

A lot of things to consider. They all run good, stay cool, and perform well. Price as a consideration, they tend to go up in price the older they are, with some bigger steps at 01, 00, 99... Almost everyone who buys one model year, ends up wanting all years. 02 is a good year, there seems to be more of them around, which keeps the prices down somewhat, They have the older style back switch. I like the full ribbed and half ribbed base, after the change over with the switch moved to the base.

Last edited on Thu May 24th, 2012 11:37 pm by Ralph Bliss

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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 11:37 pm
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Lewis Fitzgerald-Holland
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Oh, oh pancakes! I like those! put a little maple syrup in their bearing and they sing sweetly....

I personally like the 1902 model the best. It retains the older style ornate trunnion and finial, and the nice flat half ribbed base of the early models, yet it has a 5 speed switch like the later switch in base models, and retains the cast brass hub and 10 wire cage, compared the later stamped hub and 8 wire cage. However, the switch is still in the back like the 1900 above, so you can't see the rotor through the back. There is a series of vents around the outer edge of the motor like the skeletal though. My next favorite is the 1904-1905 models with the half ribbed base and switch in the base. I prefer the half ribbed base over the fully ribbed one for some reason.

My 1902

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Last edited on Thu May 24th, 2012 11:40 pm by Lewis Fitzgerald-Holland

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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 11:40 pm
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Lewis Fitzgerald-Holland
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front

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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 11:43 pm
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Lewis Fitzgerald-Holland
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my 1904

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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 11:44 pm
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Lewis Fitzgerald-Holland
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 back

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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 11:53 pm
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Matthew Albach
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Wow those are some neat pancakes. A tuff choice indeed Yeah i have to agree with you guys on the 5 speeder and Ron and Lewis thats a beautiful pancake that you guys have. I like that style and ribben base. there are 2 types of 5 speed GE pancake? like Lewis and Ron has?

Last edited on Thu May 24th, 2012 11:53 pm by Matthew Albach

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 01:46 am
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Ralph Bliss
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My 05 see's the most use. I've been running it at night on a Variac at about 95 volts, it seems to love it.

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 02:38 am
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Nicholas Denney
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16" half-rib swivel trunnion with the switch in the base!!!

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 03:32 am
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Matthew Albach
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Nice fan Ralph,
does the pancakes make that magnetic humm like the BMY's do? 95 volts must be the magic number for these fans I do have a variac i use on my Tesla at 95 volts as well that too loves that voltage.

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 03:54 am
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Lewis Fitzgerald-Holland
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Matthew Albach wrote: Wow those are some neat pancakes. A tuff choice indeed Yeah i have to agree with you guys on the 5 speeder and Ron and Lewis thats a beautiful pancake that you guys have. I like that style and ribben base. there are 2 types of 5 speed GE pancake? like Lewis and Ron has?
Several types of 5 speed pancakes. The first 5 speed model was the 1902, the first fan I pictured with the switch in the back. The early 1903 models switched to the switch in the base, and the base was fully ribbed, besides that they are almost identical to the late 1903, 1904, and 1905 models like the second one I pictured with the half ribbed base, and a 3 strut design versus 4. After 1903 the cage also switched to 8 wire with a stamped brass hub. late 1905 and 1906 retained the more ornate motor, with the switch in the base, but the base became completely smooth. 1907 (possibly early 1908) was the last year, and these fans got a less ornate motor casing and retained the completely smooth base. Pancakes don't seem to make the same howl that the BMY and later GE's do.

Also, the one Ron posted is a 1900 I believe, so that one's only a two speeder.

Last edited on Fri May 25th, 2012 10:55 am by Lewis Fitzgerald-Holland

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 04:53 am
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Steve Stephens
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You will find the sound of a pancake different from later GEs. I don't care for the sound of the BMY and some other later GEs but the pancake has a nice sound of a small plane taking off. I don't find it objectionable and, run on a variac which I often do, the pancakes can be pretty quiet.

I did like the 5 speeds better because they give more speed choices and, probably, a slower speed. If I use a variac I prefer the 2 speeds (no 3 speed pancakes) because I don't have to click the switch so far to get back to off and I really need only a single speed with the variac.

Take a look here for more pancake into.
http://earlyfans.blogspot.com/2011/02/ge-pancake-1894-1908.html

Most people chose a back switch or a front switch model. I prefer the look of the back switch and probably the simple looking 1900 model. Choice of the stick or trunnion is a personal matter. I may prefer the back switch stick mount more but don't like looks of the switch-in-base stick mount. Get yourself one of each. The 1906-07 will usually be the least expensive since they are plainer with less brass. I like the 1904-05 trunnion mount also.

12" or 16"? Bill Voigt and I were running two of my 16" 1904 trunnions and found that they did not want to easily come back up to speed when slowed with a variac. The 12" did much better and Bill's thoughts were that GE did a better job in designing their 12" motors than the 16" motors. Not sure if what we say is typical with other 16" cakes. My only 16" cake and favorite is the 1901 or 02 stick mount. Great for cooling a noisy warehouse cause they blow like the wild wind.

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 06:13 am
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Kim Frank
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Any cake from 1899 thru 1908 will probably suit your fancy and wallet. Back switch, base switch, four strut, three strut, two speed , five speed, cast brass hub blade, stamped brass hub blade, trunnion mount, stick mount, twelve inch, sixteen inch, ten wire cage, eight wire cage, original as found condition, restored condition, full ribbed base, half ribbed base, smooth base, they are all good........My favorites are a nice 12" 1904/1905 with just a slight bit of modification.......

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 07:35 am
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Dustin Kauffman
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How much would a 12" trunnion mount, 5 speed, with switch in the base (any year) in decent condition cost? I have been wondering, but never asked. I would like to have one, but don't want to spend a lot. Maybe even a 12" BMY?

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 08:21 am
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Steve Stephens
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You are probably looking at $300 for a good fan or several hundred more and that may be for an 06-07 model. Nothing wrong with them but they aren't as fancy as the earlier ones.

Many pancakes have "problems" with missing or broken switch, missing speed coil, missing or wrong (usually a BMY) cage or cage wires broken from the rear ring.

You can get a BMY for much less but it won't be a pancake. Pancakes are fun fans and worth the extra they cost over many other fans. If you keep your eyes open for a pancake you might come across one for less than the going price.

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 08:48 am
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Dustin Kauffman
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Ok thanks, it would be fun to have one, but it is going to take some serious saving. I only paid $400 for the first 2 cars I owned... BMY will probably happen before a Pancake. :(

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 09:04 am
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Nicholas Denney
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This got me thinking... is there not a 16" full-rib cake? I just realized that I've never seen one and when I picture it, it doesn't look quite right.

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 09:45 am
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Steve Stephens
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I'd call this a full ribbed base.

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 11:24 am
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Nicholas Denney
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Hm! It IS weird-looking!

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 02:07 pm
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Fred Berry
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Matthew Albach wrote: Good afternoon,

I was wondering what Ge pancake is the best to get and if the 5 speeder was any better then the 3 speeder. I am not too familiar with year of make but I always wanted a GE pancake. I am just gathering information and options for now. I don't think Ge pancake were made with a centrifugal switch. I like to see the rotor and stator similar to the century skeletal. Any help would be great. 

Matt,

All GE pancakes had shaded pole motors, the centrifugal switched motors did not appear until 1908 and those were 1st run BMY's only.

For the "Century skeletal" look, 1903 and up is what you want, as you can see the rotor from both front & back and these models have the vent holes around the perimeter of the motor. 1902 and below, the switch is in the rear of the motor. 1894, 95', and 96' were switchless plug-in only. 1897 the switch appeared in the back of the motor with the torroid.

The 1908 models are weird looking, totally different from the older ones with their "big ugly" motors, but you can see the rotor. These have the smaller motor tag like a BMY, not the large tags on the early models.

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2012 02:49 pm
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Kim Frank
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Fred Berry wrote: the 1908 models are weird looking, totally different from the older ones with their "big ugly" motors, but you can see the rotor. The beauty of the 07's and '08's is their differences. The struts are different and the motor castings are different from the earlier model 1906. This pair of 08's have consecutive serial numbers..... 

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Last edited on Fri May 25th, 2012 02:56 pm by Kim Frank

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 Posted: Sat May 26th, 2012 12:57 am
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William Drabble
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I have never liked the later 07/08's. By then they had lost all there nice details.
My favorite is the one most people don't like which is a fully ribbed trunnion with a switch in the base. To me it looks the most Victorian and elegant.
This is mine which got busted in the post.
I especially like the brass band that goes all the way around the motor

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 Posted: Sat May 26th, 2012 02:07 am
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Jeff Whitfield
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I hope you got your pound of flesh out of the seller for that exquisite job of shipping.

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 Posted: Sat May 26th, 2012 02:18 am
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William Drabble
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Yer got my money back so I got the fan for only the price of the shipping

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 Posted: Sat May 26th, 2012 02:32 am
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Steve Stephens
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I bet you can replace the rotor shaft William and end up with a nice and inexpensive pancake. I once received a fan where the rotor shaft had gone through the side of the box but no apparent damage was done until I realized a small dent had occurred on the end of the shaft. That's why I had a hard time getting the blade on and a harder time removing it so I could make the blade slip on smoothly. I usually ask the seller to protect the motor shaft so it can't get damaged. Good luck with your cake.

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 Posted: Sat May 26th, 2012 02:45 am
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Kim Frank
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The early 1906's had the more stylish motor housing, then came the smooth motor housing later in '06. This one is a later '06 CGE. It has struts that are made the same as the earlier struts on middle '03's thru '05's except they're steel in stead of brass. The cakes in 12 inch AC from '99 thru '02, each year had a stick mount and a trunnion mount model. Speeds changed from 2 to 5 in 1902. In '03, you have three versions of each model, starting with a full ribbed base with 4 strut motor, then came the full ribbed base with 3 strut motor followed shortly by the half ribbed base with 3 strut motor. Blades and cages on these fans were 10 s wire and cast brass hub. The eight s wire and stamped brass hub was introduced in this year also. These are all form C fans. 1904 started with a large brass motor tag then went to the smaller tag on the trunnion mounts. I haven't seen a 1904 stickmount with the brass band but it was made with a steel band with smaller tag riveted to it. 1905 were the same as '04's except the base has a thumb nut and a set screw to hold the trunnion, and the motor tag no longer uses the form number. 1906 came with a smooth base and a motor housing as what was used back thru '03, until mid year when it went smooth. 1907's and 1908's had a strut change for both the stick and trunnion mount. Matt wants to know which pancake is the best? My reply would be that all of them are nice fans to own. Each is different in styling but are essentially the same in operation. Pick one that floats your boat...........

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 Posted: Sat May 26th, 2012 10:18 am
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Matthew Albach
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Thanks everyone for you value input I guess I have to make room for those pancakes. this will be tuff choices to make which year and models now the question how far did GE make the pancakes from 1899, to 1908 or do they have a 1910 pancake as well.

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 Posted: Sat May 26th, 2012 10:52 am
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Russ Huber
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Kim Frank wrote:
My reply would be that all of them are nice fans to own. Each is different in styling but are essentially the same in operation.

They are shaded pole motors with beefy rotors. They start slow....but when the weight of that rotor gains momentum, your off to the races. G.E. got on the stick with split phase motors starting in 08. Why? Kick butt starting torque over a shaded pole fan motor.

Cakes are easy going smooth runners when they are healthy. :D

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 Posted: Sun May 27th, 2012 03:56 pm
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Ralph Bliss
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William Drabble wrote: My favorite is the one most people don't like which is a fully ribbed trunnion with a switch in the base. I think most do like the full ribbed base, I know I do.

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 Posted: Sun Nov 21st, 2021 05:21 am
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Susan Guinn
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Wow, so beautiful!  love this paint job.

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 Posted: Sun Nov 21st, 2021 01:18 pm
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Ted Kaczor
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Nicholas Denney wrote: This got me thinking... is there not a 16" full-rib cake? I just realized that I've never seen one and when I picture it, it doesn't look quite right.Nick, here's another ful-rib 16" cake, a 1903 model.

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 Posted: Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 01:30 pm
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David Hoatson
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In my opinion, pancakes are WAY better than a BMY. BMY’s tend to have pricy bearing problems and just don’t look as good as a pancake. 
Get one that is not missing any parts. The Form B (1902) seems to be the most common and is a great fan. They often have broken cages, but Ted Kaczor sells great replicas. 

I have alway found the need to replace the bearing with one from Darryl Hudson. An easy fix. 

I suspect that the purpose of the 5 speeds was to let you pick one that avoids resonance & vibration. 

It seems that GE’s of this era (pancakes and BMYs) tend to have poorly balanced blades. Put one on a Dubro prop balancer and expect to be surprised. 


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 Posted: Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 03:05 pm
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Steven P Dempsey
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I think the 1900 model, without all the extra holes in the motor housing & base is the best design. 1899 practically same fan but much more $$$







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 Posted: Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 03:28 pm
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David Hoatson
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I sold a 1900 pancake to the CEO of GE’s wife for a Christmas present. I told her an Emerson would be better, but …

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 Posted: Wed Nov 24th, 2021 02:01 am
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Susan Guinn
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Love, love, love!!

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 Posted: Sun Nov 28th, 2021 02:26 pm
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Kim Frank
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Reading Matt's post from 2012 and seeing past and current replies reminded me of another post from a few years ago......

https://www.afcaforum.com/view_topic.php?id=46077&forum_id=1&highlight=Favorite+pancake

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