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Mcgraw Edison Big 20  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Mar 5th, 2018 10:17 pm
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Harry Franke
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 Okay. Let's try this again. The Wi-Fi here has been screwed up + I probably don't know what I'm doing. I keep getting large gaps in my post.

Just bought a McGraw-Edison Big 20 off of Ebay. Don't have it yet. My search for a vintage fan started with wanting to get another modern Lasko made in U.S.A. box fan model B20725. Seems I'm a little late though. Lasko discontinued it & in it's place is a cheap Chinese crap fan branded as "commercial."


I took a chance on the McGraw Edison based upon favorable reviews of their products and the design of the "Big 20." This was a "buy now; research later" thing. Much to my dismay, I can't find any information on it. Does anyone have info on this fan as far as years made, efficiency and build quality; in particular, the motor? Any information would be much appreciated.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 5th, 2018 11:55 pm
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Levi Mevis
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That was was marketed under the Eskimo and the Zero brand names of which were both owned by the Bersted McGraw-Edison company of Booneville, Missouri, those style of fans were from the late 1940s all the way up to the mid 1950s. I have the 12" version of that fan and mine is Branded "Zero" on the label, they are great fans and run fairly quietly for box fans and (at least with my 12" model) only use about the equivalent of a 75 watt light bulb worth of power on high and about 40 watts on low which is fairly low wattage consumption for a box fan because I have a 1960s vintage Eskimo 20" box fan that actually takes about 130 Watts running on high and about 70 watts on low.


I hope this helps.


Levi

Last edited on Mon Mar 5th, 2018 11:55 pm by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Tue Mar 6th, 2018 02:00 am
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Harry Franke
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Thank you!

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 Posted: Tue Mar 6th, 2018 02:08 am
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Levi Mevis
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No problem, you've got a good fan there, it will probably outlive you its so well built. Just make sure you oil the motor really well when you get it, the oil ports on the motor on that fan will be right above the shaft for the blade and the rear one will be right above where the shaft just barely comes out of the back hole, if you don't oil the motor on the fan it will sound like a Ninja Sword Fight when its running. And you'll have to oil the bearings on that fan about once a year or so right when you start using it for the beginning of the fan season (around the beginning of spring) and the oil you should use to lube that fan motor with is 3-in-1 in the blue can or oil called Zoom! Spout. 

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 Posted: Tue Mar 6th, 2018 03:14 am
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Harry Franke
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Thanks. I have both of those oils. I have the last Hunter ceiling fan (the Original) made in the U.S. that I oil religiously. It's been in four houses already. I'm not giving that fan away to someone who doesn't appreciate it when I sell a house. They get a nice pretty new made in China Hunter with a sealed bearing motor. Yahoo! :cool: Also have two Hunter Zephair window fans. I wondered about the oil ports on the Big 20 though. I probably paid too much for it ($60.00 fan;$38.00 shipping) but I wanted quality. I've been killing two box fans a year here in the high desert (Northeast Nevada).

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 Posted: Tue Mar 6th, 2018 03:29 am
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Levi Mevis
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Yeah, those cheap chinese fans that have the "permanently lubricated, thermally protected" motors don't hold up well to dry 100+ degree desert temperatures, that McGraw-Edison fan you have should hold up well though because it isn't one shot thermally protected like the modern ones are, also the modern fans don't do didly squat to self-ventilate the motors like the older ones did, the old fans were made in such a way that the fan blades would draw air across the motor and its vent holes to self-cool the motor so it wouldn't overheat (which is why fan motors back then didn't need thermal protection like modern fans do), whereas modern fans aren't designed with blades that can draw air across the motors to self cool the motors, you'd be lucky to find a modern fan motor that even has any decent vent holes in them for ventilating the motor, which is why they are one-shot thermally protected because the motors overheat easily and thus once the motor overheats, Bam! the fan is done for. The last of the decent American made Lasko and Lakewood fans were made in the 1980s with the Lakewood P-228s and the Lasko equivalent to that fan, they were of the large motor type that were still able to be taken apart and lubricated and moved around a decent amount of air and other stuff like that.  

Last edited on Tue Mar 6th, 2018 03:29 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Tue Mar 6th, 2018 02:02 pm
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Harry Franke
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 Thanks for the wealth of information. Even if I get stiffed on this Ebay fan, you've armed me with a lot of info for my next choice. I bought two Home Depot "commercial" box fans a few years ago. All metal including the blades. $75.00 each. One lasted a year; the other 6 months, so I don't think paying $100.00 for a vintage fan that will most likely work for more than a year isn't a waste of money; plus it looks cool. The Lasko box fan I have was discontinued about a year ago. It meets the "Made in U.S.A." requirements. That means it was assembled here with mostly foreign parts, including the motor. The motor is quite heavy. So far, so good after one year running 24/7. I still don't have high hopes for it though. Lasko since replaced it with a "commercial" fan @ $50.00. There should be some regulation on the use of the term commercial.









 I am a happy camper after you indicated I have a decent fan. The only downside is that I get hooked on this stuff & SSI checks don't stretch very far.:cry: It's a shame that most of the younger generation have no idea what America lost.



BTW, my two Hunter Zephair window fans have been running for three years now. I think one was made for a shop or large building. It barely fits in my double hung window. On "Hi", it will shut doors on the other side of the house! I don't have any flies in the house because it screws up their flight pattern!:D I do have a lot of dead flies on the sill in front of the fan though.







Last edited on Tue Mar 6th, 2018 02:08 pm by Harry Franke

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 Posted: Tue Mar 6th, 2018 02:20 pm
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Levi Mevis
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I agree and I'm in the same situation you are in, I also get disability checks because of my Autism and my mom takes care of all of my money so I have to rely on money I get from a job when I have one (currently unemployed) and so I have to limit my spending on old fans and radios right now sadly enough. So anyways it's just kind of one of those things that vintage and antique fan and radio collecting can be an expensive hobby but every once in a while a good find comes around at a reasonable price.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 6th, 2018 07:20 pm
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Harry Franke
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 You can always justify it by saying you are saving money by not buying modern fans! Also, it's good therapy. Seriously! I've been working with my autistic daughter for 37 years now. There's a lot of pain involved so a good hobby is a great distraction. Hers is sewing & designing clothes. Most of the public doesn't understand this so I don't want to get any further off of the subject of fans. You've been a great help!

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 Posted: Fri Mar 16th, 2018 12:54 am
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Harry Franke
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 Got my Big 20 today. It's in pretty good shape and will be easy to restore. I need to find a good quality Seafoam green paint or something close to it. I used Zoom Spout oil but I'm don't think much was getting into the bearings. I'll take it apart in the Spring and clean it. I need to balance the blades a bit. It doesn't vibrate too badly. However, it wants to walk slowly around the kitchen. May be getting used to it's new home though. I think feet with more "tack" would keep it in place. I held a popsicle stick on the grill & planted it against a blade. There is one blade that is a little out of line. As is, the fan isn't bothersome. I've had much worse. I tightened the motor mounts. The rear grill was very loose. I was hoping that would stop the vibration but knew better. Otherwise, the blade is excellent. No dings, corrosion, or visible bends.
  Good grief this thing is heavy compared to my Lasko fan! I think I got the last all metal Lasko fan before they started making the plastic ones in China at 1/2 the price. I thought it was a pretty robust fan until I got the Big 20.

 I just did an impulse buy on EBay again. There was only 10 minutes left on the listing so I didn't have much time to research it. It is a "Big Windy." It has a unique "Vornadoish" look to it. The top is dented but I can fix that. I was only able to do a quick research on it. I found only two threads that mention it. Seems to be a little scarce. I thought it would compliment my Big 20.
  

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 Posted: Fri Mar 16th, 2018 01:01 am
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Levi Mevis
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That Big windy looks nice, looks like the blades are on backwards...

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 Posted: Fri Mar 16th, 2018 01:10 am
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Harry Franke
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 I never saw that. I'm pretty sure you're right. I've been restoring 60's-70's metal Tonka toys so I've gotten pretty good at removing dents. I really like the grill & screen on this fan since I have 8 cats. I started with Vornado fans but got real paranoid about getting up in the morning and finding one of my cats missing a paw or beak!

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 Posted: Fri Mar 16th, 2018 11:12 am
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Lawrence Smith
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I'm chiming in I call these the BBQ fans  , I have not ran them much yet but plan to this summer. They are freaking heavy!! I have a 20 &16 with a 12 & 10 on the way. mine are branded Eskimo with the white square badging. i've only ran them quickly to test the speed function & working condition. I did just sell a 16 & 2 12" versions with the Zero badging(rotating stock as i call it) . The 16" version I own has the oil cups on the motor, i've never seen that on a box fan. i'll get some pics posted, great thread!!

Last edited on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 11:15 am by Lawrence Smith

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 Posted: Fri Mar 16th, 2018 03:14 pm
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Harry Franke
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Heavy might be an understatement! I'm 70 and thought I was still in decent shape. I still cut firewood & hike BUT, putting this thing on my lap for inspection was an ordeal.

 I think I found a source for a close match regarding paint color. It's NelsonEZY.com. The color is Jadeite Green. I haven't got any yet. I'll finish the top coat off with Eastwood's 2K clear gloss. It's one of the most durable rattle can paints out there. It's a two part mix in the can paint that has a short shelf life and a little pricey. It passes the finger nail scratch test though.



 Even with the cost of the fan and the paint, I'm still getting a fan that has a better chance of lasting longer than today's modern offerings, more efficient, and way cooler looking. :clap: 

Good grief!!!! I went to order 4 cans of Jadeite from NelsonEZY.com. The cheapest shipping is $70.00!!!! :hammer: I found the same paint on Etsy.com. Shipping for four cans is $19.00. :D


Last edited on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 03:59 pm by Harry Franke

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