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GE vortalex  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 12:06 am
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Mike Miller
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Hi all, since my R&M restoration I've been itching to do another. I just purchased a vintage Vortalex. It appears to be industrial, 16" oscillator. It has a tag on the base but so far I'm not able to date it. Most sites want a serial# and all I have is a CAT#. My guess is late 40s to early to mid 50s. 
I will not be restoring to original unless it's a rare or valuable item. My gut is about 99% sure that it isn't so I plan on tailoring it to the decor of them home. 

Any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated 

M

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 01:45 pm
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Levi Mevis
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The Serial Number would be the number that's after the word "No." which is short for serial number.Also your fan isn't industrial, its a regular home use model, the only GE Vortalexes that were industrial models were the ones that were 20"+ in diameter, were stationary, and were on a pedestal base. 


A picture of your fan would help us figure out what year your fan is from as they made the Vortalexes from 1938 until about 1966 almost 30 years and they didn't change much during those almost 30 years of production except for the cage.
And you're right in saying the Vortalex fans aren't incredibly valuable but they are also incredibly good fans, they are good air movers and are extremely quiet and are considered the highest end fan that GE made at that time.


Now as far as redoing the fan goes try and stick with traditional colors as these fans don't look good "hotroded" so to speak.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 03:06 pm
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Richard Daugird
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All youneed is the Cat#. Here's a link to decode it:

.
http://www.afcaforum.com/forum1/51217.html

Just scroll down until you see your Cat#.


Sorry it's not a link, you'll have to cut and paste it into the browser.

Last edited on Mon Jun 11th, 2018 03:07 pm by Richard Daugird

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 08:57 pm
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Mike Miller
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Was going to post a pic last night but got sidetracked.... anyhow here it is. As for color, no way would I go hot rod lol... bronzish brown metallic color on the base, black cage, nickel plated plated blade.... I like more subdued colors

Attached Image (viewed 257 times):

20180611_164902.jpg

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 09:01 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Your Vortalex is from the late 1950s early 1960s. The grey color and the red badge is the biggest give away.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 09:03 pm
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Mike Miller
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Previous restoration 

Attached Image (viewed 251 times):

Screenshot_20170819-082910.png

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 09:07 pm
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Levi Mevis
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That'saa very nice R & M I have one as well that is plated,  that I'm working on restoring. 

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 09:09 pm
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Richard Daugird
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I literally, just this moment before sitting down, hooked up a to a Variac, a fan like the black and brass R&M above, for a breeze during tonight's charity team meeting/meal. Funny coincidence.

Edit: It is actually a GreyBar re-badged R&M.

Last edited on Mon Jun 11th, 2018 09:11 pm by Richard Daugird

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 09:35 pm
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Mike Miller
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Well that's a bummer lol.... I was digging the whole RM thing.... being from Ohio and all. I still love it tho. It does make a bit of sense now looking at the tag, its list number is 5304 but the serial box is blank as can be 

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 10:33 pm
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Richard Daugird
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I don't mind it's re-badged. It's nothing fancy, just a good air mover.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 10:36 pm
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Richard Daugird
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Why not take lots of pictures and write an article for the Fan Collector Magazine? The Vortalex is a popular and affordable fan, I for one have a few that need restoration; I'd love to see a step by step how to.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 11:04 pm
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Mike Miller
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I'd have to do a lot more work before I'd be qualified to do a vid.... for me it's more trial and error..... heavy on the error lmao
It's still fun tho 

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 11:05 pm
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Mike Miller
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Oh Richard, I'm sorry I misunderstood.... I thought you had recognized mine as a rebrand.... sorry man

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 Posted: Tue Jun 12th, 2018 06:13 pm
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Richard Daugird
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It's all good. Besides, a re-badge is not a bad thing, I understand it was very common. If it is a quality piece, what's in a name? I have a Westy tank re-badged as Hawthorn Victor, I really like the look of the logo.

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 Posted: Tue Jun 12th, 2018 11:34 pm
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Lane Shirey
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Just a bit of history, ( and I’m no historian for sure) but there were many reasons that companies both brand labeled, AND  others had companies brand label FOR them. 

Take today’s example, Sears. They never made a single appliance, power tool, or lawn care item. EVERY item was brand labeled for them. They were the brand. Kenmore, Craftsman, etc. 


But the stuff was made by Whirlpool, Black and Decker, MTD lawn equipment etc. Why? Because Sears was only a retail store, not unlike Graybar, Western Electric ( BTW Graybar was the major distributor for Western Electric telecom equipment) . Graybar had no intention of gearing up to make motors and fans yet they wanted to be able to offer them in their product lineup. 


Conveniently, many times these brand label relationships were made during a time when the manufacturers ( R&M , Westinghouse, GE) had excess capacity, like during the early days of Electric, wartime, and during the depression. Sometimes it coincided with the expansion of a manufacturing plant, like R&M. 


Westinghouse sold and brand labeled fans in the teens to R&M, Dayton, Shedd, Western Electric/Hawthorne to survive. The company was not doing well financially AND had excess capacity, so therefore the relationships. 


Yes, a few beers and I rambled on, but hopefully it was a useful rant. 


Cheers! 


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 Posted: Fri Jun 15th, 2018 11:47 am
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David Kilnapp
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I'm just finishing up a restoration on the exact same Vortalex. After some considerable searching, I was able to find an exact match for the color. It's a two part (base coat then final coat) Volvo paint color. I'll post pictures when it's done and details on the spray paint (where to get it, cost etc.)

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 Posted: Sat Jun 16th, 2018 12:03 pm
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Mike Miller
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Well I guess I'm now doing 2 restorations lol, my favorite antique shop just got in an old emerson pedestal fan (77648 AM).... This one need a fair amount of work but I couldn't resist 😁

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 Posted: Sat Jun 16th, 2018 12:08 pm
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Mike Miller
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 Posted: Sat Jun 16th, 2018 02:22 pm
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Kevin Massey
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Nice score on the Emerson pedestal fan!

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 Posted: Sat Jun 16th, 2018 03:29 pm
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Mike Miller
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Thanks, definitely thought it worth 60 bucks

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 Posted: Thu Jun 21st, 2018 06:23 am
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Richard Daugird
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Lane is right on the money.

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