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GE Vortalex Pedestal Fan  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sun Nov 3rd, 2019 03:35 pm
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Mark Jirousek
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I’m a new member, but have collected “casually” for years.  For me, it is a great time in my collecting because I’ve seen so little of what I know has been produced over time that many times I’m seeing something I never knew existed.  However, I’m also pretty good at spotting quality when I see it.  
I came across this GE Vortolex pedestal fan in gunmetal grey yesterday at an estate auction and couldn’t leave it behind.  It was 38 degrees in the sale, so folks looked at me funny for buying it. The auction was “quick and dirty” and there wasn’t even enough time to see if the fan worked (a good gamble,  IT DOES).  I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting restorations and this looks VERY original to me and extremely well preserved.  The auction was a hodgepodge of vintage general household items, so I doubt a fan restoration was part of the previous owners life.

It was not until I got it home that I discovered that there perhaps should be a variable speed control switch on the base.  So as it sits, this fan is “plug and play”,  one speed only, running strong, smooth and very quiet with oscillator working without issue.  

My question for those who might know:  Was this fan ever made to be one speed?  If not, can a speed controller for under the base be found?  The operation and cosmetic condition of this fan are rather spectacular.  Aside from a bit of fray in the fabric coated wiring, it looks almost new.   So some investigation seems warranted.  Though sparse, I’ve been able to find other examples of this fan on line (some in what are to me “wild colors”) and this one looks better than all of them.  There is not a hint of rust, but there is a look of age nonetheless, call it patina.

I look forward to membership here and any comments or suggestions.  Thanks very much and KEEP THE AIR MOVING.

Mar Jirousek, Eureka, IL

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 Posted: Sun Nov 3rd, 2019 05:54 pm
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Sean Campbell
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Hi Mark, welcome to the forum! You’ll find this site is a great resource for collecting with many helpful members. :D You also picked a great time to join as the dues are discounted now. As for your fan, it would have definitely had a three speed switch in the base. I’m not sure if you could use a desk model parts fan for the switch or if they are different. The GE Vortys are nice fans though and it seem you found a good unit overall. Have fun working on it!

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 Posted: Sun Nov 3rd, 2019 05:58 pm
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Dave McManaman
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Very nice and looks to be in great original shape. I’m thinking mid 40s, just post WW2 or thereabouts. I believe there would be a lever switch on the base between one of the six feet but don’t see on yours. I have a smaller and earlier one speed with a toggle switch so can’t be much help. Easiest solution would be to plug it into an outlet operated from a wall switch or put an inline switch on the cord. But if you need to replace the cord you might want to do more toward a true to original switch. I would not suggest getting into the headwire up toward the motor as that can be a tough one to work on. So if it runs I’d leave that part be. Probably needs the grease in the oscillator box cleaned out and replaced. Every oscillating fan I’ve ever gotten has had decades old caramelized grease. Congrats on a nice looking fan!

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 Posted: Sun Nov 3rd, 2019 06:33 pm
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Dave McManaman
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You might check out the pictures in post #6 at this link showing the switch and coil assembly in the base of the pedestal
 http://www.afcaforum.com/view_topic.php?id=46608&forum_id=1&highlight=Vortalex+pedestal+switch

Here’s another post with the parts in the base. http://www.afcaforum.com/view_topic.php?id=54494&forum_id=2&highlight=Fm12m11

Last edited on Sun Nov 3rd, 2019 06:37 pm by Dave McManaman

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 Posted: Mon Nov 4th, 2019 05:58 pm
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Richard Daugird
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Hit that with some wax and I bet it will shine like new! As for the switch, you could always use a Variac speed control, you could mount it in the wall with a switch plate controlling the outlet, and never have to bend over to operate the fan.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 11:44 am
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Steven P Dempsey
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I have the same fan with no switch, looking for a speed control that fits in base or a switch.

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