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1933 GE World's Fair Fan  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 03:29 am
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Darrell Koller
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I'm sure a few of you saw this 1933 GE World's Fair Fan for sale on eBay this past summer. 










Well, I'm the proud new owner.  As you can see it was needing a little TLC.  I've been working on it for the past couple of months. 




Here's how it looks today:






And here's how it runs today:




Everything is original except the "A Century Of Progress" badge, feet, switch, and cord (oh, and paint of course).  As part of this project I learned how to acid etch a new badge.  You can learn too by checking out the YouTube video at:  

.  

Turns out it not that difficult.  One suggestion that I will make is to be sure to use 1000-1200 grit sandpaper to dull the surface of the aluminum before attempting to apply the transfer.  He demonstrates this in the video, but I will emphasis it.  It will not work on polished metal.


Believe it or not, it has the original windings.  I spent a lot of time inserting high dielectric insulating paper between the stator poles and the coils as most of the protective insulation had rotted away.  I also applied liberal amounts of insulating varnish.  I picked the fan up in person and it was demonstrated to "work" before I bought it.  When I got it home, I took resistance/continuity readings.  I was originally concerned because the resistance showed much lower than I expected - only 8.8 ohms.  I disconnected the individual coils and took readings of each.  I was encouraged to see that each individual coil spec'ed at 2.2 ohms.  Using a micrometer I found the wire dimensions and I estimated the number of wraps.  Using that, and a chart that I found on the Internet that showed resistance per length and gauge, I was able to confirm that the coils were good.  It's a simple shaded pole motor (inefficient) and runs a little hot (about 120 degrees F after about 60 minutes running time).

I replaced all the felt oil reservoirs and wicks.  It's been 100% powder coated.  The bearings are hardly worn at all - very little play.  I suspect that this because all the weight of the rotor is supported by a horizontal flange bushing, which I further suspect is made of tempered steel.  

It was a really fun project.  The biggest challenge was powder coating the blade.  The entire blade assembly is made of aluminum.  I've powder coated aluminum before, but none that had been as badly corroded.  It took a couple of tries to get a good finish.  The deep pits would cause bubbles to form on the surface.

As all others who have made posts about these fans here on the forum, I've searched high and low to learn more about them.  I've seen speculation as to how many exist.  I've seen estimates of around a dozen.  That seems remarkably low to me, but given that I'm pretty sure these were only sold at the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago, the number is probably low.

I'd like to do a survey to get a count.  If you have one, or know of someone who has one, let me know.  I'll start a list of serial numbers.  I've seen half a dozen or so posted here on the forum.  I know there's one in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and there's one in the AFCA fan museum.  It sure would be nice to have a count.

Also, if you have any additional literature, etc. regarding these fans I'd love to see it.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 03:44 am
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George Durbin
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Suh-weet!!

Geo...

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 12:15 pm
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Michael Rathberger
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One of my all time favorites. A little scary when it's going, but it's a great fan and a great save. Well done.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 04:03 pm
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Peter Buffo
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Wow, outstanding work and Save!Cheers,
Peter

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 04:47 pm
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Steve Rockwell
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That looks Great...     Darrell, was there a letter stamped on any of the blades or arms?















Hit the "Search" button, you'll turn up a blue brochure, not certain who first posted it...

Last edited on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 05:48 pm by Steve Rockwell

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 05:07 pm
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Todd Adornato
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Those blades look like they came off a mini snowplow! Looks like the air is pushed out to the sides?

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:03 pm
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Darrell Koller
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George Durbin wrote: Suh-weet!!

Geo...


Thanks George!  I believe that I saw somewhere that you have/had a ceiling version???

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:04 pm
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George Durbin
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Darrell Koller wrote: George Durbin wrote: Suh-weet!!

Geo...


Thanks George!  I believe that I saw somewhere that you have/had a ceiling version???

Yes! I still have it...

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:05 pm
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Darrell Koller
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Michael Rathberger wrote: One of my all time favorites. A little scary when it's going, but it's a great fan and a great save. Well done.
Thanks Mike.  Yeah, it might have been nice if they had made it to have multiple speeds.  It's a little intimidating when it's running.  I ran it for a bit without the cage and I felt a bit uncomfortable.   

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:06 pm
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Darrell Koller
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Peter Buffo wrote: Wow, outstanding work and Save!Cheers,
Peter

Thanks Peter!  I had fun.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:09 pm
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Darrell Koller
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Steve Rockwell wrote: That looks Great...     Darrell, was there a letter stamped on any of the blades or arms?















Hit the "Search" button, you'll turn up a blue brochure, not certain who first posted it...

Hey Steve, 

Yeah there is an "R" stamped on two of the arms.  Previous posts that I've read imply that this stands for "R"adial.  Seems like there were at least a couple of different versions of the fan having different blade pitch.

---Darrell

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:11 pm
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Alex Rushing
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Excellent work, Darrell!

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:11 pm
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Darrell Koller
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Todd Adornato wrote: Those blades look like they came off a mini snowplow! Looks like the air is pushed out to the sides?
Hey Todd,

Great... now that's all I'll be able to see when I look at this fan... four little snow plows chasing each other in a circle :D.

Yeah, the fan pushes the air out and slightly up - perhaps at about 30 degrees.  I believe the intention was to provide circulation without disturbing papers sitting on the desk.

---Darrell

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:12 pm
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Darrell Koller
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Alex Rushing wrote: Excellent work, Darrell!

Thank you sir!

---Darrell

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:13 pm
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George Durbin
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Darrell Koller wrote: Todd Adornato wrote: Those blades look like they came off a mini snowplow! Looks like the air is pushed out to the sides?
Hey Todd,

Great... now that's all I'll be able to see when I look at this fan... four little snow plows chasing each other in a circle :D.

Yeah, the fan pushes the air out and slightly up - perhaps at about 30 degrees.  I believe the intention was to provide circulation without disturbing papers sitting on the desk.

---Darrell

Dont get your finger in those blades... They are very heavy and unforgiving!

Geo...

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:14 pm
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Darrell Koller
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George Durbin wrote: Darrell Koller wrote: George Durbin wrote: Suh-weet!!

Geo...


Thanks George!  I believe that I saw somewhere that you have/had a ceiling version???

Yes! I still have it...

Would you be amenable to having the serial number recorded.  I'd like to start a registry.

---Darrell

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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 07:17 pm
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George Durbin
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Darrell Koller wrote: George Durbin wrote: Darrell Koller wrote: George Durbin wrote: Suh-weet!!

Geo...


Thanks George!  I believe that I saw somewhere that you have/had a ceiling version???

Yes! I still have it...

Would you be amenable to having the serial number recorded.  I'd like to start a registry.

---Darrell

I will get it...

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 Posted: Thu Nov 7th, 2019 02:25 pm
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Steve Butler
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Amazing job Darrell๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘  You definitely took one mans trash and made a treasure out of it.

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 Posted: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 12:33 am
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Darrell Koller
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Steve Butler wrote: Amazing job Darrell๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘  You definitely took one mans trash and made a treasure out of it.
Thanks Steve!

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 Posted: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 02:50 am
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Terry Plata
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Darrell
,My Dad attended the 1933 fair in Chicago as a child and told me how awesome it was to see all the new "technology".  Too bad he did not pick up a fan while there! Who is the manufacturer of that fan?
Terry

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 Posted: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 02:54 am
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George Durbin
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Terry Plata wrote: Darrell
,My Dad attended the 1933 fair in Chicago as a child and told me how awesome it was to see all the new "technology".  Too bad he did not pick up a fan while there! Who is the manufacturer of that fan?
Terry

GE...

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