I got a poke off of the GE AOU. so I put the tester on it and sure enough it had a 120v charge. Everything metal was hot. I reversed the neutral and hot wire and it was fine. But my question is what was the deal back in the day when the plug was not neutral specific? If you plugged it in one way the exposed metal was hot like an old radio chassis.Am I missing something?
Yes, there is 'Potential" for the fan body to be 'hot' (pun intended). Usually the switch blade is line voltage, and only insulated by the knob itself, that leaves the frame neutral, Ideally, the fan should be insulated so that reverse polarity does not cause the fan frame to become hot. There may be missing insulating washers on the choke or switch, or there could be voltage leakage from the choke to frame, or the stator to frame. A conventional VOM does not supply a high potential to check for such leakage, although modern meters are very sensitive in the several Megohms range. A "megger" or Hi-pot (high potential tester) gives way more insight as to the condition of the windings, because they test at about 500 volts.