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Edgar T. Ward Company, Incorporated, 7777 Lake Street, River Forest, Illinois 1917 to 1972  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2020 09:46 am
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Mike Kearns
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Edgar T. Ward was one of the Chicago, Illinois area's more stylish circulator and fan manufacturers, starting out in a number of business endeavours, mostly manufacturing goods involving government contracts. He came from an upper middle class family, being born in February 14, 1892 to his parents, Dr. E.J. and Mrs. Harriet Ward. He moved to Chicago, where he grew up and received his higher education. Around the mid-Thirties, he established the factory at 7777 South Lake Street in River Forest, Illinois and 1757 North Kimball Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, and began production not only for his own company, Edgar T. Ward Industries, Inc. but as a sub-contractor manufacturing parts and brand re-badge Ward circulators for Westinghouse, DeVry Co., Signal Electric, Arctic-Aire. After a successful and lucrative number of years selling his circulator and ventilation fans, the factory apparently suffered a fire and after an apparently unsuccessful look around the South for another factory, he decided he had had enough, and retired. He and his first wife left Chicago and moved to Lake Ozark, MO, and in 1957, Mrs. Ward died from a heart-attack. Later, in 1959, Ward remarries a divorcee with two sons and a daughter. Both he and Mrs. Ward were well-liked in their community, both leading and participating in many philanthropic activities, such as fund-raising for various causes, charities and boy and girl community activities. In 1972, Mr. Ward passed away at 80 years of age, his wife and adopted children surviving him, Mr. Ward being one of the few manufacturing heads to not die on the job or have the firm bought out from under him. He retired well-funded at the top of his market game, and actually had a good life...

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Mike Kearns
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1934 - Ward decides to try a new and growing business venture, circulator and ventilation fans. He begins to assemble a factory team, craftsmen and parts suppliers. But how to stand out in an already crowded fan market? He hires famous industrial designer Robert Davol Budlong, twenty minutes away by car to Budlong's Chicago office at 333 North Michigan Avenue: 

From Wikipedia: Robert Davol Budlong (1902–1955) was an American industrial designer from Denver, Colorado.
He studied art at Cummings School of Art in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated from Grinnell College, Iowa in 1921. This was followed by further study at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He started his design career in 1933, with the Hammond Clock Company and, in 1934-1935, became a design consultant with Zenith Radio. This involvement with Zenith was to last until his death. He designed many of Zenith's pre-war portable radios, and virtually their entire "Trans-Oceanic" line. His other radio designs included a "universal portable" AC/DC radio with batteries (1940), the "Poket" radio in 1941, and the "Transoceanic Clipper" in 1942. Although Zenith wanted him to work full-time as an employee, and head an in-house industrial design group, Budlong wished to remain independent to retain other clients. However, he did relocate his offices to the Zenith building on 333 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, that housed Zenith's corporate showrooms. His other major clients included Edgar T. Ward Co., Sunbeam, Sears-Roebuck, and Victor Cash Register. For Sunbeam, he designed the T-20 Toaster in 1950 - a newer type of appliance that lowered bread automatically, and raised itself silently when done - and worked with Sunbeam staff designer Ivar Jepson on the "Shavemaster" (1950) electric shaver. This model had a smooth, rounded head and an ergonomic shape to be held in the palm of the hand, rather than the previous elongated shape held like a hammer. Budlong's business was taken over after his death in 1955 by one of his associates, Ken Schory Sr. and renamed Ken Schory Associates.

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1935 - Ward establishes the factory at 7777 West Lake Street, in River Forest, Illinois. The building still stands, although it is now an office center: 


And another established Edgar T. Ward factory building resides the same year at 1757 North Kimball Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, producing circulator fans, an example of which recently surfaced from the Liam de Viet Collection, shown below. The motor is the proprietary motor design manufactured exclusively made for Edgar T. Ward circulators by General Electric: April 21, 1935 - 
Reading the cage badge code R22TF: R series, 22 inch blade, T for Two-speed and F for Floor Stand Model -                                     









Ward foundry marks under the base:



The former Edgar T. Ward building at 1757 North Kimball Avenue, Chicago, Illinois is now the Kimball Arts Center:


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Mike Kearns
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1936 - 




                                            Images in order are credited to: Internet, Pierson Collection and the Grathwol Collection




The Edgar Ward Company's stylish and quality product's must have made a solid impression on the industrial community when they hit the scene. DeVry Co. of Chicago was a renowned manufacturer of motion picture cameras and commercial movie projectors, as well as a supplier of other items to the movie theaters that bought their projectors. Pictured below is a DeVry badged Edgar T. Ward Deluxe Counter Zephyr, currently residing in a member's collection. Of particular note, the motor is made by Master Electric: 


Here we see a well-restored Ward Deluxe pedestal, images courtesy Russ Huber: 

 









An all original ceiling suspended Ward Deluxe circulator, images courtesy of the Tedrick Image Archive: 







Here are tthe externals of an original finish Ward General Electric motor coming from a Deluxe 28-inch pedestal:












The cup-like cap is held on the back of the motor by a set screw, it's only purpose being to hold and protect a Levolier Model 406 two-speed switch: 






Note the patterned insulative tape and insulative bakelite disk, between the switch side and the back of the switch holder cup: 



              An exploded view of a Ward General Electric two-speed motor - Image courtesy of Russ Huber 

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1937 - 



These images are of the only Ward Zephyer Twin Cooler known currently to exist, courtesy of the Mirin Archive: 





 










Ward enters into an alliance with Signal Electric Company, buying motors from them for Ward fans, and manufacturing Signal-rebadged Ward Zephyr circulators to be marketed and sold by Signal:


                       A pedestal attributed to Signal Electric having a Ward blade. Unconfirmed.                      




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Mike Kearns
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1938 - 













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1939 - 





































In 1939, Ward also rebadged their circulators for sale by F.A. Smith. Recently, an example from the Katona Collection was graciously shared:




















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1940 - 




Ceiling Mounted Fan courtesy of Huber Image Archive:





And the same fan as a pedestal - Hackman Collection: 




Counter version - First image thanks to Mike Mirin:




































Ward Prince in the AFCA Museum - Hackman Collection





Exploded view fan and motor assembly with thanks to Russ Huber: 







The motor is a Leland Electric





































































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Mike Kearns
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1949 - 1950 - This is believed to be the last Edgar T. Ward Zephyr product, a dual General Electric motor powered window ventilation fan. It is finished in a silver-gray hammertone enamel with a very stylish chromed wire grille:



                                      About 1950, Ward and his wife retire from the business, moving to Lake Ozark, MO. IN 1957, tragedy strikes Ward. His wife dies from a heart-attack: 

           

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1972 - The founder and namesake of the firm passes away at 80 years, having lived a full and rich life: 

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Mike Kearns
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The Ward Zephyr circulators were so attractive and distinctive that they are immediately recognized when seen in movies."Never Give A Sucker An Even break", from 1941, featuring comedian W.C. Fields: 




"The French Connection", with Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider from 1971:
 
 "Forrest Gump" , 1994: 

The Munsters Episode 37: Herman’s Raise  -  Well spotted with thanks by Mike Mirin








Angela Lansbury from the television series "Murder She Wrote" - Thanks to George Durbin

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There has been some conjecture among the collecting public and scholars on ventilator subjects concerning the similarity between the so-called Westinghouse "Jumbo" fan/first-generation Westinghouse Whirl-Aire circulators. Apparently, there is a Ward/Westinghouse link. Here is the first report of the Westinghouse "Jumbo" fan on page 36 of "Machine Design" trade journal, July edition of 1935: 

The "Jumbo" Westinghouse fan blade design has no patents, either design nor utility, and there is currently no archival evidence at the U.S. Patent Office that there was ever a dispute between Westinghouse and Ward.  Data plates micro-dates have been observed on multiple samples, largely dated 4/18/1935. These tages are pre-made for the production of the Whirl-Aire explicitly (it says so right on the tag). There was no Whirl-Aire prior to 1935, simply put. Later generations of many of the Micarta bladed Westinghouse bear the same leftover tags having the 4-18-35 microdate.









The cage badge and motor say Westinghouse, but who made the rest of it? Here is the underside foundry marks of a Westinghouse "Jumbo" Whirl-Aire: 




And here is a Ward/Signal base underside foundry marks, someone has scrolled "Edgar T. Ward" one the opposing side flange: 









Soon to be shown: Comparison between blade mfg./foundry marks of a Westinghouse Jumbo/Ward/Signal blade hubs, stay tuned, parts are in locker and I can't find them among my pictures just this moment, but I'll resolve this very soon, promise!  

  Now, back to the Ward/Westinghouse quagmire: There was speculation that the later (in 1937) Westinghouse Jumbo fans had blades made of solid Micarta, in the same fashion as the cast aluminum because of this advertisement which was purportedly dated 1937: 


I have seen a lot of advertising errors in my studies, and believe the illustrations shown in the Belknap catalog page to be the right description, but the wrong illustrations, thus confusing collectors. This is the fan that should be shown in the Belknap advertisement, compare the model numbers, which I believe will corroborate my belief: 








So, why would Ward sub-contract for Westinghouse? Well, why not? There is clear evidence Ward manufactured his product for Signal, F.A. Smith/Arctic-Aire, Canadian General Electric and DeVry. Other manufacturers have needs sometimes that only a sub-contractor can provide.
 
It is my strong belief that the cast-aluminum Whirl-Aire fans were built as a collaboration/contract with Edgar T. Ward to fill the gap until an exclusively all Westinghouse product could be put into production. I have no evidence that the cast-aluminum blade Westinghouse "Jumbo" Whirl-Air fans were produced or marketed after 1935 - 1936, and Micarta bladed Westinghouses were exclusively marketed after 1937, the same year Ward applied for his patent. I believe further that Westinghouse did not go out of their way to let the manufacturing marketing world that they need to sub-contract to fill a marketing niche, and let the more expensive to produce, higher quality cast-aluminum blade "Jumbo" die a quiet death, to be replaced the next year with a much cheaper, higher-profit all-Westinghouse produced product. Nonetheless, the two squabbled to gain control over the design: From the Ward 1940 catalog: 

Here are the claims from Ward's blade patent, U.S. 2160467: 
 Now, I'm going to give you something else to ponder concerning another Ward sub-contracted blade, a "Jumbo"/Ward blade on yet another counter circulator product from the Forct-Air Company of Chicago, images courtesy of R.C. Tedrick: 


            The motor is by Emerson Electric.  




 

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Mike Kearns
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Stromberg - Carlson of Australia marketed re-branded Ward circulators, initially Ward motors, blades and cages and later components R&M components (Bases, pedestals, cages) and Edgar T. Ward patented blades: 1938: 

1946 - 

1952 -
This example was submitted by Mr. David Gee, who says that "it is serial number 9490 and a 1/4 hp Crompton Parkinson motor made in Doncaster England"  :  


1952 - Leftover stock still being sold...


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More of the Australian Stromberg-Carlson badges Edgar T. Ward circulators: Holeproof factory, Rydalmere, Australia 1953


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Presentation of trophies and prizes, 1965 NSW Age & School Lawn Tennis Championships, sponsored by Shell, May 14-25, White City, Australia

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Air circulator at GG Cafe (taken for Duval Advertising), 1947

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Air circulator at GG Cafe (taken for Duval Advertising) - NSW Edgar T. Ward Photograph Australia 1947





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Marble Bar, Adams Hotel (Pitt Street, Sydney, N.S.W.) 1947

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Air circulator at Marble Bar (taken for Duval Advertising) Sept. 1947

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NSW Australia - Air circulator in department store (taken for Duval Advertising) 1947

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Mike you continually amaze me with what you find.

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Mike Kearns
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An intriguing anomaly, Ohio Electric motors as a source of motors for Ward? : 1938 - "FAN MOTOR—Shaped to blend with usual fan or air-circulator design. Has barrel frame to facilitate mounting in ring or yoke. Built with split-phase windings, for 1150 or 1725 rpm with start-and-stop pull switch; with windings for two speeds, 860 and 1140 or 1140 and 1725 rpm with 3-position pull switch; also to operate with separate transformer capacitor control to run at two or three speeds. Made in sizes 1g, 1/6 or 1/4 HP to operate fans from 20 to 32 in. in diameter. Ohio Electric Mfg. Co., 5914 Maurice Ave, Cleveland, Ohio."

Now compare the available RPM motor speeds available from Edgar T. Ward:


1725/1140 rpm - Image courtesy of Russ Huber -






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