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Victorian era "Columbian" Fly Fan

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    Posted 5 years ago

    (339 items)

    I've previously shown my fly fan (a couple of years ago), and I have seen several others that were similar in design.
    This one I came across at a flea market in Adamstown, PA this morning. I never saw one like this and if you can tell me anything about it, I would be grateful. It has written in the top of the base in raised letters "Columbia Fly Fan, Patented Feb 7th 1893, Baltimore, MD, USA." On the bottom of the base, it has a paper sticker. It is worn out and the edges are tattered, but, I can make out that it was made by "Ingram &. Co." (Feb. 7th, 1893 was a Tuesday, by the way....ask me how I know).
    You wind the base CCW and the fan shaft has a little gear at the bottom which rotates the shaft during the slow unwind, also, the whole upper unit revolves around the base during this slow unwind. This double rotation makes for a crazy dance of the cheese cloth blades. To stop it, you remove the shaft from the fan base and it stops unwinding.
    I think that I went into how they were used in my other fly fan listing, and, you can refer to that for full usage.
    I will tell you that they were extensively used in Victorian Taverns to shoo the flies away from the hard boiled eggs and pickled pigs feet that the tavern keeper sold to his patrons.

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    1. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Interesting. I've never heard of one. Amazing condition given it's age! I'd love to see it work!
    2. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      I see they call the shoo fly fans. There is on on YouTube, but it has no 'wings'. Very cool. Your's looks brand new!
    3. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      I know! Patents were always issued on Tuesdays. Why that is, I don't know!
    4. hotairfan hotairfan, 4 years ago
      "BINGO" Celiena, you are absolutely right, and, I can't tell you the rhyme or reason why the Tuesday pat. dates. If anybody knows, please post it.

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