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Robbins & Myers 3504 Electric Fan 1920s AC and DC

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    Posted 2 years ago

    (2115 items)

    Robbins & Myers was one of the early big 4 manufacturers of electric fans. The other three were Westinghouse, General Electric and Emerson.
    This fan was made in the 1920s by Robbins & Myers. The 3500 series started in 1920. This model is the 3504. The exciting change of which I know is the oil reservoir in the lower center in photo #3.
    Other fans from this period had brass blades but this had steel blades with copper primer painted black. The brass age was starting to wane and is pretty much done by 1930.
    The exciting feature of this fan is that it has a selector switch for AC and DC which is also the on/off switch. In the early days of electricity there had not been an agreement of AC or DC. New York City was still on DC until the 1930s.
    Please note this is not an industrial fan. There is a myth that the open cage fans were for industrial use and it is just not true. These fans were designed for use in a home or office.


    1. racer4four racer4four, 2 years ago
      I love reading your descriptions Fort, with all of your excitement!
      Do any of these old fans need rewinding or rewiring to work? Do you do that? Please don't admit to anything that may cause trouble if you are not a licensed electrician.
    2. BlackWatch BlackWatch, 2 years ago

      Beautiful old fan you've got there, I really like it. It sure looks like it's straight from the 20s. Great piece and description, thanks for sharing.

      Best regards,

    3. nutsabotas6 nutsabotas6, 2 years ago
      Very nice fan !!! Could it have been used, like in a semi truck ?
    4. buckethead, 2 years ago
      Cool fan...I have many. Cages on old fans were not put on to protect fingers - they were put on to protect the fan blades :)
    5. fortapache fortapache, 2 years ago
      Thank you very much racer4four. Almost all of them work. A few have ugly modern cords I would like to replace and I have no license but do a little work anyway.
    6. fortapache fortapache, 2 years ago
      Thank you very much BlackWatch. Once again it is my pleasure.
    7. fortapache fortapache, 2 years ago
      Thank you very much nutsabotas6. It is DC so it could have been.
    8. fortapache fortapache, 2 years ago
      Thank you very much buckethead. Also due to the direction the blades spin you have to put your fingers in the backside to get hurt.
    9. fortapache fortapache, 2 years ago
      Thank you
    10. fortapache fortapache, 2 years ago
      Thank you
    11. fortapache fortapache, 2 years ago
      Thank you
    12. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 2 years ago
      Your fan does still have an industrial look to it, which really makes it exciting. Fantastic find !~
    13. fortapache fortapache, 2 years ago
      Thank you very much Phil. It is a bit robust.
    14. kehphones kehphones, 2 years ago
      That is very nice fan. Nice information about the ac / dc I always was wondering about the dc .
    15. fortapache fortapache, 2 years ago
      Thank you very much kehphones. Glad to be of service.
    16. fortapache fortapache, 2 years ago
      Thank you

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