Photo from my other hobby

Joined
Feb 25, 2011
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349
Location
Chicago
When I'm not out chasing snakes and owls with a camera, I can usually be found in my shop working on these guys. I buy, restore, sell, and collect antique (pre WWI) electric desk fans. This is the most recent one I finished. Ironically, wanting to take better pictures of my fans is what got me in to photography in the first place.
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LyndeeLoo

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May 19, 2008
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Wow...that is really nice!!!

I'm interested in knowing a bit about the process. How long does it typically take to restore one of these pieces? Are parts readily available, or do you fabricate some of them yourself? And, I'm also interested in the price point. What type of price would you set for this, and is there a market for antique fans?

Very nice work, and BTW, welcome to the Cafe!
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
349
Location
Chicago
Thanks for the kind words!

Wow...that is really nice!!!

I'm interested in knowing a bit about the process. How long does it typically take to restore one of these pieces? Are parts readily available, or do you fabricate some of them yourself? And, I'm also interested in the price point. What type of price would you set for this, and is there a market for antique fans?

Very nice work, and BTW, welcome to the Cafe!

Yes, like just about anything old it seems, there is a great market for the "right" fans. I sell 15-20 fans a year, most of which are in the $500-$1500 range, but there are some that range in the tens of thousands value wise... most of that stuff winds up with collectors and never sees the market. As far as parts, no... they aren't available... If I can't find it in my parts pile, or another collector's pile, I have to make it. If I can't make/ machine it, the fan just waits for the parts to come along. I have incomplete fans that have been sitting aroung for years waiting for the right part to come my way, and similarly, I've overpaid for a junker fan just to get one screw, switch, motor, etc. from it... tracking down parts is part of the fun though!

As far as time goes, I'll have anywhere from 30-100 hours in a restoration, depending on how bad it is, what if anything is missing, etc. For instance, I've done a lot of mid- late teens vintage Emerson fans, and if all the parts are there, I could finish one in 30 hours with my eyes closed. Some of the more obscure stuff with broken/ missing parts that's not running when I get it can take a whole lot more time. I think I had about 50 hours in the fan above.

Thanks again!
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
4,035
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OH - IO
Real Name
Mike
Very interesting!!!! Thanks for posting. Looking forward to future posts and info.
 
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