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GE Fan from early 1900s  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2018 10:58 pm
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Jim Hunt
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I have an old GE fan that my Mother remembered from her childhood and she was born in 1919.  It runs and everything seems to work, but is very dirty.
The numbers I can read are as follows: Type - AOU; Form - AB1; No. - D27828; Spec. - 272062-1; Cat - 75425; Volts - 110; Cycles - 60.

Is it just an old fan or is it worth something other than sentimental value?

Jim Hunt

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 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2018 11:40 pm
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Don Tener
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The form number dates it to 1922. Post pics of it because value really depends on condition, Original and running?

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 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2018 11:52 pm
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Steve Stephens
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This is what your fan is but this is Form AC from one year later but with no difference.  This one it completely original down to the plug and cords and paint.








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 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2018 02:45 am
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Jim Hunt
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OK, thanks.  I will post some photos, but it needs a serious cleaning first.  It all works and everything is original except the cord and plug, as far as I know.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2018 02:47 am
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Jim Hunt
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Thank you.  Does mine have brass blades?  I have only known them to be black from my earliest memorys around 1950.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2018 02:57 am
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Steve Stephens
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Jim Hunt wrote: Thank you.  Does mine have brass blades?  I have only known them to be black from my earliest memorys around 1950.Form AB from 1922 would have brass blades.  1930 and later the blade changed to aluminum painted green as was the fan.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2018 03:20 am
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Jamie Williams
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Jim,

That's a great fan, but I'd guess the sentimental value of it will be greater than the resale value. No doubt it's worth something, but AOU's sell for less than $100 on eBay daily. That being said, I have a few AOU's and AOO's that I do not intend to part with, so you never know. Good luck.

Jamie

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 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2018 06:36 pm
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Richard Daugird
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Keep it, those are great fans I have four.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2018 09:20 pm
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Jim Hunt
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Thanks, yes they are.   For the last number of years it has been my garage fan that I use in the summer when working on cars or woodworking.  That is why it is so dirty.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2018 03:53 pm
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Jim Hunt
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Here are some photos.  Obviously, it has not been detailed, just some basic cleaning.  When it oscillates, the fan speed slows noticeably while it changes direction.  I assume the grease in the gear box needs to be replaced.  What kind of grease should I use?  (Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to rotate the images.) 



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 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2018 05:42 pm
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Richard Daugird
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If you crop the pictures slightly the will be right side up.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 14th, 2018 12:14 am
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Alec Burns
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There is contention with some folks here who argue for different types of greases. Some like white lithium, others don't. Some prefer high-temp grease, others avoid it.

While searching on the forum I found that mostly everyone agrees that Multipurpose Valvoline Grease is a good one to use and not far off from what was originally used. I personally use the Multi-purpose for my fans.

Cleaning the old grease out is a pain in the A**. You can't remove the gearbox on this GE, so I would recommend using toothpicks and cotton swabs. Scrape put as much old stuff as you can and soak the cotton swabs in Acetone or Mineral Spirits (I've used Gasoline before - stinky) to break down the more finnicky spots. It's important to get it relatively clean to avoid old grease chunks causing problems in the future.

When you repack the gearbox with the new stuff, make sure to coat the gears thoroughly. I like to coat them well enough to give it a test run to make sure everything is working properly before filling the gearbox. Don't fill it all of the way, but enough that the gears will never find themselves with no grease on them. Seal it up and you're golden!

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 Posted: Sun Jan 14th, 2018 06:37 pm
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Lane Shirey
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To agree with Alec, the most important thing is to clean the gearbox of old grease. I prefer the Valvolene wheel bearing grease, or better yet, Lucas Red n Tacky.

Also, loosen the engagement knob and by twisting the oscillator drive wheel by hand, feel for any binding or tight spots in the rotation. Sometimes a bent oscillator arm, lack of lubrication, or other things can cause binding. Also, there should be a washer between the oscillator arm and the drive wheel. Sometimes folks misposition it between the arm and shoulder screw and that can cause problems. Checking the rotation by hand can find those problems. 

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