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GE 78777 Brass Blades, Steel Cage Painted Brass/Gold  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 12:51 am
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Jim Humphrey
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Hi,

I'm trying to figure out what would be correct for restoring this fan.  It's a GE 78777 6 blade Form S3 from 1916 or 1917 I think, and the paint was beyond saving, but what has me puzzled is that it has brass blades painted brass or gold, and the steel cage was also painted the same color.  The rest of the fan is black and looked original as I was stripping it.  I was thinking the cage would have been painted black also.  The cage has a brass spider fitting in the center that was also painted brass or gold, as was the back cover for the cage badge.  The blade set is all brass, again painted brass or gold.  Here are some pics of the fan/blades/cage, and I'm just questioning if this is correct because I haven't seen a black 78777 with painted brass blades and a brass-painted steel cage.








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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 01:14 am
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Levi Mevis
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The blades would definitely be brass and they should be polished brass not painted (probably someone painted them with gold paint at somepoint in time because the brass was tarnished and they didn't want to mess with polishing it, that was very common on the old floor lamps from the 1930s and 1940s as well which were usually polished brass to begin with but then they tarnished over the years so people painted them gold to get the "polished brass" look back without the need of polishing) as for the cage it would of been more than likely painted the same color as the fan's body (which would of been a color called Pullman Green which is a very dark shade of green which looks almost black in certain lighting conditions). As for the fan's body, it wasn't originally black it was originally a color called Pullman Green which was a very dark shade of green that looks almost black in certain lighting conditions (see above about the cage). The closest color we have to GE's Pullman Green in todays colors is a color called Charleston Green (I think thats right) which is a special order color at most hardware and big box stores.
I hope this helps.

Levi

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 04:33 am
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Steve Stephens
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Take a look at this c.1917-18 GE ad that mentions "Olive Green" and a dull brass finish on the blades.  Pullman Green, by the way, was not used on GE fans because GE had their own names for the several greens that they used.  I have noticed that GE fans from the WWI period often had steel blades painted gold but the 6 wing models may have stayed with (old stock?) brass blades but painted to match the other models.  1919 models seem to be a much darker green, almost black in some lighting, and not with the olive green color.   I don't know about the dull brass paint on your cage unless it was repainted in past years.   One other thing; GE blades were not polished from the mid 00s until 1920.   The earlier blades were "dipped and lacquered" while the WWI period blades were dull gold painted, possibly some brass plated.  WWI is an era where not a lot of detailed information is readily available.




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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 04:39 am
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Levi Mevis
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Sorry if my descriptions weren't completely accurate as far as colors went I was only going by what other members described the green colors GE used as.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 04:46 am
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Steve Stephens
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I hear that "Pullman Green" a lot Levi and I only wanted to try to correct the color to what GE called it.   There are many Pullman Greens out there.   Charleston Green is another green that actually does come close to the green used in the early 1920s.   I don't know what GE called their color.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 04:52 am
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Levi Mevis
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Yeah and the sad part is I doubt we ever will know what they called their colors because it seems it was a heavily guarded trade secret of theirs that they took to their graves with them because not even the ads GE put out mention color names or anything. And from what I read somewhere on here a lot of GEs  documents from their early years were destroyed.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 06:07 am
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Russ Huber
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1918 it appears was the first season for the green enamel. Brass trimmings were lacquered brass.



Attached Image (viewed 771 times):

GE18-3.jpg

Last edited on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 06:20 am by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 06:19 am
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Russ Huber
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GE fan motors 17.

Attached Image (viewed 785 times):

GE17.png

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 06:31 am
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Russ Huber
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1921 was the year Westinghouse painted black over their brass. Emerson went to a dull matt brass finish over their brass blade.  21 was the year polished brass was considered ....obtrusive.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 06:48 am
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Steve Stephens
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Russ Huber wrote: 1921 was the year polished brass was considered ....obtrusive.
Except for GE who had a renewed interest in highly polished brass blades starting in 1920 and continuing through 1929 after which GE went to green painted aluminum blades.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 08:24 am
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Russ Huber
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Steve Stephens wrote: Russ Huber wrote: 1921 was the year polished brass was considered ....obtrusive.
Except for GE who had a renewed interest in highly polished brass blades starting in 1920 and continuing through 1929 after which GE went to green painted aluminum blades.

1921 EMF book speaks of GE fan motors with ......lacquered brass.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 01:12 pm
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Lane Shirey
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I have 2 different 6 wing /2 star / steel blade (WWI era) 12" fans.   One is a Sprague labeled fan and the other is GE.   
Both fans seem to be very original, even though the finish on both were toast. The Sprague had olive green paint and a gold painted steel blade. The cage color was the same as the fan body.


The GE also had gold painted steel blades, but was the Pullman/ Charleston green color. In that case the cage is also the same color as the body. 


I hope that helps. 

Last edited on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 01:12 pm by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 02:34 pm
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Lawrence Smith
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I have these the top is a 2 start with a steel blade /cage, the bottom is a 3 star form r with brass, both appear original.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 05:04 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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Thanks for the info guys, and I need to modify my starting post to say this is a two star, which I think is the expected configuration from the Form R5 through the Form T.  Also, the S/N on this fan is 1121428, and there is a date on the instruction sheet on the base cover which reads 6 - 2 - 1?.  The last digit is gone except for a small section that I can't determine what it might be.  I searched on the website here and didn't come up with another mention of a date with 6 - 2 in it.  Does 6 - 2 - 1_ look familiar to anyone?  I pried back the fishpaper on the bottom cover, and it's definitely black paint under there.  Which may prove only that the bottom cover came from another, older, fan!













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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 05:49 pm
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Lawrence Smith
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my 3 star is form r12,  I do not have a written lineage of it ,but the older gentleman I purchased it from said it was in his family for some time.  

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 07:27 pm
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Steve Rockwell
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"I'm trying to figure out what would be correct for restoring this fan.  It's a GE 78777 6 blade Form S3 from 1916 or 1917 " "...two star, which I think is the expected configuration from the Form R5 through the Form T.  Also, the S/N on this fan is 1121428, and there is a date on the instruction sheet on the base cover which reads 6 - 2 - 1?.....it's definitely black paint under there.  Which may prove only that the bottom cover came from another, older, fan!"

Jim, Russ nailed it squarely, precisely, in the 8th post... there's nothing inconsistent about the base plate, forget about green...


the partial numeral is either 3, 5, or 9... 



9 is not possible, 3 would not be correct since there subsequent printings in 1914 and early '15, so it has to be 5, which is not stretching the time line too far for a paper label.
                                              Stars only confuse the issues between Forms R & S, after which all appear to be 2-star through and including V... 
   Form S3 fans come both 2- and 3-star versions, so what use are the stars in determining age beyond rough approximation?... They're a decorative, perhaps an esthetic, element only, a different thumb screw... for a while now it has seemed that serial numbers combined with clues from Form designation are the way to give GE fans dates of birth. The variations with cage material and finish really obscure clear understanding further, but your fan comes from that era, and is a good representative example of that period of inconsistency... have fun.
    Lawrence, is your fan's serial number close in on one million?

Last edited on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 07:30 pm by Steve Rockwell

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 10:02 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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OK, black it is, and I'm going with gold/brass color on the blades and cage, much as I love polished brass blades.  This site and the people who hang out on here are truly great, both personally and from a knowledge standpoint.  We may never all agree on some aspects of fan history or construction or whatever, but the sum total of knowledge that's present and freely given is astounding.  Unfortunately, I'm usually the one asking!  Thanks.
Jim

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 Posted: Thu Mar 15th, 2018 10:22 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Steve Rockwell wrote:  Stars only confuse the issues between Forms R & S, after which all appear to be 2-star through and including V... 
   Form S3 fans come both 2- and 3-star versions, so what use are the stars in determining age beyond rough approximation?... They're a decorative, perhaps an esthetic, element only, a different thumb screw... for a while now it has seemed that serial numbers combined with clues from Form designation are the way to give GE fans dates of birth. The variations with cage material and finish really obscure clear understanding further, but your fan comes from that era, and is a good representative example of that period of inconsistency... have fun.
I have GE 12" Form R4, 3-star, brass blades and brass struts and pot metal oscillator disk, 1915I have GE 12" Form R5, 3-star, brass blades and steel struts and cast iron oscillator disk, 1915
I have GE 12" Form S3, 2-star, brass blades and steel struts and cast iron oscillator disk, 1916


My thoughts from observations and other info is that 1915 is Form R and the earlier models were 3-star while the later ones in 1915 were 2-star. 


1916 is Form S and all are two star.  

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 Posted: Fri Mar 16th, 2018 07:44 am
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Steve Rockwell
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Michael Beaudette posted this http://www.afcaforum.com/forum1/48297.html



Last edited on Mon Sep 21st, 2020 05:38 pm by Steve Rockwell

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 Posted: Fri Mar 16th, 2018 04:23 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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Thanks Steve Rockwell, you are much more diligent, thorough, and cunning than I am when it comes to searches on this website.  And probably in most if not all other areas!

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 Posted: Fri Mar 16th, 2018 08:37 pm
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Steve Stephens
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A project that might be worthwhile for someone with time:  Take note of the different dates on GE base tags so people can better date their fans from tags that are only partially readable.  So many tags are missing enough of the date as to make it not readable.  
GE, on their 12 and 16" fans I believe, used two tags; one for the oscillator and one for the stationary fans so two columns or lists should suffice to cover all dates used from the first base tag (1908 BMY?) through the last base tag which was probably 1920 before the felt base took over.   The resulting information could be posted in our INFO section of this site.

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