View single post by Fred Berry
 Posted: Sun Dec 28th, 2014 03:47 pm
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Fred Berry

Joined: Thu Nov 17th, 2005
Location: Alexandria, Virginia USA
If you like stationary fans and since you are a 'fan' of GE, go for a BMY. These have large motors, as large as those on Westy tank motors. BMY's are all cast iron, motor, base, trunnion, have brass cages and brass blades, brass acorns on the motor, brass trunnion screws, really nice fans and extremely reliable. They come up often on fleaBay and sell fairly reasonable, $250 $350 price range unrestored. 08' - 09' models have centrifugal-start motors, while 10' and up have phase shift motors. You can get BMY's in 4-wing or 6-wing. The large motor used in BMY fans was the most popular motor coveted by other fan companies for use in some of their models, Jandus, Eck, Diehl, Hunter, FWEW, heck, even Westinghouse, GE's biggest rival, used a GE BMY motor sidewinder oscillator as one of their own models! This was a very popular, reliable electric motor. I recommend this above and beyond all others as your first fan. You will love it.

GE's pancake motor fans are reliable too, but I do not recommend: Their prices are way too high for a starter fan, and parts for them are also very expensive.

An SMY (Small Motor Yoke) uses a similar motor as found in the loop-handle oscillators, but in a stationary form.

A loop-handle star or brass bell is a good starter too, but getting them with brass cages may be difficult.

Personally, I am a big fan of the very early Century skeletal-motor fans. These always came with brass cage and blades, and the motors have totally open end bells so you can watch the internals in action, hence the collector nickname 'skeletal motor'. The earliest had cast iron base to go with the cast iron motors, also the motors were centrifugal start. Later skeletals had drawn steel bases plus the motors were phase-shift. All skeletal motors were cast iron, and they all, centrifugal start or phase shift, have a neat magnetic, musical hum to the motor. Only problem with Century fans is that they were mainly used in large offices and factories, hence they are often well-worn when they come up for sale on eBay. Century skeletals were not used in private residences very much, though Century did make a 6-wing skeletal fan, these are quite rare, known 6-wingers can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Buuuuut, when you restore a skeletal, you will have one of the most reliable running fans known. I have run mine for entire summer's without ever turning them off...even oiling them "on the run". Skeletal Century's also were also the only other fans besides GE pancakes to have 5-speeds. My avatar picture here is the rear end of a Century skeletal fan.

My recommendation for the Century company is only for their early cast iron 5-speed fans, their later 3-speed fans were mostly pot metal and the worst pot metal castings of any fan company, notorious for crumbling into pieces by themselves.