Runs quietly on all three speeds and moves a lot of air. Has an adjustable oscillator mechanism that allows the fan to oscillate to a very large angle all the way down to almost no oscillation at all. The adjuster and the rear oil reservoir is somewhat hidden. Information on these two items is located on gallery image caption 7 and 8.
This fan is well lubricated and from full speed the blades come to a complete stop in 28 seconds. Very smooth operation. The flash from the camera makes the fan look lighter than it really is. It is a very dark green. A good number of the Commandair fans are in very nice shape after more than 85 years since their manufacture.
The original paint job is 95% intact with minor touchup blended very nicely. Clear coated with a high quality lacquer to bring out the original shine since the fan has little brass to contrast with an otherwise very dark and drab green.
The front oil cup was originally painted a dark green, but decided to burnish with a brass wire wheel mini tool. Not as good as brass plating, but it looks very nice. Coated with a clear lacquer. The front of the motor housing has a small hole near the bearing that acts as an oil return. This hole has been cleaned out. Didn't find any return hole for the rear housing.
The headewire in in good shape particularly near the connection in the stator. Has been reinforced near this connection. The original grommet was an unusual size and had original factory paint on it. The new grommet needed to be modified in order to hold the headwire snug without having any additional pressure on it that would make it split in about 3 years.
The only piece of brass on this fan besides the badge and label. Originally it was painted green. Paint was removed and it was polished and clear coated. It has a little bit of red synthetic grease on the threads along with all the other threaded parts so that they will never bind or get stuck. It appears that this fan was originally black and was repainted green at the factory partially assembled.
Rear oil well pictured here has a spring loaded wick just like the front of the motor. Never would have known this unless the fan was disassembled. The oil wicks are original and have been soaked in mineral spirits for a day to clean off old concealed oil. Have tested the dried wicks with non-detergent oil to observe proper oil absorption.
The stem that comes out of the bottom of the motor looks like cast iron, but could be steel. Has a small ball bearing on the end that rolls freely. Acts as a non-friction pivot for the fan to rotate. Added one drop of oil to keep it rolling smoothly. The bottom of the oscillator has an adjustment that only rotates clockwise. It has a spring loaded mechanism inside that locks into specific positions for adjusting how wide the oscillator swings. Rotating it to the 10 o'clock position would set the osicallation to almost nothing and to the 4 o'clock position would set the oscialltion to its widest point. This can be accomplished without removing the oscillator arm.
The interior of the bell housing has been painted to prevent corrosion. Bell housing interiors, typically, were not painted at the factory. The housing, blades and motor shroud that the handle attaches to are stamped steel. The front and rear motor housing along with the stem and pivot are heavy cast iron. The fan weighs 23.1 pounds. The heaviness and quality of build is surprising. The original paint job is an oddity.
This is what the bell housing originally looked like.
The label is in excellent shape and has been polished and coated with a specialized clear lacquer. Off to the right there is a number inscribed : 434. Possibly manufactured in April of 1934?
The stator was originally epoxyed at the factory and reinsulation was not necessary except around the headwire to ensure the insulation doesn't break off or become weak.
The stator has some green paint overspray inside the interior. Along with other evidence, this leads me to believe that fan was painted green after partial assembly at the factory. No signs of black paint.
This is was the rotor looked like after 85 years of use.
This is what the rotor looks like today. Doesn't seem to run any better as a result. Would require electrical current draw and heat build up measurements to know for sure if cleaning the middle part of the rotor actually has any functional benefit. The fiber washers on the shaft are original and have a smaller interior diameter than the shaft except for the groove they fit in. How did they do that?
The holes that go through the rotor are twisted so that air flow will cool the motor as it runs. This particular motor runs cool. The bearings the rotor rests in are very smooth and the rotor moves freely and smoothly without any lubrication.
Not a very good picture. Shows the original coil with lots of rust throughout the bottom.
The coil has been reinsulated and all of the electrical connections polished. It looks like two nuts are missing from the screws that go through the coil assembly; however, the coil's top plate has two threaded holes for the screws that hold it all together.
Don't think the bottom plate nor the felt retaining ring was originally painted. They are now.
Attaching new felt to the bottom is harder than it looks because the original felt was a little thinner than most modern felt available today.
This is what the original cord color looks like. Probably a little lighter in color when it was first made.
This is what the cord looks like after being painted with a vinyl/fabric paint. The cord is in great shape and you cannot tell it has been painted.
The plug reads: Junior D. Woodhead Co. Chicago - Pat. Sept 22 1931 -
Have looked at other Commandair fans and they all have the same hard rubber plug.
Original eBay photo from auction. It is dirty, but cleaned up nicely.
Original eBay photo from auction.
Original eBay photo from auction. Notice how the cord looks like a light gray. Do not recall it looking like this when I got it.
Original eBay photo from auction. Again, light gray cord pictured doesn't look like it goes with the fan. Typical e-Bay image that somehow misleads.
Original eBay photo from auction. If you look into the slide switch opening it looks like there is a cardboard insulator. This was not present when the fan arrived. Pictures can be very misleading. Asking questions may or may not resolve any questions when bidding on an auction item.
Copy of an advertisement from a 1936 Sears and Roebuck Catalog page. A 10 year guarantee for a fan is a pretty serious warranty.
Another advertisement page from a 1936 Sears and Roebuck Catalog. Looks like the 16 inch Commandair went for $23. Seems like a lot of money for a value brand electric fan during the "Great Depression".
Found this Diehl schematic drawing. Looks a lot like the Commandair pictured here on this gallery page.
Here is another Diehl schematic drawing.
Commandair 16 inch 6 Blade Ocsillating Electric Fan, Catalog No. 2407, Circa 1934
A collection of images from a very large and heavy semi-restored antique electric fan. Has a steel cage and steel blades. You don't see too many 6 blade fans, particularly ones that have 16" blade diameter. Made by Diehl as a value line of electric fans that cost a little less and perhaps didn't have as many features or embellishments as others. Hard to find any real information about them though.
This line of fans is very underrated and not really considered a collector's item; however, its value has more than tripled since the year 2009 and as of 2018 has gone for more than $300 on several occasions. This may be because collector's are starting to realize what a fine electric fan it really is and the fact that more desireable fans are becoming more difficult and expensive to acquire. Some highly collectable brass blade fans can go as high as a couple of thousand dollars.
The flash from the camera reveals imperfections and discolorations that can only been seen under magnification and under abnormal lighting conditions. You can zoom in on the images if you mouse over them. During autoplay zoom is disabled. Shrinking the browser window will shrink its contents possibly making it easier to view the gallery.
Valued in the range of $325 - $450.