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Electric Fans Were a Game Changer and Still Are

August 23, 2016

There’s a keystone in every great invention.

Have you ever seen a portrait of someone being fanned by another in earlier times? That was the image of summer before the invention of the electric fan. Before electricity, the only way to move air around was through manual fanning. Whether you did it yourself or someone else “swished” the fan, it was a tiring way to stay cool, but all of that changed with the technology of electric fans. So, how did the electric fan come into play?

The First Electric Fans 

Before the late 1800s, being too hot was an everyday problem. Unlike being too cold (where you can build a fire or add layers of clothing), there were minimal options for overcoming the heat. Once electricity was invented, it didn’t take long for inventers to start working on ideas for the electronic fan.

The first electric fan was created by Dr. Schuyler Skaats Wheeler in 1886. It was a small, two-blade personal desk fan that was DC powered. Made of brass and loved by all who worked inside in the summer, the fan was modern, effective, and dangerous as there was no cage surrounding the blades. AC motors, produced in the 1890s, became more common and replaced DC versions (Challoner, 428).

Fans for the Common Folk

Like most inventions, the newest technology is often expensive. This meant that only the most affluent could afford them. Changes began in the 1920s when mass production of steel fan blades reduced prices. The designs also began to change when GE develop an overlapping blade design that was much quieter than previous models. Variations in color and style appealed to consumers, and electric fans became common appliances in most households.

Modern Electric Fans

Today’s electric fans are still a very popular solution to overcome the heat. Portable fans, whether it be the personal desk fan or a small battery powered fan that you can carry on hot summer days, make it convenient to keep cool.

Ceiling fans are also an effective method for circulating air in the summer, but can also be used to circulate warm air in the winter by changing the direction of the blade. Fans without visible blades are the newest innovation in air circulation.

Electric fans are a prevalent part of our society just as Keystone Electronics Corporation is a prevalent part of the fan’s ability to function properly. Our electronic components keep fan blades spinning to help keep you cool. Keystone’s line of components includes quick fit terminals, battery & coin cell holders, and contacts & clips to  keep fans functioning at optimum performance.