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Who Made It?

Russ Huber

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This caught my attention. It is the first 12" of this model of this construction I have ever seen, or run across.  I have seen them in 8" and 10". Does Geoff have one??













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Earlier United Electric Mfg. Co. "Eskimo" Never saw a 12" model before. I drove a distance to get it. Would you? 🙂










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My 16" United Electric Eskimo is like that inside too. The blades are a very thin, micarta-like material. Never seen another other than in an advertisement.

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Die cast pivot aligning bearings(the bearings are sound). No fiber washer shaft spacing for the armature. The blade and the removeable worm gear in the gearbox hold the armature center and control the amount of end play. 














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United Electrical Manufacturing Company in Adrian, Michigan was established in 1916 with 50K capitol. In 1919 they had a major expansion with increased capitol. Their primary was automotive horns.  In 24-25 they introduced their first desk fan. 

The 12" model I posted, and the 10" model 20 date no earlier than 1928. How do I know? The Cutler-Hammer switches in both models have the ISSUED patent numbers stamped in them. No "patent pending".  1498692019520295936-01666338 (storage.googleapis.com)

I am modifying the model 20 with a replacement United Electric gearbox and brass blade. The original gearbox had issues, as did the blade. These fans a finicky, unique construction, and will challenge you to get them to run nice. There are some tricks you may need to learn with bearing alignment and their funky brush holders. Lol.








Edited by Russ Huber
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Before Eskimo-Trailblazer-Electrex-Super Blue Line fans came their Trojan motorized automotive horn.

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It took a while, but I got the little guy back in action as an oscillator. I had a 10" Electrex (United Electrical Mfg. Co.) BB oscillator with bad bearings and donor parts. I used the Emerson step base rubber feet (compressor grommets) in place of the old ones, they are a tad too wide, but I snugged them in, they look fine. 

Don't let dime store quality components make you snub fans like these. I admit both fans tried my patience at times, but you can tweak these guys to run like downtown. I had to strobe both blades, and dynamically balance the brass blade to get it running really smooth. The original blade on the little guy had steel wings like the 12" and a worn blade hub hole. The brass blade set is heavier, I thought the universal motor may overheat pushing it. So far, so good. The little has a top end of 1700 RPM and 1300 RPM low speed. 






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I will be putting these up for sale in near future in the BST.  I realize they are not brass and brass and all decked out to go on the town. I found them challenging and time consuming to get them to run nice. These guys need love too. Maybe I will do a video. The little guy could use new skin. I think I would leave the 12" alone and original. 

They won't be priced stupid money for anyone interested.

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The bearing keepers are held in by 4 rivets. You simply drill down the retaining lip of the rivet inside the housing and tap the rivet out with a drift punch. The rivets can be replaced with brass screws with nut and lock washer on the inside of the housing. By standards back then these fans were medium grade based on certain components used. But they are no joke. Fact Jack.












Edited by Russ Huber
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Great write-up, Russ. I enjoyed reading it. For a medium grade fan, the mechanism is intricate and complicated.

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7 hours ago, David Kilnapp said:

The mechanism is intricate and complicated.

The gearbox and its contents can be challenging to say the least.  The phenolic helical gear under the rotor shaft worm gear typically is worn, or teeth stripped. I robbed from Peter to pay Paul on this last one I posted. I have another 12" in tough aesthetic condition but had a NICE identical phenolic gear donor I pressed off to put in this last model now in functional oscillating order. I strobe balanced the blade to find one wing out of clock, and then aligned them next. Dynamic balancing the blade will be done before I put it back on the fan. Bearings next!  I can cut corners reproducing these bearings like new, no machinist or lathe necessary. Can ANYONE nail my game plan to accomplish this? 



Edited by Russ Huber
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You can measure and drill the wick holes. A small file or Dremel grinding bit to cut the notch. McMaster does not offer the exact length outside sleeve. I will have to cut it down to correct length. Wet dry, or slowly rotating the end lip on a grinding wheel can be used to bevel ends of the outside sleeve. Glue/cement the 1/2" OD sleeve inside the outside sleeve. The wick holes on this application don't have to be Johnny on the spot. The rotor shaft won't mind, I assure you. There are oil ports, not oil cups.




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BTW.......the stator had to be driven out carefully with front and back housing covers removed with hammer and drift punch. That stator was super snug as a bug in that housing. I rested the housing lip on the edges of the jaws of an open bench vice and carefully rotated it striking 12, 6, 3, and 9 o'clock positions until it finally inched its way out. Never panic, where there is a will, there is a way. 

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We may be able to cut a few corners to help cut down cost, but in a number of cases we can't. A special thanks to the skilled AFCA machinists, artisans, and talented members who have got me over many a hump a number of times through the years. 

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On 2/16/2023 at 2:47 PM, David Kilnapp said:

Russ. I enjoyed reading it. 

Thanks, David. Sorry if I came across rude not responding to your kind comment. The Trailblazer trademark example posted above here of the past was in near pristine condition when I found it. Not nearly the challenge these other rascals posted here became. Lol.  The challenges involve working around factory imperfections, and wear and tear from long operation. I am going to eventually doll the last example. It has all the potential to be a beautiful fan, and a good runner. 

The pivot collar is unfortunately die cast, there is some minor bobble to the fan heads from oscillation wear, and I am sure there are examples that have crossed the line with wear. Sleeving the pivot is borderline not possible. One may be able to modify a pivot from a bronze bearing/sleeve(s) at minimal expense. Thus, another challenge. Lol.

Something different. No disrespect to the following intended, but I see Emersons, Westinghouse, GE, etc. inside and out in my sleep. Lol.

Edited by Russ Huber
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