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Detroit Motor Company Bipolar Fan - Information Needed

Mel Lagarde

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I was glad to see another tag the same and marked fan but the mounting is just odd.  Maybe they came from the factory with no base or maybe they came with the wood base (I kinda doubt that) but both tags are not mounted as would be expected with four screws.   

Mine looks like the tag was moved to the wooden base when it got mounted but where is the image or even a mention of these motors being used as fans.   

You guys have really researched this one well.  We may never find an image with it set as a fan outfit but it sure would handy to have one.  

Detroit had some geniuses working for them but none were too marketing savvy.  Jan has them closed and over in 1896


i cannot thank you for adding so much to this post.  


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For certain they stopped producing anything new in 1896.

I did find another Michigan Supreme Court case in which Detroit Motor Co was appealing a prior decision.  The docket listing lists The Third National Bank as 'receiver'.  If Detroit Motor Co was placed in receivership, that's likely to be the reason for the factory to cease operations in '96.




And later reported in 1898...


Edited by Jeff Lumsden
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    I wondered about that, same as Russ, and the machinist did after all provide two holes, a quantity sufficient to affix the first tag...


   I dropped the Detroit Electrical Works sidelines, Rae Fisher et al, and actually found no link between Fisher and Detroit Motor, excepting a single Detroit Motor image which resembled the Fisher motor. Have I overlooked something Russ?




   I want to keep chipping away at the motor design aspect and the Detroit Motor company history, see if we can zero in further on year of manufacture... Jeff you have bookended the company's demise nicely, now we'll continue to see about earlier days...


   Mel, I'm really glad to see there's another motor out there for your comparison, and just to be generally admired... Do you know whether it's thought the blade next to photo two is an original?

Edited by Steve Rockwell
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2 hours ago, Steve Rockwell said:

  I dropped the Detroit Electrical Works sidelines, Rae Fisher et al, and actually found no link between Fisher and Detroit Motor, excepting a single Detroit Motor image which resembled the Fisher motor. Have I overlooked something Russ?


Fisher was connected to Detroit Electrical works. But it kind of appears Detroit Motor Co. was using Fisher's motor patent as well?










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Edited by Russ Huber
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Can anyone out there PLEASE share images of a validated TAG ON another Detroit Motor Co. motor? Alan Wilms posted a claimed Detroit motor on the old website I think around 2014 and I think later removed the images. I can't recall if it had a tag on it. Wilms was seeking info on the motor, like everybody else. 

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On 3/3/2023 at 1:27 PM, Jeff Lumsden said:

The Electrical Age - 1895...


And Blades was still around...


The electrical categories that Detroit Motor Co. advertised...



And where they did not (nor any other category)...


One more patent for Mr. Blades (of Detroit) in 1896...after that The Electrical Age well runs dry for Mr. Blades. 


At this point, he's in his mid 20's and does not show up working for any other of the Detroit outfits as Lockwood and Rae eventually did.  Where did he go?

Post 1895, I'm not finding any other references to Detroit Motor Co in The Electrical Age through 1900.



If there is any hope my bet is scanning 95 circa would be it. Blades did have a ventilation centrifugal fan patent earlier I recall coming across.


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        Russ nailed it flat with the Thomas C. Martin excerpt, and I was wrong to disregard the Detroit Electrical Works connection prematurely.


     His Detroit History and Commerce hyperlink not only confirmed the 1886 organization of the company but introduced a younger Fisher brother, also involved in Detroit electrical development.

   I finally found a bit of opportunity to go to library and begin searching directories, as requested back on this thread's second page. Only 34 minutes available to start the job this afternoon...  I'll be reporting once I have some data.

   Detroit Motor started having money problems by 1892, same as so many others. The V.P. died some time prior to their downturn, which is what I call the idle factory...



 Detroit Electrical Works had their first bankruptcy 1891, and another a couple years later , having been purchased by their main creditor who continued to run the company until his problems...

Edited by Steve Rockwell
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The fan I have was purchased in Missouri, and the one a collector sent to me to post came from Alan Wilms.   Looking on eBay I saw another one purchase with the same base as mine but a fancier tag.  This bipolar sold for less than $400.00!!!    Some lucky buyer got it for a steal.  

Here is the one from eBay.     I do not own it.   I only own the one I originally posted.  I like that it is mounted the same as mine but the tag is fancier.   My switch is a simple on-off.  









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