Lake Breeze Motor Company Fan, ca. 1919
Appraised Value: $1,500 - $2,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (1:11)
Arms & Militaria, Science & Technology
Gary Piattoni, Inc.
APPRAISER: When this first came to my table, I just saw the top of it and thought, "Wow, what a neat electric fan you've brought me." Then I came around to the front and realized it was actually something a little more special than an electric fan. Can you give me a little bit of the background on how you acquired it?
GUEST: Well, my father bought it at a junk shop about 1971. And, uh... so he cleaned it up, and he just thought it was so unusual.
APPRAISER: It is pretty unusual. It's called "The Lake Breeze Motor," that's how it was marketed. It first came out in 1919. Its original price was, I think, $22.50. It actually functions by a hot-air engine. And what happens is when you light the wick in the kerosene lamp, the hot air pushes through a turbine that then turns a shaft that ultimately turns this fan. Of course, what happened-- this coming out in 1919-- was electricity... it kind of lost the battle and electric fans really won out as everybody had electricity in their houses. Not to mention the fact that having a hot, you know, flame blowing in your house while it was hot out wasn't quite the smart thing.
APPRAISER: So it kind of went the way of a lot of other early technology. The good news is that since it kind of fell out of favor, it became very scarce, so these are pretty rare on the market right now. A fan like this to a collector is probably somewhere in the $1,500-$2,000 range. And it's a great example of how there's still a lot of early, fun technology out there that collectors can still purchase. Now, we're going to give it a shot and see if we can get it going, and see if we can see if it really does still work. Well, so far so good.
GUEST: Yes, give it a little push.
APPRAISER: There it goes. There it goes.
GUEST: It's going.
APPRAISER: We have achieved fan, so... so it's cooling and it's heating at the same time.
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