A popular historical amenity that remains today is the ceiling fan. Early wooden ceiling fans conjure up images of hot, humid days in the old south. Plantations and industrial businesses were in desperate need of keeping inside temperatures from reaching sky-high numbers. What were they to do? One solution came from the United States based Tuerk Water Meter Company, who developed the first known wooden ceiling fan.
Ceiling fans began their journey as two-bladed machines attached to roofs that received their power through water turbines. Enormous turbines had to be used to generate enough power to drive a system of belt-and-pulleys to move the blades. A huge drawback was that only buildings that were located near streams could utilize this system. The longevity of the system would depend on outside weather conditions as well as wear and tear on the machinery.
The evolution from water-powered ceiling fans to electric took shape in 1882 when American Engineer and Physicist, Dr. Schuyler Wheeler, invented a desk fan that utilized electricity. This invention was the foundation for the first electric-powered ceiling fan by German Engineer, Philip Diehl.
Diehl had worked at the Singer Manufacturing Company in New York, and later at the Remington Machine Company in Chicago, and it was there he came up with his innovative idea. Picture this – Diehl having extensive knowledge of motors and machines must have thought to himself, “Hmmm, what if I take a sewing machine motor, attach two fan blades to it and bolt it to the ceiling?” He tried it, and after trial and error, voila’! The first electric-powered ceiling fan!
Of course not wanting anyone to steal his idea, Diehl ran to the nearest patent shop and patented his idea. This took the popularity of the ceiling fan to another level. No longer did people have to deal with the cumbersome process of using a water turbine to provide them with the effects of cooler temperatures, not to mention that it was accessible to a wider range of homes and buildings. The first owners of one must have been in seventh heaven, so cool and comfortable.
Ceiling fans made the transition to four blades by World War I and although still expensive, many homes and businesses began to have them. Unfortunately after the Great Depression hit, the popularity and accessibility of the electric ceiling fan began to wane. However, a re-surge came about in the late 1960’s and fans have since become a mainstay.
The fans today are attractive, different types, styles and adaptable to any room, garage, barn, office even patios. Take a challenge, come to ceilingfanspro.com and check out all the different fans until the right one is found, one that satisfies.