Who Invented Fan? History of the Electric Fan Full Info 2021, Schuyler Wheeler Biography

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Who Invented Fan?

who invented fan
Who Invented Fan? History of the Electric Fan Full Info 2021, Schuyler Wheeler Biography 15

In the early 1880s, a DC motor powered the first electric fan, which had two blades. In the 1890s, AC motors were added to the original, along with several other modifications. General Electric began selling a model with overlapping blades in the 1920s, and fans began being offered in various colors (originally only black). The prevalence of air conditioning in the late twentieth century led to decreased fan sales, but fans haven’t disappeared entirely, as they can be found in numerous types of electronics (especially computers).

Schuyler Wheeler Biography (Who Invented Fan)

Who Invented Fan? History of the Electric Fan Full Info 2021, Schuyler Wheeler Biography 16

Wheeler, Stuart Skaats (May 17, 1860 – April 20, 1923) was an American electrical engineer and inventor. He developed an electric fan, an elevator design, and an electric fire engine. It was his work to train the blind in the electric motor industry that contributed to its early development. He was involved in the electrical field in some capacity for more than thirty years, helping to develop and implement a code of ethics for electrical engineers.

History of the Electric Fan (Who Invented Fan)

history of fan
Who Invented Fan? History of the Electric Fan Full Info 2021, Schuyler Wheeler Biography 17

Occasionally forgotten, but always useful, it’s not an invention that’s often considered. During the summer heat, you’re going to thank Dr. Wheeler for his ingenuity. Dr. Wheeler has yet to gain induction into the Inventors Hall of Fame (which has a place of honor for Air Conditioner inventor Willis Carrier). Due to the lack of such technology, our ancestors must have sweated and baked in the heat during the summer.

Lotus leaves and peacock feathers

Fanning oneself by hand has been around for millennia, but ancient Egyptian slaves fanning themselves with huge lotus leaves was also common. Egypt discovered how to evaporatively cool itself by blowing air across wet mats and water-filled vessels. Peacock feathers were preferred by the Greeks and Romans for fanning; snow hauled down from the Alps was used by the Roman emperors as a cooling agent.

Folding fans were invented by the Japanese around the eighth century as a result of how bats fold their wings. Chinese handheld fans were more popular during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when beautifully painted fans were in style. Asiatic fans arrived in Europe via Portuguese traders in the 1400s.

As well as mechanizing fans, the Chinese were pioneers. A man could cool a large hall using a simple rotary fan that employed seven wheels of equal diameter, every 10 feet in diameter, invented by Han dynasty inventor Ting Huan around 180 AD. Rotating fans were later used not only to cool but also to air out mine shafts and winnow grain.

In the early attempts at air conditioning in the 19th century, that Roman combination of ice and snow was resurrected. An American physician named John Gorrie (1803-1855) kept malaria and yellow fever patients cool by blowing air over ice buckets in 1830s Apalachicola, Florida.

Engineers of the US Navy came up with a fan-and-iced cloths contraption that pulled President James Garfield’s room’s temperature down 20 degrees, consuming 436 pounds of ice every hour.

Development of electric fans

development of electric fan
Who Invented Fan? History of the Electric Fan Full Info 2021, Schuyler Wheeler Biography 18

There was only one problem: all cooling devices relied on manual or horse-powered blowers. Wheeler’s (1860-1923) discovery that electricity could be used to turn a fan came a year after Garfield’s assassination. He built a fan consisting of two blades powered by an electric motor that drew inspiration from Thomas Edison’s and Nicola Tesla’s designs. Electric motor company Crocker & Curtis marketed the fan.

He became a renowned member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He acquired J.’s library in 1901. Timothy Clark, a British electrical engineer, donated his collection to the IEEE under the condition that the group provides the Clark Collection with a suitable home.

The Engineering Societies Building in New York was established in 1907 with a $1.5 million boost from Andrew Carnegie. The IEEE later elected Wheeler as its president.

Meanwhile, an electrician by the name of Philip H. Diehl developed the electric fan after the Chicago fire in 1871 destroyed everything he’d owned. Singer Sewing Machines hired him on the East Coast, where he worked until he relocated to Southern California.

An 1887 patent has been issued to him for the ceiling fan he invented. It began with a sewing machine motor, which he mounted onto a fan blade, and mounted it on a ceiling. The ceiling fan was later fitted with a light fixture by Diehl as the head of his own business. This idea developed into the first oscillating fan in 1905 when Diehl & Co. added a split-ball joint to an electric fan, making it possible to redirect the motion.

Almost immediately, fans took to it. A Westinghouse ad from 1910 claimed that its electric fan would cost a quarter a unit for each hour that it operated.

Ven-Axia, a British company, introduced metal-free, plastic window fans in 1934. New plastic laminate, Micarta, developed in 1937, made fan blades quieter and less prone to warping and corrosion.

The big chill: air conditioning

As Carrier (1876-1950) perfected the fan that would become history, Wheeler’s humble electric fan remained in the dust. Throughout a cold, foggy night, Carrier was inspired, and it was then he realized how temperature, humidity, and dew point interrelate.

Carrier built his first air conditioner in 1902 to keep the Sackett-Wilhelms printing plant in Brooklyn cool and dry, not to cool people. Almost immediately Carrier’s invention was cooling department stores, movie theatres, and even the United States Congress.

Modern skyscrapers are practical because air conditioning is a standard feature. As a result, countless Americans were lured to the Sunbelt by air conditioning, which cooled the sweltering area.

However, the swamp coolers of the 1930s continue to cool much of the population in parts of the desert Southwest where they blow air through water-dampened pads in the manner of ancient Egypt. During the evaporation process, water absorbs heat and cools a room, thereby obviating the need for air-conditioning machines.


  • Desagulier’s paddle fan is introduced to mines in 1734 by a Frenchman
  • Electric fans are invented by Schuyler Skaats Wheeler in 1882
  • The ceiling fan is patented by Philip H. Diehl in 1889
  • Hermann Rietchel published a book in 1894 entitled Guide to Calculating and Designing Ventilation and Heating Installations.
  • The year 1896 saw the production of fans with two or more blades
  • The air conditioner is invented by Willis Carrier in 1902, and the oscillating fan debuts the same year
  • Psychrometric formulae presented by Carrier in 1911 are still used today as a basis for temperature control
  • The first air-conditioned house was Charles Gates’ Minneapolis residence, built for $10,000 in 1914
  • A lesser-dangerous coolant replaces ammonia by Carrier in 1922
  • It is air-conditioned in New York City’s Rivoli movie theater in 1925
  • The invention of Freon occurs in 1931
  • First car to feature factory-installed air conditioning was the Packard in 1940
  • Air conditioner sales in the US top 1 million in 1953

Who invented the hand fan | A Brief History of the Hand Fan

history of hand fan
Who Invented Fan? History of the Electric Fan Full Info 2021, Schuyler Wheeler Biography 19

Hand fans are thought to have originated in Egypt 4,000 years ago. As evidenced by the two elaborate fans found in King Tut’s tomb, the fan was viewed as a sacred instrument and used during religious ceremonies, as well as a symbol of power. In one fan, ostrich feathers were inserted into the handle, while in the other fan, ebony was overlaid with gems and gold. Greek, Roman, and Hebrew texts describe hand fans as being used by other ancient peoples, as well as the Bible.

Japan and China are both credited with creating the folding hand fan. The fan is believed to have originated from the folds of a bat in Japan, while in China it was inspired by a woman fanning her face mask at a festival.

Regardless of how the folding fan originated, it was a symbol of wealth and class in the 1500s when it was brought to Europe by trade routes.

FAQ Related to Who Invented Fan

Why a fan is called a fan?

Originally a tossing and winnowing device, vannus is derived from the Latin word vannus, meaning shovel. Sports fans were originally thought to have been spectators who blew their own fans – or more rudely, windbags. However, being a fan can also be fun

Who invented a fan in India?

Encon Industries imported these highly efficient fans to the United States on a first-come, first-serve basis in 1973, which they invented and patented in 1957. In a joint venture with Crompton-Parkinson, Crompton-Greaves developed this motor, which took 20 years of development.

Does a fan work in a vacuum?

Vacuum-operated fans do work. As a result of the lack of air resistance, the RPM of the fan also increases, as just like when immersion in water causes fan RPM to slow.

Who is the father of the fan?

Schuyler Wheeler

How do you run a fan without electricity?

Depending on the fan, you can use water wheels, windmills, mechanical energy (a clock powered by wind) or steam to drive the fan without electricity. A fan powered by electricity works with an electric motor. Fans have metallic blades connected to a central hub.

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