Harmless Fan Has Ribbon Blades (Jul, 1935)

I actually just bought one of these for my desk at work.

Harmless Fan Has Ribbon Blades
SILK ribbons, held in loops, form the blades of a harmless electric fan recently demonstrated at the Industrial Arts Exposition in New York. The ribbons give a standard pitch when rotating and are said to be able to throw a current of air ten feet away.

  1. albear says: March 20, 200810:54 am

    Why not just use sharp big razor blades and encase them in a cage (like today’s fans)?


    But seriously, whouldn’t it be easier NOT to have exposed fan blades? no matter if they’re harmless .

  2. Myles says: March 20, 200810:59 am

    That it is an interesting idea, I think soft rubber would be more practical for the paddles.

  3. Neil Russell says: March 20, 20084:24 pm

    They used to make rubber ones, my folks had a three blade rubber fan when I was little back in the 60s.
    The rubber eventually got brittle and I suppose the thing was as dangerous as a plastic bladed fan with no shroud. If the motor case hadn’t cracked and fallen apart it would probably still be around.

  4. Craig says: March 21, 20084:51 am

    I have had Caframo fans for years. They are much quieter and do a much better job of moving air than a caged fan that has a grille that creates turbulence. They all have a nifty flexible blade with bumpers on the leading edge. Unfortunately my three-year-old boy loves to stick his hands in the rotating blade. While this is fun I’m not sure it’s a good life-lesson.

  5. Galessa says: November 25, 20082:57 pm

    I have this one. it was made by Singer and sold by Sears Roebuck. The first design was patented in 1930. It is molded of bakelite and the great thing is that when blowing the blades are invisible! It is stunning!

  6. Venice Gril says: March 20, 200910:19 am

    Does anyone know where I can purchase replacement ribbons for the Singer ribbon fan?

  7. WILLIAM SPURLIN says: November 11, 20099:26 pm

    hi, anyone know how to disassemble the ribbionair ?? thanks bill

  8. Firebrand38 says: November 11, 20099:59 pm

    WILLIAM SPURLIN: I’m sure all questions can be answered here http://www.fancollector…

  9. galessa says: November 12, 20095:48 am

    About the replacements for the blades: These blades were at first made of grassgrain ribbons, then elastic ribbons. I searched the whole web for Brown grossgrain ribbons 1″ wide and thick like the originals,but all I could find was very thin ones, that could not stand on their on. So I bought elastic ribbons and dyed them the appropriate bakelite brown. they look perfect:

    About disassembling: The foot is easy, although I never tried to disassemble the arm. It looks like it wasn’t made to be disassembled. The motor case looks puzzling but is rather easy: you will find under the case (movable) an oppening, wide enough so you can introduce a tool there to keep the motor axis still. After doing that, just unscrew (counterclockwise) the bakelite case. That’s it.

  10. WILLIAM SPURLIN says: November 12, 200910:08 pm

    hi really appreciate the info on disassemble of the ribbonaire but cant break it loose any more tips?? thanks bill

  11. galessa says: November 12, 200910:32 pm

    What do you mean, break it loose?

  12. Toronto says: November 13, 200912:39 am

    Galessa: nice job on the dying – that fan looks quite wonderful.

  13. WILLIAM SPURLIN says: November 13, 20097:10 am

    yes…can’t seem to break it loose even with a lot of pressure..afraid I will break it..thanks for you’re help..bill

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