Opening, Closing Hand Operates Tropical “Electric” Fan (Jul, 1932)

Can someone please explain to me how this is in anyway can be described as “electric”, even with the quotes.

Opening, Closing Hand Operates Tropical “Electric” Fan
INHABITANTS of the tropical countries where electricity is an expensive luxury have developed the little hand-propelled fan which Tallulah Bankhead, movie actress, is seen operating in the photo on the right.

The device consists of a four-bladed propeller fastened on a handle so it can be spun around. A piece of wire is bent, as shown, and attached to handle. Whirling motion of the propeller is produced when wire is pushed back and forth along blades. This action is obtained by flexing and contracting the hand.

  1. Blurgle says: June 27, 20073:01 am

    They were probably trying (somewhat clumsily) to refer to a rotating fan as opposed to a regular hand-held fan.

  2. mrchurchill109 says: June 27, 20074:21 am

    More the point, I think it’s more of a poor-man’s “electric” fan – no real electricity used but the same functionality using muscle power.

    Kind of a neat idea, really, though I think I would have used a small rack and a flywheel – less motion with a bit more force and it would have worked better.


  3. Blurgle says: June 27, 20075:35 am

    And doesn’t Tallulah look 100% sober and straight there!

  4. Stannous says: June 27, 20079:07 am

    Maybe a precursor to the ‘Electric Kool-Aid’ and other LSD-fueled events of the 60s that would come later?

  5. Blurgle says: June 28, 200712:02 am

    Tallulah could have outdrunk and outdrugged every member of those events with one hand tied behind her back. She was an alcohol and drug user of epic proportions.

  6. galessa says: June 29, 20078:14 pm

    hand operated fans simmilar to this were made in europe since late XIXth century.

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