The entire country is experiencing a heat wave, leaving us wondering how Grandma beat the heat in the 1920s. She likely used an electric desk fan like this. It sold at a recent Skinner auction in Boston for $86.
The fan was made by the Emerson Manufacturing Company of St. Louis. It's about 18 inches tall, has 3 speeds, and oscillates back and forth. The patented brass blades are designed to give the best distribution of air with the least hum. Millions of these fans were made by Emerson until the Depression in 1930. Electric fans are serious collectibles to the members of the Antique Fan Collectors Association, FanCollectors.org.