Q: My neighbor wants to know if this fan is an antique and what it would be worth.
A: Technically, an antique is at least 100 years old. Your neighbor’s fan was manufactured by Robbins & Myers and likely dates to the mid-20th century, making it vintage.
Robbins & Myers was founded in the late 1800s as an iron foundry. They started making electric fans in 1897 and continued making fans, motors, and industrial machinery throughout the 20th century. They were acquired by National Oilwell Varco in 2013.
Your neighbor’s fan, the Robbins & Myers Breeze-All, is a hassock fan; sometimes called a floor circulator or stool fan. They were popular in the mid-20th century. After home air conditioning was introduced in the 1930s, ceiling fans gradually fell out of fashion. Instead, people bought hassock fans to circulate the air. Some were marketed as “air circulators” rather than fans; they could heat as well as cool. Their size, shape, and structure meant they could double as furniture. A hassock fan could be used as a footstool, stand, or small table. Their popularity waned when ceiling fans came back into style in the 1970s. We have seen vintage hassock fans sell at auctions for about $100 to $500, depending on condition.
There are lots of nicknames costume jewelry collectors have given their favorite...Read More