Monday, December 12, 2011

The R&M gearback tank

This fan earns it's name quite well: The tank. It weighs in at near 35 lbs, that's a lot of weight for a 12 inch fan. R&M had previously been re branding Westinghouse tank fans for their line of AC fans. When Westinghouse switched from cast iron to stamped steel, R&M came out with their own line of tanks in 1911. Consequently in 1912 R&M re-collaborated with Westinghouse to develop the gearback oscillator, one of the first "standard" style gearbox oscillators with the oscillation wheel on the bottom. the first model, list 151174 had a start switch motor and a slightly different oscillation adjustment on top of the gearbox, along with utilizing a lollipop style cage. in 1913 R&M started using their own motors in the gearbacks, yet still utilizing the Westinghouse tank style motor castings. These were continued until 1915 when R&M switched to stamped steel. I bought mine (which is a 1914 model) at the fanfair auction with a broken front casting, and a later Clockwise blade, having had two of the motor leads swapped to run in the opposite direction. I got the casting from a fellow member as well as the blade, swapped the motor leads and it ran fine. The bearings however are somewhat worn and I'll get some re-machined at some point. It's also missing the flag badge in the middle of the cage, reproductions are made and I'll get one at some point.

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