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A condensed History of Fans

Jul 30, 2008
People have always loathed being too hot, and civilized folks have consistently attempted to do something about it. The ancient Romans, for instance, found ways to employ the water in their famous aqueducts to cool their homes. The rich installed systems for water to be propelled through the walls of their houses to lower the temperature and make life more comfortable. Persians had similar success creating systems of cisterns and wind towers. When the wind was non-existent, there was always a servant around to wave a palm frond to cool you!

The idea of rotary fans originated in second century China. A visionary inventor came up with a hefty fan involving seven wheels, each ten feet in diameter. This contraption, unbelievably, was man-powered. A more useful water-powered fan came along a few hundred years later. The first known mechanical fan was not created until the 1800s in the Middle East, and it still used a human pulling a rope to make it work.

Happily for all those poor servants, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla harnessed electric power, and personal fans became popular for home use. In 1882, Philip H Diehl invented the ceiling fan, much to the delight of folks in warm climates everywhere. There were some handsome brass fans manufactured at the turn of the century, and a stylish Art Deco model in the 1930s called the Silver Swan. Antique fans are quite collectible now.

As time went on, fans became safer and less expensive. More and more people began to employ fans to cool them during the summer months. They revolutionized how people lived, especially in humid climates like the American south.

Today, even with air conditioning widely available, fans retain their popularity. Their cooling breezes are far quieter and more soothing than the icy blast delivered by an air conditioner. The cooling feel of a fan breeze across a hot temple is one of life's great pleasures. And the tradition of lovely fans continues to this day, with Minka Aire providing some of the most unique designs on the market. They are a marvelous way to bring cooling comfort to any space, indoors or out.
About the Author
Steve Collins is an author based in Southern California. Read his reviews of Minka Aire fans and ohther Minka Aire products.
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