Circa 1940 10" Barcol Bakelite 2 Speed Oscillating Desk Fan


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Circa 1940 10" Barcol Bakelite 2 Speed Oscillating Desk Fan.  A fan stemming from the venture of Howard Colman (the entrepreneur) and Mr. Barber (the financial investor), Barcol.  The company Barber-Coleman contracted with designer Clarence E. Smith in the early 1930's for the creation of "Styled" bakelite housings for their lower price point fan offerings.  Combination of Barber-Coleman and Smith paired for an excellent offering of fans perfectly fit for the time period.  With fans now a stample in the american household, price point becomes important and Barcol offered the perfect product for a lower investment.  Over the past 90 years, Bakelite housings have not all weathered the test of time and are usually found broken or cracked.  There are no chips or cracks in the housing, it is in excellent condition.  This example and a few others we will be offering come fresh from a private collection and were hand picked over the last 30 years for their condition.  Of the Barcol fans we are offering from the collection, this one is a hard to find model.  Operating on 2 speeds controlled by a dial switch atop the rear motor housing, this model also oscillates and can be used as a stationary by disengaging the oscillator (via a button on the gearbox).  Cage features a "Jail Bar" design and is very striking and modern.  Propeller is made of aluminum and has 4 wings for more air movement.  We have cleaned, serviced, and tested this model for daily use or visual appreciation. 




Company History Below:


Provided by MK Research


"Howard Colman grew up in Wisconsin, subsequently moved to Rockford, Illinois and his company operated under the name of Barber Colman. For decades, Rockfordians assumed Mr. Barber and Mr. Colman were partners. That was not the case at all. Mr. Barber was an entrepreneur who took an interest in Colman's endeavors (actually Barber was the father of a boyhood friend of Howard Colman) and assisted financially in the start of his many inventions. To the integrity and credit of Colman, he always gave credit to Mr. Barber and the return on Mr. Barber's investment was not only monumental financially but also historically. Howard Colman is perhaps one of the world's top inventors with over 140 patents to his name. He started inventing at age 5" - "The Hub Pages", Ken Kline          


Howard Colman died in a car accident in 1942. Harry Severson, one of the three original directors, took over leadership of the company. In 1953, the "Park Plant" was built, a one-story, 125,000-square-foot (11,600 m2) building in nearby Loves Park. In 1954, the company purchased the Hendey Machine Company. By 1965, three other additions were complete on the Loves Park facility. In 1968, a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) facility was built just north of the original plant. By 1975, Barber–Colman employed 4000 workers among its 150 locations. The company was family-owned until the death of Walter Colman (Howard's son) in 1983. Following Colman's death, the company was sold off to various companies. Reed–Chatwood purchased the textile operations and continued to manufacture from the original factory until 2001. The machine tool division was sold to fellow Rockford company Bourn & Koch, who provides parts, service, and support for their machines to this day. Barber–Colman henceforth focused on cutting tools and process controls. The remaining divisions were eventually sold off. The Barber–Colman trademark is held by Eurotherm Controls, Inc. The historic complex has been vacated since Reed–Chatwood relocated in 2001. The City of Rockford currently owns the property, purchasing it for $750,000 in 2002. On August 8, 2006, it was recognized by the National Park Service with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. 



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