The Evolution of the Fan

Vintage fan with text: "The evolution of the fan"
Have you ever looked up at your ceiling fan as you’re lying in your bed, and wondered how it was invented? The history of the electric fan is one that is relatively short, but one that has advanced extremely quickly in the history of time.

Through the Years…
  • 4,000 BC – The Egyptians implored their servants to fan them with palm leaves, which became the first invention of the fan.
  • 180 A.D. – The Chinese pioneered the mechanizing fan that was human powered.
  • 1830s – A doctor in Florida used blades to fan air from ice blocks to cool down sick patients.
  • 1882 – Schuyler Skaats Wheeler applied electricity developed by Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla to make a fan turn without human or horsepower. The first electric fan consisted of just two blades without a protective cage.
  • 1889 – The ceiling fan was patented by Philip H. Diehl.
  • 1902 – Technology was created to produce the first functioning oscillating fan. At this time, Willis Carrier also invented air conditioning.
  • 1910 – Ceiling fans were first marketed for household use.
  • 1932 – Emerson Electric Co. introduced the Silver Swan, a fan based on a propeller design with a cage.
  • 1940 – The Packard become the first car to offer optional “factory air” in a vehicle.
  • 1960s – Ceiling fans almost became obsolete due to the popularity of air conditioning. However, since the 60s, fans grew in popularity and became more energy efficient.
  • 1970s – Ceiling fans were well-used during the energy-crisis because they consumed less energy than air conditioners.
  • 1990s – The sales of ceiling fans dropped some due to the reduced cost of air conditioning. The solid wood and steel construction of the ceiling fans dropped and were replaced by cheaper, standardized parts.

The evolution of the fan has come a long way from the time of the Egyptians and their servants waving palm leaves. Today, we have amazing technological developments with bladeless fans, large tower fans, and many more special designer options. These ceiling fans offer a useful means to cool us down in warm weather.

Choosing the right fan for your home or office takes a little research and knowledge about what will work best for you and your rooms. Let the experts at Aire Serv assist you with any questions you may have about cooling services.