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One Eck of a Fan! - page 3
By Mark Neeley

One of the sale features had to have been that Charles Eck incorporated a ball and socket type mount of his own patent that allowed his desk and table fans to readily convert to a bracket wall mount position albeit while offering the fan in an oscillator. Other companies were using the same theory typically by the ball (or knuckle) trunnion yoke design, but Eck was an early innovator of this ball socket idea. Eck offered a gear driven oscillator ahead of the competitors since he had invented and improved on a workable version. I believe he probably capitalized on this fact and won a few bids ahead of the mammoth manufacturers. General Electric’s first offering was as a 1909 model, much later than the earliest Eck oscillator. During a short period of time that same year or so, Westinghouse purchased their gear driven oscillators from General Electric and labeled them under the Westinghouse banner. Eck was able to sell a few of his fans for commercial use, something my 16” Direct Current oscillator was most likely used for new and evidenced in the accompanying photo image of an early office image showing 16” Eck Direct Current oscillating fans

In 1910, the Eck Firm would have to fight for market share among a few titans of the industry. This was not an easy task when faced with competition such as Emerson, Robbins and Myers, GE, Westinghouse, and numerous smaller manufacturers. They would succeed for a few more years, but by the 1920s the Eck name disappears among the fan manufacturers in the United States.

During the teens, Charles Eck had returned to Sweden where he started another motor manufacturing plant and lived out the rest of his life. Our 16” Eck Oscillator will live on as a testament to his work here in the United States when he sought to carve out a piece of the American dream with his masterpiece the ECK HURRICANE. How many more Eck’s are still out there? Who knows, but I bet most of the ones that are could still cool their owners with a little TLC, even 100 years later and with several lifetimes of use behind them. How many machines from today will be able to make that claim? Mr. Eck’s machine can. It’s the king of the oscillators. The first gear driven one that is.


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