Historical information

This desk or table-top electric fan marked is typical of the fans popular in the 1930s through to the 1950s. The fans were made for use in the home, office or factory and were produced in a variety of sizes. They were available in both fixed and oscillating models with different speeds.

The fans cost several weeks of a man's average wage at the time and were promoted not only as improving comfort in the home but also increasing efficiency at work. With the development of air-conditioning from the 1960s and its increasing use in the workplace and then into the home, fans declined in popularity.

This fan was manufactured by the Engineering & Construction Company (ELCON) an Australian owned and patented company originally based in Melbourne, Victoria in the late 1920s. The company became a subsidiary of the Electricity Meter & Allied Industries Ltd (EMAIL) in 1939. Then in 1946 they were decentralised to Orange, New South Wales. EMAIL brands included Email, Emailair, Westinghouse, Carmichael, Elcon, Metters and Weatherall. Electrolux purchased the major appliance division of Email in 2001.


This item is representative of early electric fans manufactured in Australia in the early to mid 20th century. They were widely used throughout Australian homes and workplaces prrior to the development of airconditioning.

Physical description

This early electric table fan has four metal blades attached to an egg shaped enclosed motor. Each blade is attached with three rivets. The fan has a wire safety guard surrounding the blades. This is attached to a circular metal base.There is a switch in the centre of the base to adjust speed. A knob at the back of the fan enables its position to be adjusted. There is no longer any branding visible on the fan but it has been identified as an ELCON fan manufacured in Australia. The electrical cord is not the original which has been replaced.