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Tag Archives: Retro Cooling

1960’s Kenmore Roll-A-Matic Fan


Mel and I were out and about antiquing when I came across this fantastic fan. It is pretty large and it looked like it had some unique controls. I loved the fact that it was attached to a roller stand.


It’s great that it can be wheeled around so easily.


This fan has a manual vertical adjustment. The above photo shows the fan all the way down and the photo below is raised. The great knobs on the side allow you to adjust the angle in any direction.


This unit has some control options I am not familiar with.


It has a simple control panel, but the one thing I noticed was that rectangular light on the top. I figure it has something to do with the thermostat this fan has. This was my first experience with a fan that has a thermostat. Another great thing about this fan is that it blows and sucks air. I imagine it was a great feature when by an open window.


I am still trying to figure out the thermostat portion of the fan.


When the Comfort Control Knob is adjusted…..


This indicator light illuminates. I will have to play with it, but I am sure I will figure it out. I wish I had some literature on this fan. I am sure this was a high end fan for the time.


What I also dig about this fan is how accessible everything is. Both back covers pop off easily for cleaning.


This fan has a large motor and it has a lifetime lubrication warranty!


With tempatures around 105 degrees lately, this fan will get a lot of use!


Emerson Seebreeze fan and Gaffers & Sattler Bon-Aire Mark 1 Swamp Cooler

Hello all,

With the dog days of summer quickly approaching I thought it would be a great idea to put some retro cooling in the house.

I was out with the misses antiquing in the bay and we came across this Emerson Seebreeze fan that was rusty & dirty and I knew if I got my hands on it I could make it a cool addition to the pad.

After a day of prep which included sanding and cleaning I applied a coat of primer. I prefer Valspar gray primer (sold at Lowes). I gave it a good and even coat and let it cure over night. The next morning I began to paint with Valspar gloss medium gray and Mediterranean. I then let is sit another day so the paint would be set up for re-assembly. I think it looks great! It is amazing what paint and elbow grease will do.

Click Images to Enlarge

Here is another retro cooling appliance I restored that I found on Craigslist. I totally love the pointy edges on the top of the unit, it makes it look very atomic. This portable swamp cooler was made by Gaffers & Sattler model Bon-Aire Mark 1. Swamp coolers were used in place of air conditioners if a house did not have AC. It works by adding water to a holding tank. A fan sucks up the water and turns it into a mist. With the mist and the fan blowing it cools a localized area. This was a pretty straight forward restoration. It had some rust on the bottom that I sanded off. I then primered and painted the whole piece. Lowe’s carried a filter that I cut to fit and I was also able to find a spray on sealant to re-seal the water holding tank. This unit works well and was completed just in time to keep things cool.

We also have another swamp cooler from the same time period with a stand. I’ll try to restore that one and get pictures up as soon as I can. It’s really cool too, no pun intended :).

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