Starting in 1894, General Electric produced a series of fans which collectors
today refer to as "pancake" models beause of the large diameter and relatively
thin motor casting, which was made possible by using a single bearing rather than
2 bearings as in most fans. The 1903 model is one of the most popular today, because
of its fully-ribbed base and moderate 12"diameter blades. These are rugged,
powerful fans which are capable of running reliably for daily service even today,
once properly cleaned and lubricated. They are also very versatile, with 5 speeds
and the capability of tilting or turning the motor to direct the airflow easily.
It also runs on modern AC power, unlike the DC fans that were typical of the 1890s.
The one downside is that the wires leading from the switch and speed coil inside the base are attached to exposed terminals on the back of the motor. When the fan is turned on, owners must exercise caution in handling the fan to avoid a nasty shock. Consumer safety was not a prominent consideration in that era.
Except for new wiring to replace the brittle and dangerous century-old cords, this fan is completely original and unrestored.