HK Electric Fan Manufacturers

HK Electric Fan Manufacturers

Electric fans became very popular in the US during the energy crisis of the early 1970s. HK pioneers Shell, Din Wai and Wing Tat made their mark globally.

Eck patented a sort of lollipop fan but never made it. It was a gear driven oscillating fan. Around this time he began making large electric motors.

History of Electric Fans

The invention of the electric fan changed how people lived and worked in a significant way. Prior to the electric fan, people used manual fans and natural ventilation to cool their homes and businesses. This blow molding machine was often time consuming and labor-intensive. The electric fan allowed for a much faster and more effective cooling system that improved productivity in offices and households.

The earliest electric fans were basically a blade attached to an electrical motor. They were bipolar and direct current, meaning all the workings were exposed. The blades were usually six pie shaped flat leafs of brass and speed control was achieved through resistance wire. These early fans were expensive and dangerous due to their lack of a cage around the blades.

In 1882, Schuyler Wheeler invented the electric fan taking help of the infant science of electricity. He also invented the desktop fan with two blades. Around the same time, Philip Diehl patented the ceiling fan. He mounted a fan blade on the same motor used in the Singer sewing machine.

In 1913, A.C. Gilbert founded his toy company in New Haven, Connecticut. His first product was the erector set, followed by magic tricks, chemistry sets, and electric fans. His earliest fan was called the Mysto. It was a 6″ fan with a dc type universal brush motor and had a open front guard that only protected the outer perimeter of the blades. This model was replaced by a 12″ and then by the more elegant ‘Typhoon Type’ in about 1921.

Ercole Mareli

Ercole Marelli was a company with a strong reputation for quality. It produced electromechanical equipment for many large projects in South America and also built diesel locomotives for Chilean railways. It was a major player in the industrialisation of electricity and one of the first companies to recognise the huge potential of this new technology.

The company was founded by Mr Marelli, the son of a craftsman and a housewife, in Milan in 1891. He gained a great deal of experience in electrical engineering in South America and returned to Italy to set up a workshop producing equipment for physical geodesy, batteries and accumulators.

In 1919 he spun off the production department of ignition magnetos into a joint venture with Fiat. This became the Fabbrica Italiana Magneti Marelli.

It was during this time that the first electric fans began to appear. These were very different from the earlier manual models in that they were able to oscillate. These were very efficient and could be wall-mounted or table-mounted. They were also very expensive at PS100 to £1000 in today’s terms.

Dated documentation for these early machines is scarce and judging when a fan was made has to be done by visual appraisal, correlating this with dated catalogues and literature and lastly by understanding the way that Ercole produced their products.

Kawakita Denki Kigyousha

Kawakita Denki Kigyousha, or KDK for short, is a fan manufacturer that was established in 1909. They became one of the first to mass produce electric fans when they introduced blow molding machine factory their ‘Typhoon Type’ fan equipped with Japanese-made alternating current motors in Japan in 1913. In 1921, they also introduced the world’s first ceiling fan.

The popularity of the KDK fans grew rapidly and they expanded their business throughout Asia and South Central America. KDK has since merged and partnered with other businesses over the years, including Osaka Denki Seiki Co., Ltd, which was later renamed Matsushita Ecology Systems Co., Ltd.

Today, KDK is a well-known brand and it continues to manufacture electric fans as its core business. They produce ventilating fans, ceiling fans, range hoods, air curtain, hand dryers and dehumidifiers.

Amongst their best-selling products is the KDK table fan that has a unique 1/f Yuragi technology to create a natural rhythm that emulates the pattern of nature. The rhythm helps to maintain the body’s internal temperature and create a comfortable and relaxing environment for the user. This sophisticated formula is based on a scientific study of human body, which shows that the pattern of natural breeze can bring about a positive effect in our health. For more information about the company and its products, visit their official website.

Din Wai Electrical Manufacturing

The three pioneers in the HK electric fan business during the mid-1950s – Shell, Din Wai and Wing Tat – put HK on the map in the world market for their high quality products. These three companies were the first to make a fortune by exporting their fans internationally. All three companies had a number of executives who served as presidents or directors in the HK & Kowloon Electrical Trade Association.

The firm started out in 1949 making adapters with a workshop at 61-62 Hong Kong Street (now the site of APEC Plaza). The company made great strides thanks to its high-quality products and in 1953 it moved into its 6-story Din Wai Industrial Building at 49 Hoi Yuen Road in Kwun Tong which was later redeveloped into APEC Plaza.

Yung Yau graduated from the National Chekiang University and worked for US Army Supplies in China as an engineer prior to the war. After the war, he founded the United Electrical Manufacturing Factory (Lian He Dian Qi Zhi Zao Chang) with four others including the founder of Jardines Lookout residents association Chan Shek-hou. The firm grew by leaps and bounds after the energy crisis in the 1970s as demand for low cost fans skyrocketed globally.

The firm expanded into importing and marketing a large range of consumer electronics including televisions and fans under the United brand in the US. In 1978, Yung Yau established a sales office in Los Angeles to bypass the middlemen and sell direct to the retailers which was a very successful venture. By 1979, Yung Yau’s firm was one of the top 3 HK exporters of electric fans in the US and the company’s series of metal blade ceiling fans was sold under the Gulf Coast brand by Dan’s Fan City in Florida.

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