Antique fan that’s also a foot stool — vintage Vornado hassock fan

antique fan It’s a bird — it’s a plane — it’s a foot stool — it’s an antique fan — it’s our woddity of the week a vintage Vornado step stool/fan combination that Pam found listed in the Salvation Army’s Ebay store. Even if you’re not quite sure how to classify this vintage multi-tasker, you can be sure that it is unlike any stool or antique fan we’ve ever featured on the blog. One has to wonder — who decided to marry a stool and fan into one design? Honestly the idea had never occurred to me — but now that I see it — it makes some sense. Update: Thanks to readers who immediate told us, this is called a “hassock” fan — and they were not uncommon in the days before central and window air conditioning.

antique fan vornado

The placement of this fan must help keep the metal stool sturdy, with all the extra weight and bracing that it provides.

vintage fan

It appears that this antique fan can be pivoted to create breezes any which way. At 16.5 inches in diameter and 18.5 inches tall, I don’t really envision many people using this stool on a table top for a fan — seems a little large to me — but instead as a floor fan that circulates the cool air that has “dropped” to the floor.

vornadoThe company’s identifying logo — in an awesome vintage font — is pressed into the fan near the control knob. Apparently this fan has four speeds.

step stool fan

Antique fan designs are very collectible

We think that antique and vintage fans from the 20th century are quite collectible — and they are *relatively* easy to find, since air conditioning was not very common until… when? the 1980s? Pam owns a wonderful, built-like-a-tank Kenmore fan — the kind you’d put on the floor, it’s quite large. Vornado fans may be the the most collectible. Do we have an readers who are experts in this area of collecting? Pray tell!

Vornado is still in business, making fans and other air conditioning devices. Every once in a while, they come out with a retro inspired design. But we don’t see anything like that available right now. So, if you like the look — and all that steel!— it seems that vintage is the way to go. Be sure to get the wiring checked by a properly licensed professional.

mid century modern fanA special thanks goes out to Ebay seller salvationarmywashingtonarc for allowing us to use their photos of this wonderful piece of design from the way back time machine days. Wanna add it to your collection? Here’s your chance: [listing long gone]

    1. Patrick Coffey says:

      The current Vornado fan company was started in 1989 to manufacture a modern interpretation of the “classic” Vornado fans.

  1. Cathy says:

    My grandparents had a hassock fan. I would rush to sit on in when I got home from elementary school in the ’60s. The air would catch under my dress and really cool me off in those days before air conditioning.

  2. Susan Little says:

    We had two hassock fans when I was a kid (in the 50s and 60s); however, they were square and made of blond wood with open horizontal slats in the sides. The fan stayed horizontal, and I remember that I loved to sit on them when it was hot because they blew air up and around the seat top and my hair would blow up into the air. They were great for staying cool. I have no idea where they went, but I wish I had one of them now!

  3. Heidi Swank says:

    I’m just so happy you used the word “hassock.” I grew up only knowing that word to reference a footstool. I miss it!

  4. I am just now seeing this post but it made me smile! I have a floor fan that was distributed by JCPENNY back in the 60’s and it is in perfect working order and is POWERFUL! It cools down a entire room and has that perfect retro look!
    Love it!

  5. rebecca says:

    My son and I stopped by an estate sale yesterday – not exactly a granny ranch, but close. In the basement my son said “Mom, look at this cool thing, what is it?” “oooo, it’s a hassock fan!” said I (having just been looking at this post a few days before). At $12.50, it is now ours! It is that industrial mottled blue-green color on the top and cone-shaped shell holding the motor, stainless rings making up the sides. It sits on three u-shaped legs of slender stainless tubing. It is called “Wizard Hassock” (no additional brand noted). We’re moving to a MCModest home on Thursday – no AC! We’re going to love this.

    1. pam kueber says:

      So cool! haha, punny. Always a smart idea with these old things: Get the wiring checked by a properly licensed professional.

  6. Mike Kuchinka says:

    I have a fan just like the one in the photos the fan runs but it need restored does anyone know what it’s worth. Thank you mike

  7. David says:

    Hi! I have this same fan and it’s a great addition to our screened in porch. I rewired it but chose not to restore it as we like the old look. Do you know when these were sold/manufactured? I believe it was in the 1950’s but don’t know exactly when. Thanks!

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