A fan of fans
Shirley man ready to sell antiques
Thursday, May 15, 2014 8:45 AM
The Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Association Grounds is filled this week with antique tractors and engines for the group’s annual swap and sell meet.
Phillip Guill sells hot air fans Wednesday afternoon at the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Association’s Swap & Sell Meet. (The Commercial Review/Kaytee Lorentzen)
There are plenty of tractor and engine fans, and a few of another variety.
Phillip Guill has returned again to the swap and sell meet this week to sell his hot air fans, as well as a variety of other antiques.
For the last 25 years, Guill has set up a trailer at Jay County Fairgrounds to try to sell the hot air fans and other items.
He’s attracted to antique items, especially the fans, but says he has too many, which is why he enjoys selling them. With 25 of the hot air fans, Guill had five he was ready to sell Wednesday.
“I like anything antique or unusual, especially if it’s hard to find and you very seldom see it,” the Shirley resident said. “I like going to antique stores if I’ve got nothing else to do.”
The fans operate using heat already in a room to produce a cooling breeze.
They were common in the early 1900s. And Guill has fans that date back as early as 1905.
The fans still work today and are built better than modern electric fans, he said.
“It’s what they used before air conditioners. Of course now you can get them from Walmart for $5 or so and you’re lucky if they last you all summer,” said Guill.
Each fan costs between $2,000 and $2,500 to purchase now, depending on how old it is, the rarity of the fan and its quality.
“Some of this stuff is really hard to find. I’ll keep it for five years, 10 years … then I’ll sell it,” said Guill.
He finds the fans at other swap meets, antique stores and from individuals.
And people are generally interested in the antique item, he said, but seldom want to spend the money to purchase one.
“We have a lot of people look at it, and a lot of people want it,” Guill said. “You get a lot of interest in this stuff.”