Friday, October 19, 2012

Modern material culture: favorite window fan

Many years ago, two fans came into this household, which does not have wiring modern enough to support even a window air-conditioning unit. They were lightweight and very quiet, and they moved lots and lots of air, way more than those silly "twindow" fans, which circulate practically none. Apparently, people are fooled, though, and buy those worthless fans with two sets of blades. Our fans had a sealed lubrication system. First they squealed a little when starting and then they wouldn't start at all. Fan number one gave up the ghost at the end of last summer and fan number two did it a couple of weeks ago. There is nothing like these on the market now. The model was a Duracraft DW-622, made in China, with a limited 10-year warranty. The box said: "side screens adjust to fit window widths of 20-1/2 inches to 35 inches; mounting bracket included for slider and casement windows." Duracraft was sold to Honeywell in 1996; Duracraft and Honeywell were sold to Kaz Industries in 2002. Kaz itself is now owned by the Helen of Troy people. When I called the toll-free telephone number on the box (800-554-4558), I reached a pleasant person at Kaz, who reported that it's been quite some time since these fans were made and that only dual window fans are now available. Duracraft was at 355 Main Street; Whitinsville, Massachusetts 01588. So far, we've found no substitute for these fans and nothing even close to them.

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