Quilting, Farming, Variety

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fan Me -- Please?

Before the days of fans and air conditioners, rooms could become rather stuffy when filled with people. Thus the hand-held fan came into being, and they were put on the pews at churches and funeral homes. Most carried some type of advertisement on the backs and pretty pictures on the front.
The Good Shepherd was a very popular one.
And of course, peaceful scenes were always good for funerals.

A fan like this one folded up, fitting into a lady's handbag more easily,

and on the back was a place for an address so it could be mailed from some vacation spot. Notice the postage stamp: 8 cents!! in 1971.
Of course, not all fans carried pictures just meant to comfort; this one advertises Garrett snuff and has a calendar for each month of the year, 1934. (Maybe snuff did comfort?)

I hope you can enlarge this enough to read the testimonial from a ninety year old, regarding Garrett's snuff. Pretty funny!
I think fans can still be found in some flea markets; however, they sure aren't free anymore. They make a very colorful collection.
Do you have old fans tucked away somewhere?


  1. In the Texas heat, I often wonder how they managed to keep cool. Those fans are just wonderful. I imagine they were put to very good use.

  2. Every time I see one of these old fans, I think about the "revival meetings" the church had every summer. It seemed to always be hot, hot at this time. The church house windows were wide open, and every kind of bug known to mankind, it seemed, was crawling all over the screens trying to get to the lights inside (and many did get inside). The preacher "preached," sweat ran down his face and large wet circles of sweat stained his shirt under his arms and down his back. Many of the little ladies brought their own fans, but there were always extras in the song book racks. Now it seemed to me, the hotter the temperature (or was it the sermon?) the faster the fans were moving. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane!!

  3. Another post that brings back memories! We had these in our church years ago, and it seems that the ad on the back was always the funeral home! Do you have a fan collection?

    A couple of years ago, a friend's daughter was married in our yard. We made fans - with a picture of the couple and the wedding program printed on it. Thankfully it wasn't hot enough to need fans!

  4. that first one is very familiar looking, I think we had those at our church I attended when I was a child. I also have a couple of those old fold up fans. I keep one in the back of my Bible, for when I need it.