Non-electric fanHousehold Electric Fan19th century depiction of ancient Egyptian fans and other items.19th century depiction of a Japanese folding fan.
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Fans

A fan has two purposes – to move air for creature comfort or for ventilation and to move air or gas from one location to another for industrial purposes. Fans have broad surfaces that usually revolve. more...

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Leaves or flat objects, waved to produce a more comfortable atmosphere, are the simplest kind of fan.

Applications include ornamental decorations, climate control, cooling system, refreshing air, personal wind-generation (e.g., an electric table fan), ventilation (e.g., an exhaust fan), winnowing (e.g., separating chaff of cereal grains), removing dust (e.g., sucking as in a vacuum cleaner), drying (usually in addition to heat) and to provide draft for a fire.

History

Etymology

Old English fann referred to a basket or shovel for winnowing. It was a loan from Latin vannus, with the same meaning, derived from ventus "wind" or a related root (cf. vates). In the sense of "device for moving air" the word is first attested 1390, the hand-held version is first recorded in 1555.

Ancient

Fan history stretches back thousands of years. Since antiquity, fans have possessed a dual function – a status symbol and a useful ornament. In the course of their development, fans have been made of a variety of materials and have included decorative artwork. The simplest fans are leaves or flat objects, waved to produce a cooler atmosphere. These rigid or folding hand-held implements have been used for cooling, for air circulation, as a ceremonial device, and as a sartorial accessory throughout the world from ancient times. They are still widely used.

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