Tuesday Treasure | May 5, 2009

My great grandfather, John Hau, founded and operated the Lion Cafeteria in Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI from 1919 until turning it over to my grandfather and great uncle in 1959. More about the restaurant can be found here.

In the 1920’s and 30’s, before the installation of air conditioning, the Lion Cafeteria tried to keep its patrons cool with the help of oscillating electric fans that were mounted on the walls.

One of these fans was handed down to me by my grandparents, Raymond and Florence Hau. They had it sitting on the floor in their entry way closet. I don’t remember this, but my mom says that they would bring it out in the summer months to help circulate the air.

General Electric fan c.1920's from the Lion Cafeteria

General Electric fan c.1920's from the Lion Cafeteria

My fan is all original except for the plug on the end of the electric cord. It is very heavy and solid. It still works and is very quiet, but since the cord is frayed, I don’t turn it on very often. Notice the blade guards. They certainly don’t guard against much! The fan is painted dark green and the blades are brass.

In the photo below of the Lion Cafeteria in the 1930’s, a couple of these fans can be seen mounted on the wall. I’ve had this fan for many years, but didn’t notice it in the restaurant picture until recently.

Lion Cafeteria c.1930's

Lion Cafeteria c.1930's

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