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::Casablanca Fan Co.

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History (compiled by Sean Brown and Ryan S.)

Casablanca Fan Company (formerly spelt “Casa Blanca Fan Co.”) is a ceiling fan company started in 1972 by Burton A. Burton. In the earlier years, they were known as “The Burton Company”. The very first fans made by Casablanca were belt drive fans. In 1974, it is believed that they started production of their first self contained ceiling fan. The earliest examples of these had a small gear driven motor (believed to be manufactured by Dayton), which rotated the blades via a small rubber pulley. In 1975 they started purchasing motors from Emerson. These first motors from them were the K63, also used in Emerson’s very own commercial fan (Heat Fan). This motor was used with a metal flywheel (later models had rubber flywheels) up until 1980, which was the first year for the K55 motor. Burton sold Casablanca in 1981, with only 500 employees. They continued with their belt drive ceiling fans until 1983, when that division of the company split and became Fanimation.

 

The Casablanca fans using a K63 all used a cardboard rheostat variable speed control. The gear driven motor units were all single speed, and did not move much air. They were more of a decoration, than an actual ceiling fan. The earlier K55 fans used the same rheostat control that the K63 fans did, until the Slumber•Quiet variable speed system came along in 1981 (earliest example known thus far). This was an electronic system, regulating speed with a potentiometer, heat sink, and printed circuit board. This system was much quieter than the rheostat system, which was (and still is) known for the hertz hum.

 

Slumber•Quiet was the main speed control system, until 1983, the debut of Inteli•Touch. This was the world’s first computerized fan control system. In 1985, Casablanca used a 5 speed control system known as Slumber•Five. This was used on the LCS (Low Ceiling Series) and Delta II fans only. This control system was dropped in 1986, for the Slumber•Three system. Both Slumber•Three and Inteli•Touch are made to this day [2009]. Comfort•Touch was introduced in 1989, which had all the features of IT, and more. It featured a liquid crystal display readout, and could control fan speed based on room temperature. This control unit was discontinued in 2002, and replaced with Advan•Touch.

 

Over the years Casablanca tried motors from a few different companies, including Samsung and Astrosyn. These motors were made in Japan (as compared to the Emerson motors being manufactured in the United States), and had only one known issue. Certain Samsung equipped fans with the Inteli•Touch system were known to catch fire, due to incompatibility. These were recalled, and replaced with Emerson units. Casablanca continued using Emerson motors until 1996, according to sources. The XLP-2000 motor replaced the K55 for the 1997 model year, and is still used. Certain models used a beefier XLP-2100 motor, such as the Mission, Nouvelle, and others.

 

In 1993, Casablanca purchased Homestead, a competing “lighting showroom brand”. A lot of their models were then relabeled, and sold under the “Pasadena” brand, which was later renamed “Airflow”. A few fans from this series eventually graduated into the Casablanca brand, before being discontinued. In 1996, Hunter Fan bought Casablanca, and still owns it to this day. They were acquired to fill a niche in the business, since Hunter did not succeed as well in the lighting showrooms.

 

Over the years, Casablanca switched headquarters locations a few times. They were originally founded in Pasadena, CA. In 1981 they moved to the City of Industry, CA. They performed their final move in 1996 when Hunter Fan Co. bought them out, to Pomona, CA.

© 2009 DT Vintage Fans