If you’re a fan of fans, the Indiana town of Zionsville will be your air-blowing heaven on Earth. On the outskirts of Zionsville is the Antique Fan Museum, a collection of 450 fans of all shapes and sizes, earning it the title of “the most comprehensive collection of air-moving devices in the world.”
The Antique Fan Museum features row upon row of restored antique models dating back to the 1880s, spanning everything from punkah fans to two-bladed fans to hand fans with graphics on them. Some of the most bizarre varieties include lit-up spheres with fan blades on the top, Rube Goldberg machine fans, and a tropical fan complete with palm leaves, wicker, and bamboo.
Historic innovations in the fan-making process can also be seen in the exhibit, with the museum’s water and steam-powered fans, belt and pulley fans, and restored variations of some of the world’s earliest battery run fans.
When the museum’s creator, Tom Frampton, was a child, he never imagined that one day he’d own one of the world’s largest collections of fans (that said, not many other children do either). But when he got a summer job at an antique fan dealer during his junior year of high school, something clicked inside of his brain.
Frampton grew a major passion for fans over the years, and eventually founded Fanimation, which has since grown into one of the largest fan companies in the world. Today, the Fanimation corporate headquarters in Zionsville is the location of the Antique Fan Museum.
While Frampton spends most of his time working for Fanimation, restoring old time models is a favorite pastime of his. If you’re a fan-atic, make sure to visit and give the Antique Fan Museum some fanfare.