[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Ceiling Fan Robot

November 9th, 2015 by Benj Edwards

CasaBlanca Fan Company Casablanca 1985 Robot Intelli-touch world's first computerized ceiling fan advertisement - 1985Play it again, Samtronic

I ran across this ad for CasaBlanca’s Intelli-Touch, “the world’s first computerized ceiling fan,” in a 1985 issue of Home magazine that I found in my mom’s house.

My mother has subscribed to house decorating magazines for as long as I can remember, and Home is only one of many (other examples: Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living). I never thought that I’d feature a scan from one, though.

But this ceiling fan ad was too fun to pass up. It reflects a time when you could slap the term “computerized” on any electronically-controlled consumer product (even if it didn’t actually have a computer inside, which was often the case) and use it as a marketing angle.

The robotic take on Humphrey Bogart’s classic film reminds me of those famous Maxell ads. Perhaps the same people were responsible for both campaigns? I don’t know, but frankly, this would have terrified me if I had seen it as a kid. Luckily, I found it when I was 34, so I’m only slightly afraid.

[ From Home, May 1985, p.3]

Discussion Topic of the Week: If you woke up one day and everyone looked like a metallic, boxy robot, what would you do?

3 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Ceiling Fan Robot”

  1. Chester Says:

    Great nugget as always, Benj. A suggestion: maybe you could make those scans in a slightly higher resolution? Sometimes I want to read finer print or just zoom in at some of the details, but they get lost in the current “good for screen” size. Thanks and keep them coming! 🙂

  2. Benj Edwards Says:

    Thanks, Chester. Yeah, I might start to make the “large size” a little larger in 2016. It’s been creeping up every year. In the age of Retina screens, I know demand will be higher for larger resolutions. RSOTW started as 700px wide, then 800px, and now 900px wide as standard over the years, although sometimes I do 1000 or 2000 px wide (for vertically oriented ads) if there is small text that can’t be read otherwise.

    It’s just been a matter of managing storage space and bandwidth over time. For years, my VC&G server had a 10 MBPS link to the Internet, and it would visibly choke when too many people viewed the site at once (especially if one post that was image-rich became popular) — that restriction has been gone for a year or so, so maybe I can make some bigger images now.

  3. cozmo Says:

    Holy cow, we actually had that ceiling fan! Pressing and holding one of those toggle buttons would change the speed of the fan and make a higher or lower pitched beeping noise. Pretty high-tech for my young, mid-1980s mind…

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