Hitachi table fan, c. 1930.

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Hitachi table fan, advertising postcard, c. 1930. Caption reads: “Three amazing [ビックリ] considerations: Amazing nice shape! Amazing low price! Amazing long life!”

Hitachi was founded in 1910 by electrical engineer Namihei Odaira in the mining village of Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture. The company’s inaugural product was Japan’s first 5-horsepower induction motor, developed for use in copper mining, after which the company became the domestic leader in the manufacturing of electric motors and electric power industry infrastructure. Hitachi began production of table fans in 1916 for the consumer market.

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