Fans in America

Early fans were reserved for royalty and the nobility, and were often treated as expensive toys and regarded as a status symbol. Fans in America had humbler beginnings; they represented a way of life for women in Boston who made and mended fans for a living. Shaker fans were often produced from woven straw or paper, which was a far cry from the feathered and gold, ruby-studded fans of Queen Elizabeth.

By 1866, there was a great American fan factory near Quincy, Massachusetts which showed Yankee ingenuity. The owner's name was Hunt, and in 1868 he patented the process by which the fan sticks and the fan leaf (top part) were assembled in one process. This process included folding or creasing and gluing the leaf to the fan sticks at the same time under pressure. This had never been done before in either Europe or America and gave the Hunt factory a boost on the competition until the factory closed in 1910.