Old Electric Motors

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Anyone here know anything about them?

Cleaning out Mom's house and found three old motors, two lager ones and the smaller Westinghouse 'Type CAH' here. Great looking old motors. Not being able to pass up any interesting machine, I took one home to clean up and try and run, with the safety precautions appropriate to a ??? years old elec. device.

These were apparently squirreled away by the first family who owned the house since the 30's, so I have no idea of the age and a serial number search didn't help so far.

IMG_6644[27895].jpg
 
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Nice! Unless there was a problem with them originally, there's not much to go wrong with the windings since they are usually varnished. I'd be more concerned about the hookup wires from the 1930s, I restore antique radios and the fabric wire insulation can become quite crispy and brittle, so flexing them can cause the insulation to break off. The rubber wire insulation that started showing up in the mid/late 30s was worse than that IMHO, they get really crispy and will fall apart like dried cake frosting if you touch them. Eyeball the the wires in the connection panel, and if they look to be in decent shape, give it a whirl, but keep an ear out for arcing sounds, smell for burning wires, and make sure it doesn't seem to be getting unusually warm.

If they are capacitor start motors, I'd really think about finding some replacement capacitors.

A motor that age probably has oiling points for the bearings, give each a few drops.
 

wings&wheels

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Nice! Unless there was a problem with them originally, there's not much to go wrong with the windings since they are usually varnished. I'd be more concerned about the hookup wires from the 1930s, I restore antique radios and the fabric wire insulation can become quite crispy and brittle, so flexing them can cause the insulation to break off. The rubber wire insulation that started showing up in the mid/late 30s was worse than that IMHO, they get really crispy and will fall apart like dried cake frosting if you touch them. Eyeball the the wires in the connection panel, and if they look to be in decent shape, give it a whirl, but keep an ear out for arcing sounds, smell for burning wires, and make sure it doesn't seem to be getting unusually warm.

If they are capacitor start motors, I'd really think about finding some replacement capacitors.

A motor that age probably has oiling points for the bearings, give each a few drops.
Thanks.

This motor is sealed except for maybe where the wires enter the case. The motor has two external terminals with what appear to be Bakelite knobs w/ brass inserts and I plan to ground the frame when I try and run it. The visible wires look to be fabric under grime. Luckily these were in a relatively dry environment, for a basement. This does have oil ports, one of which has a small sprung cap. I carefully tried to turn the motor and it turns very smoothly w/ no noises. I applied some light oil and will let it sit while I clean it.

"I restore antique radios"...this will wind up on a shelf w/ two Hallicrafters!
 

JHZR2

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My concern would be motor insulation. Who knows what was used, and its condition... inclusive of motor windings, conductors, etc.
 
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That’s definitely an older name plate. It’s a single phase, 110V, AC motor. Nothing really specially or different about it vs todays motors other than being old.

It’s now TECO-Westinghouse as TECO bought out the Westinghouse business back in the 90’s, so it’s at least that old.

You’ll at the very least need to make sure it’s oiled up and put a multi-meter on it to make sure it’s not shorted to ground. But I’d only feel comfortable powering it up if it were check out with a megger to be honest. Make sure to power it up a breaker or fuse circuit so you don’t burn the house down if the magic smoke let’s go.
 
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I wonder if the number in the lower left box relates to the date of manufacture? That would make it a 1953 model.

Nice find!
 

wings&wheels

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I wonder if the number in the lower left box relates to the date of manufacture? That would make it a 1953 model.

Nice find!
was thinking same, maybe June 53 as the first digits appear neater for lack of a better word, with the last few and what may be the s/n possibly hand stamped.

Electric motors have always been a bit of witchery to me....no fuel, no bang, but they do work, something's not right :D
 
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An old motor shop now gone used to connect a 1500 watt toaster element in line to check out old motors. His theory was this method was less damaging as well as less dramatic.
 
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was thinking same, maybe June 53 as the first digits appear neater for lack of a better word, with the last few and what may be the s/n possibly hand stamped.

Electric motors have always been a bit of witchery to me....no fuel, no bang, but they do work, something's not right :D
Left box is Style or model number, right box is serial number
 
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was thinking same, maybe June 53 as the first digits appear neater for lack of a better word, with the last few and what may be the s/n possibly hand stamped.

Electric motors have always been a bit of witchery to me....no fuel, no bang, but they do work, something's not right :D
Lol I guess you could call the electrons the “fuel”and the electromagnetic field the “bang.”

Probably should study up on it a bit before messing with it too much. So you don’t hurt the motor or yourself. 😉 Take it to a motor shop if you’re not sure. Electric motors are 100 times more simplistic than any ICE today. And very reliable. The cheap Chinese made ones used today don’t do justice the design’s durability.

 
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According to this thread, 1920s era. That thing is vintage! Imagine what it can look like all clean and new.
Man that is old. I’d definitely send it to motor shop then.

On seconds thought I’d leave it be if it were just going on a shop/garage shelf as decor. Probably will look way cooler being all used and worn.
 
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Those 1920s production models are very close to the original 1880s design by Tesla. The rotor is an elaborate structure with hand-wound copper windings as well. The simplified cast "squirrel cage" rotor found in modern motors came later. Note that there are four wires to the binding posts. There are two stator windings in parallel-- one does most of the work and the other assists starting. Reversing the polarity of one of the windings will reverse the direction of rotation, which is why the leads are brought out for the user. This two-winding system would later become the permanent split capacitor motor. But at the time, technology did not exist to build a suitable capacitor as a consumer device. Without a capacitor, the motor has rather poor energy efficiency.
 

wings&wheels

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Thanks all, '20's is older than I thought. I will clean and test it, run it than make it shelf art. It will get cleaned, but not refinished at all.

Now I want to get the two bigger ones up here and see what's under the grime.

I will also post pics when clean.
 

JTK

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I love seeing old electric motors, especially when in action. Talk about an underrated piece of equipment when you figure how many of them are churning along in some obscure unseen location, yet performing a critical task.

Here's a pump motor we just craned out of the cooling water pump house at work. There's anywhere from 4 to 7 of them running down there 24/7/365 and have been since the early 1950s. The only time they get taken out of service is when they need to be reworked and that isn't too often. This one had some vibrations. These are ~600hp 2600VAC

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