Stefan has collected antique electric fans and appliances since the age of eight. His interest in fans began after watching Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. The scene of Charlie and his grandfather partaking of fizzy lifting drinks and approaching a fast whirring fan at the top of the tower made quite an impression on Stefan. This is where his obsession began. A trip to the Thomas Edison Estate in Fort Myers, Florida introduced him to the world of antique brass fans. He was hooked on them and began collecting in earnest by 1989. Stefan became a member of the newly re-founded Antique Fan Collectors Association one year later. He has been a member of this organization for the pat twenty-five years and has hosted one of their annual conventions.
Stefan and his late father Thomas Osdene developed a mutual interest in collecting small electrical appliances shortly after Stefan began his fan hobby. They put together one of the most diverse collections of small appliances and early electric technologies in the United States, displaying them in a purpose-built space in Richmond, Virginia. Stefan now lives in Wisconsin with his wife Michelle, son Mason, and daughter Olivia. He continues to collect and has recently been featured on the TV Show American Pickers. In the past, Stefan has been featured in the Smithsonian Magazine, on the TV Antiques Roadshow FYI, and in local papers in his home state of Virginia. He earned his Ph.D. in Material Culture Studies/Art History from the University Of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 after writing a dissertation on the cultural history of neon signs. He writes, teaches, and deals in antiques to support his family and his habit for buying old rusty electrical items!
In addition to fans, I collect the following items: antique electric motors/dynamos/generators (particularly open coil or bipolar models), antique electric heaters, antique electric irons, antique toasters, antique mixers, antique malt mixers/blenders/milkshake mixers/machines, hot dog cookers, antique electric griddles, antique electric stoves/ovens/broilers, antique neon signs related to appliances, antique electric meters, antique hair dryers, antique power tools, antique toasters, antique electric chafing dishes, antique coffee makers, antique electric kettles, antique medical quackery and electric medical devices, antique electric lighting, and antique small appliances/old electrical devices/antique technology of all types. I also buy antique fountain pens (particularly Parker and Waterman) and old briar smoking pipes by companies such as Charatan, Dunhill, Comoy, Castello, and various Danish makers.