Casablanca Fan Company
|Founders||Burton A. Burton|
Number of locations
|Memphis, Tennessee (Formerly Pasadena, California)|
|Products||Ceiling fans, Desk fans, Light kits|
|Owner||Hunter Fan Company|
The company was founded by Burton A. Burton in 1974. Burton's marketing techniques included inviting customers aboard refurbished 1940s railroad cars from the New York Central Railroad and Rock Island Line. By 1980, Casablanca was selling about US$42M in fans per year. To better cope with the seasonal swings of the ceiling fan business, Casablanca purchased Lavery & Co. in 1984, a Van Nuys, California-based manufacturer of consumer lighting fixtures founded by Arthur J. Lavery in the late 1940s.
Following a hiatus, Burton regained presidency of Casablanca in July 1985, and was named chief executive of the parent company, Casablanca Industries Inc. Reporting to Burton was Richard Y. Fisher, who was named president of Casablanca Industries. He served as chairman and president of Milwaukee-based Diana Corp. (formerly Farm House Foods), which previously acquired a 47% stake in Casablanca. In addition, S. John Gorman remained president of Lavery & Co.
In 1996, Memphis based Hunter Fan Company purchased Casablanca and has run it since. Hunter's Parent ownership has changed several times in the last ten years but they are currently owned by Mid-Ocean Partners L.P
In 1980, Casablanca introduced the Slumber Quiet system, which had a 3-way fan light pull chain switch that controlled both the fan motor and an optional light kit, and a variable speed dial to adjust the fan's speed. This system was discontinued in 1985 and replaced with a variation of the system known as Slumber-Five, which had five fixed speeds controlled by a stepped potentiometer rather than a fully variable speed dial. Slumber-Five was discontinued in 1986.
In 1983, Casablanca introduced the world's first computerized ceiling fan control, called Inteli-Touch. The Inteli-touch control included a three-button (changed later to four buttons) wall controller, a PC board inside the fan's housing, and a small piezo buzzer to emit electronic beeps to verify fan functions. The control was innovative because it had new features that could completely automate the ceiling fan, including Safe Exit, which gave the user 30 seconds to exit the room while the fan's light kit gradually dimmed to off, Fan Minder which would start the fan at a high speed and gradually slow the fan down to its slowest speed, while still staying on, and Home Safe, which would turn the fan's light kit on and off at random times to make it look as if someone is in the home. The system also usually had 6 fan speed settings (4 speed settings on "Candelier" model) and variable light settings, while also offering a reversing function. This control system made its way onto many Casablanca fans.
In 1990, Casablanca introduced another computerized ceiling fan control, called Comfort-Touch. The Comfort-Touch control was handheld, though it could be mounted to a wall. It offered a temperature control to have the fan automatically turn on and off according to the current room temperature, six fan speed settings, variable light settings, reversing functionality, and many automatic functions similar to what Inteli-Touch offers. Like Inteli-touch, the system included a PC board inside the fan's housing. The system was discontinued in the early 2000s and replaced by Advan-Touch.
In the early 2000s, Casablanca introduced its third computerized ceiling fan control, called Advan-Touch. The Advan-Touch control replaced the older Comfort-Touch system. Like Comfort-Touch, it is a handheld remote control. It has six fan speed settings, variable light settings, reversing functionality, and many automatic functions similar to what Inteli-Touch and Comfort-Touch offered. Like Inteli-Touch and Comfort-Touch, the Advan-Touch system included a PC board inside the fan's housing.
- McCargar, Victoria (July 27, 1985). "Burton Back at the Helm of Casablanca Fan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
- Hyatt, Joshua (September 1, 1987). "The Indispensable Man". Inc. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
- Parker, Emanuel (May 23, 2003). "Casablanca Fan Co. founder Burton dies". Pasadena Star-News. Retrieved December 30, 2012.