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Old 13th Apr 2019, 9:40 pm   #1
1100 man
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Default Magicook 134 & GEC tropicana fan heater

Fan heaters have been an integral part of my life from my earliest memories. I've always loved the gentle purr and the benign warmth of sitting in front of them. Not much good for space heating, but for individual people heating, they can't be beaten.

My Grandfather ran a shop selling small electrical appliances and offering repairs in the '50's & '60's. He was therefore well placed to supply the family with the latest 'must have' gadgets! So we had the latest MK rocker style light switches in the early '70's and also the fan heaters.

The first is a Magicook Appliances Ltd (MAL) type 134. I can't find much on the internet about them, only a reference to a trade exhibition.

As far as I know, this did duty in grandad's greenhouse and then dad's greenhouse where I remember playing with it when I was a kid. It's had a life and is now a bit of a wreck, but is a really good, very quiet heater. It gets a lot of use during the winter heating the workshop.

Every couple of years it needs a clean out and the motor bearings soaking in oil as it starts to get noisy. The spiral element has been repaired a couple of times with terminal block (insulation removed) which has proved to be a good method of repair. The two fan speeds are achieved by switching in a resistor in series with the motor. Unusually, instead of 1Kw, 2Kw, it's 600W, 1.2kw & 2.5Kw.

It also has provision for a 15W orange pigmy lamp, although it's never had one that I can remember! So it's now had it's service and clean and is now nice and quiet again.

The GEC 'tropicana' is somewhat newer, I suspect early '70's although I never remember a time when it wasn't in the house. This also gets extensive use throughout the year and benefits from a clean out and lubrication.

It still has it's rather unusual 'ribbed' grey mains lead with red, black & green cores. The PVC is still in excellent condition, luckily.

So two pieces of vintage equipment still in regular use and doing what they were designed to do!

All the best
Nick

Yes, there is a motor under all that fluff!!
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Last edited by 1100 man; 13th Apr 2019 at 9:45 pm. Reason: extra text
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Old 14th Apr 2019, 11:02 am   #2
Herald1360
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Default Re: Magicook 134 & GEC tropicana fan heater

The GEC Tropicana is definitely '60s, or at least came out then- we had one for several years before the family moved from Worcester in 1966.

I saw it only yesterday at my sister's. It's scratched and battered (bit like me and sister) but still works fine. Obviously overengineered then!

It saw a lot of use back then for warming pyjamas and blowing into the icy bed in the unheated bedrooms of the day. The shape was quite convenient for one handed use
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 8:50 pm   #3
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Default Re: Magicook 134 & GEC tropicana fan heater

I remember my dad had a GEC Tropicana in mid 60s. A creamy/white colour with orangey/red lettering. Longer and flatter than your example. At a guess (it is 50 years ago!) top cover 13" wide, fan grille 3" high and top metal cover about 7" deep. Not quite as modern looking as yours.
Rob
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 8:53 pm   #4
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Default Re: Magicook 134 & GEC tropicana fan heater

https://www.google.com/search?q=gec+...rro9M1M:&vet=1
I think!
At least it has orange letters on the knob! My memory isn't all bad.
Rob
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 10:57 pm   #5
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Default Re: Magicook 134 & GEC tropicana fan heater

Hi Chris & Rob,
Looking on the Internet, it seems they used the 'Tropicana' name on a variety of different models. I can't find a picture of my one, but there are similar ones.
Unfortunately, there is not much left of the model number sticker on the bottom to identify it.

What we need is someone who has a GEC catalogue from the era...

Does anyone know anything about Magicook?

Cheers
Nick
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Old 16th Apr 2019, 10:55 am   #6
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Default Re: Magicook 134 & GEC tropicana fan heater

Sounds like something the librarian at the Unseen University might have said......
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Old 16th Apr 2019, 2:31 pm   #7
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Default Re: Magicook 134 & GEC tropicana fan heater

My parents had a "Tropicana" [complete with grey ribbed mains-lead] in the 1960s.

[They also had a Philips one that looked very similar - like this - https://www.deconstructionart.com/th...-multi-sucked/ - that had a tendency to trip its overheat-reset on a frequent schedule so soon got thrown out, while the Tropicana soldiered on into the early-70s when the house got an upgrade to full oil central-heating so fan-heaters became unnecessary].
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Old 16th Apr 2019, 6:10 pm   #8
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Default Re: Magicook 134 & GEC tropicana fan heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100 man View Post
Does anyone know anything about Magicook?
I don't know anything about this heater, but I am pretty sure my late parents had a 'Magicook' sandwich toaster that they bought in the 1960s. You know, 2 ridged cast-iron plates with elements in them that you put a sandwich between.

It's long gone so I don't have any details, but from the name I would guess the company started out making cooking devices and then made other heaters.
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