Fan of 'FANS' and A Family Fannie

Getting in the groove of February blogging has been anything but 'groovy'.  After hearts, flowers and this years short calendar day count, everything else about February sort of faded away as far as my interest. 

When that happens, I start taking count of my collections.  This serves a dual purpose as I ponder how to work them into the 2016 AtoZ April Challenge and a post for February.  So, let's see where a small collection of 'Hand Held Fans' takes us.

The first 'Fan' in my collection is very special and came from far, far away VietNam.  I will save that fan photo and story for the AtoZ Challenge.  It has possibilities of fitting into several letters other than the Letter 'F'.  I'll be working on that idea and theme for what will be my 5th year to participate.

The origin of 'Hand Held Fans' can be traced back 4,000 years to Egypt where it was a sacred instrument of religious ceremonies and a symbol of power.  Other ancient civilizations used fans in various forms as scribed in Greek and Roman texts as well as the Bible.  The folding hand fan was a creation of the oriental country of Japan where it was thought to be modeled after the folding wings of a bat.  The folding hand held fan made it's way to Europe in the 1500s by way of trade routes and quickly became an exotic and stylish symbol of wealth and class.
In America, fans had a humble beginning, were a necessary utilitarian implement, and a way of life for women who made and mended them for a living.  Shaker fans were made from woven straw or paper and by the mid 1800's were a viable manufactured product.  Vintage fans are highly collectible in a multitude of categories from advertising to Victorian Needlework Embellished fans with mother of pearl inlaid blades.
As is my usual way of delving into a collection/topic...one thing leads to another.  In the case of  'Fan'...it lead to Fannie. 

The name Fannie means Free, and is often short for Francis.  People with this name have a deep inner desire for a stable, loving family.  Fannie fit that character trait to a 'T' as a wife for 70 years and mother of seven children.

Fannie was my 1st cousin 2x removed.  Her father and my great grandfather were brothers who came to Texas together from Georgia.  She was born on April 1, 1878, in Arkansas and was raised in Texas.

Fannie was the fourth of six children...all girls with interesting Southern names...Texannah, Mary Jo,  Sallie Savannah, Susanna, and Ann Charlie.  The descendants of Fannie and her sisters are active members of Ancestry.com and have shared a wealth of our family history and many photos like this one of Fannie.  Fannie lived a long life of 89 years.  She died in May, 1967...8 months after her husband of 70 years.

Girls/women with the name Fannie tend to be orderly and dedicated to building their lives on a solid foundation of order and service.  They value truth, justice, and discipline.  I'd say my cousin Fannie certainly lived up to her name.
 I wonder if she had a collection of hand held fans.
I wonder if  this photo once had a handle!


  1. Hi Sue - that's good to know we'll get to the F for fans in April. They are so pretty .. Wonderful to have that original photo and fan - certainly looks like there was a handle once. I didn't know Fannie meant 'free' .. cheers and have a good weekend - Hilary

  2. I like the way you put this together. I have a few fans and a few years back when I was HOT all the time, I used them often!

  3. My Mom's name was Fannie! I will especially look forward to your A to Z post on fans. My Mom didn't collect them but I can remember a fan she bought me during a visit to Chinatown years ago. Alas, I no longer have it. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

  4. I love fans and had quite a few at one time. In fact, at my last tea party I made sure my guests left with a small fan in their goodie bags! I love the tohught you put into each post. Hugs, Anne


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