The company was founded by Burton A. Burton in 1974. [ 1 ] Burton’s marketing techniques included inviting customers aboard refurbished 1940s railroad cars from the New York Central Railroad and Rock Island Line. [ 2 ] [ 3 ] By 1980, Casablanca was selling about US$42M in fans per year. [ 2 ] To better cope with the seasonal swings of the ceiling fan business, Casablanca purchased Lavery & Co. in 1984, a Van Nuys, CA-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. [ 1 ] 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.
Burton died in April 2003, at age 75, on Orcas Island. [ 3 ]
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 the late 1970s, Casablanca introduced the Slumber Quiet system, which had a 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 the late 1980s.
In 1984, 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 gradulally 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 had 6 fan speed settings and variable light settings, while also offering a reversing function. This control system made its way onto many Casablanca fans, and still exists today.
In the early 1990s, Casablanca introduced another computerized ceiling fan control, called ComforTouch. The ComforTouch 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 AdvanTouch.
In the early 2000s, Casablanca introduced its third computerized ceiling fan control, called AdvanTouch. The AdvanTouch control replaced the older ComforTouch system. Like ComforTouch, 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 ComforTouch offered. Like Inteli-Touch and ComforTouch, the AdvanTouch system included a PC board inside the fan’s housing. this system still exists today.
Casablanca offers four motor types:
The Direct Drive motor is a standard ceiling fan motor.
The XLP-2000 and XLP-2100 motor is a heavy-duty ceiling fan motor that includes a rubber flywheel (called SilentFlex).
The XTR motor is a high-performance ceiling fan motor.
Finally, the DC motor is a Brushless DC Motor that uses less energy than a conventional ceiling fan motor.