20 Everyday Objects
Table fan. A circle of aluminum surrounds a grey propeller with four fins and a pointed center. It leans back on an angled support behind.

Propello Desktop Fan

Designed by
Dan Black (born 1974) and Martin Blum (born 1964)
Cast aluminum, rubber
Produced by
Black + Blum, London, United Kingdom
27 x 26 x 18 cm

The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, gift of the designers, 2010.57

Propello is one of the most successful products of Black + Blum, which designs and markets their own appliances.

As its name suggests, the form evokes a propeller. This energy-efficient desktop fan has soft rubber blades and produces a gentle breeze at a low enough speed that a guard cage is not required. Its ball-bearing motor is virtually silent, and its sleek, minimal, purely functional design is typical of the best of Good Design at midcentury. A tiny handle at the upper back and the two small front feet barely interrupt the perfect circle of the frame.