A hassock floor fan moves the cooler air near the floor out and up, ventilating a full 360-degree area surrounding the device. A typical rectangular floor fan only blows air out of the sides. This fan was also meant to be used as a footstool, or hassock.
Vintage hassock fans were made of steel and far too heavy to be used on a table. The standard design was a flat, round surface with three legs that curved to the floor. The fan was mounted under the seat, between the legs.
Safety bars surrounded the gap between the seat and fan. The entire fan section tilted, allowing users to direct the airflow as needed. Many hassock fans had multiple speeds. The antique models are now collectibles, often offered for sale online or at antique shops.
The Vornado Company produced some of the most sought after hassock fans back in the 1940s. The company is still producing "circulators" with a retro look, but without the hassock. As of 2015, Minka Aire offers its own hassock fan, but it has a more modern design and is not as sturdy as the vintage models. Minka Aire's fan does have three speeds, but it does not tilt.