We always had a couple big box fans in my house when I was a kid. They were great for cooling off on hot days but I liked them for other reasons. Chopping up pencils was a main one. Strips of paper were better though… it wasn’t as loud so you were less likely to get in trouble. And I could never get tired of putting my face right up to the fan and talking like a robot. My dad, on the other hand, tired of this quickly. The knobs on the top of the fan never seemed to last very long. We usually needed a pair of pliers to change the speed on most of them.