Maybe a sighting of double action bellows?

In Lazarus Erckers book about the analysis and production of various minerals and salts, there is great use made of furnaces. But most are natural draft powered. However there is one to be found later in the book, I stumbled upon it by accident. The accompanying text merely calls them bellows, for the purpose of assaying copper ore.

And the picture is:

POssible double action bellows

From page 219 of the hardback of Sisco and Smith’s translation of the Treatise on Ores and Minerals.

The key point here is that it shows a man reaching into the furnace with tongs whilst manipulating the bellows with his other hand. Moreover the end of the pole seems to be attached to a rod which pulls up the bottom of the bellows and there is a valve on top. Of course the small issue is the presence of the valve, which would suggest that air goes in the top, when the bottom is falling down.

Modern double action bellows work by having a valve inside, splitting the top from the bottom, so that when you pull the bottom part up it pushes air into the top part, which then expells it out the front due to the force of gravity on the top piece of wood, whilst the bottom section is opening out again.

So in this case I don’t think I can say it definitely is double action bellows because of the apparent valve in the top. This image has pretty much everything you would expect for double bellows such assingle handed operation and only one set of bellows, but I can’t really be sure. I shall keep my eyes open anyhow.

One thought on “Maybe a sighting of double action bellows?

  1. Pingback: Whewell’s Gazette: Vol. #40 | Whewell's Ghost

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