1) No doubt hand-operated originally by hand and often described as a 'pair'.

They are commonly listed in wills and inventories and were traditionally made of leather. In 1317 a Halifax man was arrested 'for stealing the tanned hide from 2 bellows in a forge of John Culpon'. Early examples link them to smiths and those playing the early musical organs: 1399-1400 Et in ij corriis equinish emp. pro iiij paribus bellows organorum de novo faciendis 2s 8d, Ripon

1509 Pro ij hides to the smyth bellows, York

1553 a paire bellows, a Stythie, hamers and tonges, Sheffield. The spellings could vary: 1543 twho paire of bellyces, Ripley

1558 a payre of ballys of vs price, Darnall. In 1698, Joseph Brammall, filesmith, had three pairs of bellows and their furniture, Ł7.10s.0d, and in 1734 John Fearnally, trumpmaker, had One Double Belley . In 1724 Bullhides and Cowhides were purchased for the new finery Bellows at Colne Bridge.

spellings bull hide
dates 1317 1399-1400 1402 1509 1543 1553 1558 1698 1724

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0