1) Used in the phrase ‘to blow the bellows’, that is to work them so as to produce a strong current of air.

The medieval by-name ‘blower’

almost certainly referred to the person who operated the bellows: 1324 Robert Blawer, Rastrick. The bellows came to symbolise the working of the hearth, and in 1786 the specific opening date for Park Furnace in Sheffield was in February, when it begun to blow. There is a much earlier use of the word in Wharfedale, for the township of Kirkby near Harrogate had acquired the affix ‘ore-blowers’ by 1212

that is ‘smelters’. Speight in his Lower Wharfedale commented on decayed iron-working sites there.

dates 1212 1324 1786

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