The place of bellows in alchemy

Interesting post about alchemical bellows…

distillatio

Whilst researching a post for my other blog (http://medievalfoundry.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/the-origin-and-use-of-bellows-especially-in-medieval-europe/), I remembered that I had seen bellows in alchemical illustrations.
However in refreshing my memory I find that they feature only infrequently.

Breughel’s famous drawing of an alchemist and his family shows the use of them to encourage a small fire:

800px-Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_-_The_Alchemist

Yet I have been unable to find many examples of the use of bellows to blow a furnace in alchemical texts or illustrations definitely associated with alchemists. The ones I checked seem to assume the use of a draft furnace.

I wonder why?

View original post 917 more words

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