Damascus: Makers of Bellows

Arabic: manāfīkhī

Date: c.1890-1906

The making of bellows was widespread in Damascus, perhaps connected to its use by craftsmen operating forges and furnaces, as well as for domestic braziers. Nonetheless, it was not a profitable craft to engage in, despite its significance. The decline of bellow making was attributed to market competition from foot-pumps, which may have been imported.

Citation: al-Qasimi, Muhammad Saʿid, Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi, and Khalil al-ʿAzm (al-Azem), Dictionnaire des métiers damascains, ed., Zafer al-Qasimi. (Le Monde d’Outre-Mer passé et présent, Deuxième série, Documents III, Paris and Le Haye: Mouton and Co., 1960), p. 472 (chapter 400).
Milwright, Marcus. “Wood and Woodworking in Late Ottoman Damascus: An Analysis of the Qāmūs al-Ṣināʿāt al-Shāmiyya”, Bulletin d’Etudes Orientales 61 (2012): p. 557.