FLETCHER RUSSELL & CO. LTD/ WARRINGTON MANCHESTER & LONDON
Thomas Fletcher (1840-1903) had established a gas appliance manufactory in Thynne Street, Warrington by the 1880s. By 1895 the company had become Fletcher Russell and Co Gas Engineers, his firm having merged with Alexander and William Russell of Pendleton Iron Works. In 1950, the firm merged into Radiation Ltd which was later acquired by 'TI New World.
In the early 1880s Thomas Fletcher was a registered dentist who went on to found a dental apparatus manufacturing business. He later diversified into producing equipment for blacksmiths, foundries, forging and other sectors. The company had grown to 900 employees in 1914.
These foot-operated bellows were for pumping gas to keep the patient relaxed while the dentist worked on their teeth. They were later modified for a variety of uses where a continual flow of air was needed.
These bellows are representative of a range of devices developed in the late 19th Century to assist in manufacturing. They were donated to our collection by a Wodonga resident.
A set of foot bellows made from timber, metal and leather. The bellows were activated by pressing up and down on the metal step-shaped lever at the front. The air outlet on one side would have a hose attached to it to direct the air current to wherever it was needed. The bellows are made from leather. The manufacturers mark is attached to the top within a metal circle.
Inscriptions & markings
On top of Bellows in a circle: "FLETCHER RUSSELL & CO./ WARRINGTON/ MANCHESTER / LONDON"