What was the reference pitch before the invention of the tuning fork in 1711? Was it somewhat a task to try and get within the ballpark of referenced pitch?
Like for instance, maybe they knew what diameter and length a chosen note of a portative organ should be. Same as for flutes, and maybe acceptable string length for different sizes of lutes.
Is there any historical proof (documents/paintings), of a similar practice? Or did it differ from region to region that the note C drastically could be the equivalent of the modern A as well as F.