The advent of such contraptions as the thing I am using now to scrawl this tip led to the death knell of a once proud Brimingham industry. That and the Bic Biro.
There was at one time over 100 firms producing quality pens in the Jewellery quarter of Birmingham, employing people (mainly women) in their thousands. Pretty much all of this has now disappeared.
It's good to see that the trade association has funded this impressive (and free) little museum. Contained in two rooms, there is just about everything you could ever wish to know about the history of pen making in Birmingham. Displays also include typewriters and products produced when production switched to boost the war effort in the 1940's.
I unfortunately arrived when there were no demonsrations going on, but a brief look around convinced me it would be a good place to bring children back to when there was.
It almost makes you nostaligic for the days when you could sign your name elegently on a piece of real paper rather than putting some banal moniker on an e-mail.
The Jewellery Quarter, Hockley, Birmingham
Birmingham is one of four places in the UK with it's own hallmark. You can get bespoke jewellery here for not a great deal of money. Well worth a wander about, if not to purchase anything, then to gawp at the jewels and precious metals.
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