Birmingham Pen Room

The Pen Room museum is operated by volunteers and opened in 2001. An astounding collection of over 5,000 objects from the Birmingham Steel pen trade are on view. Activities include a Victorian school room, special museum trails and interactive machines. We tell the story of Birmingham’s part in the information revolution.

It is said that during the 19th Century, nearly 80% of everything written in the world was with a ‘Birmingham’ pen. Birmingham was at the forefront of this trade until it declined in the 1950’s with the invention of the biro and fountain pen. At one time, there were around 100 factories in the Jewellery Quarter area. The development of the steel pen reduced the cost of writing and enabled the spread of literacy throughout the world.

Set in the atmosphere of a former Victorian pen factory, The Pen Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of this trade. There is ongoing research into the social, historical and technical aspects of the trade and also the Jewellery Quarter itself.  The museum has assisted people tracing their genealogy and is keen to hear from anybody who has had connections with the trade.

The Pen Museum is more than just a passive museum with objects on display. It is a hands-on collection! Visitors can try writing with a variety of different implements including quills and typewriters; you can also try writing in Braille or make your own pen nib using original machinery.

The Pen Museum has a range of educational activities that covers both formal and informal learning. The collection can be used to support a variety of curricular subjects including literacy, local history and citizenship. Calligraphy classes are held at The Pen Museum on Saturday mornings from 9.45am to 11.15am and 11.30am to 1pm.

Admission Fee:
Adult Gift Aid Admission £2.20 (includes 10% voluntary donation)
Adult Admission £2.00
Under 16’s Free
Admission charges to special events may vary, please check the website for detail

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