The Pen Museum is unique being the world’s only museum dedicated to honouring and celebrating the important legacy of Birmingham’s 19th Century steel pen trade and is a significant cultural asset to the Jewellery Quarter being an attractive visitor destination for everyone.
During the 19th Century 129 pen factories were located in Birmingham, and at its height this industry employed an estimated 8,000 workers, of which the majority (70%) were women, however, children as young as nine years of age also worked in these pen factories.
The mass production of affordable pens helped improve literacy worldwide and wherever a pen was used it most likely had been manufactured in Birmingham. Our Museum displays the important skills and craftsmanship that narrate the lives of key entrepreneurs, manufacturers and workers whose expertise placed Birmingham at the centre of this worldwide trade. Our collections include significant material from many of the most influential pen entrepreneurs (Joseph Gillott; Josiah Mason; William Mitchell) represented by impressive and outstanding objects supported by a comprehensive archive, scientific instruments, nib manufacturing steel presses, and photographic material.
However, the Pen Museum is more than just a passive museum with objects on display as visitors can have fun with our trails and also try writing with a variety of different implements including quills, steel pens, and typewriters and make their own pen nib using original steel press machinery.
The Museum totally relies on its loyal, committed and dedicated team of nearly twenty-five volunteers to ensure the Museum is maintained, operational and normally open to visitors Tuesday to Sunday inclusive.
Being an independent Museum of charitable status our visitor admissions, events and room bookings are critical to our survival forming our only source of income, therefore, we are now appealing for support to help save a unique glimpse of Birmingham’s industrial history. If you can help us to preserve this important cultural asset, please kindly donate to our Crowdfunding page: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support-the-pen-museum as you would be instrumental in saving more than just a museum. Thank you.