Yesterday I took a trip to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery's local history wing opened last year.
I am currently planning a project related to the industrial history of the city. Inspired by the old adage that Birmingham was once the 'city of a thousand trades' I want to explore some of the factories and products that originated from the area.
One company which particularly fascinates me is the Osler Glass Factory who were early pioneers in glass technology. Their factory had showrooms in London and even India. They even contributed to the Great Exhibition of 1851 with the creation of multiple large scale crystal fountains. The example shown below is an engraving of a chandelier created in 1848 for the Pacha of Egypt.
The new wing also goes some way to dispense with the myth that Birmingham was a typical industrial town. Most of the manufacturing in the late 18th and early 19th c. was done by small enterprising factories and workshops who predominantly employed highly skilled workers. Below are two metalware objects which caught my eye.