New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

What do coffin fittings, silverware and pen nibs have in common?

Posted June 19th, 2012 by Suzanne Carter with 1 Comment










Sorry, no punchline… but they do have in common a rich history of manufacturing in the Jewellery Quarter. They are also things that BCT, the Pen Room Museum and English Heritage are keen to share with school groups!

I (Suzanne) spent a really interesting couple of hours at the Pen Room Museum in the Jewellery Quarter yesterday, with Sheree, the Education Officer for English Heritage, and Malcolm, one of the Pen Room’s dedicated volunteers.

We talked pen nibs, calligraphy, braille machines and the history of pen making in the Jewellery Quarter, but the main focus of our visit was to explore ways that Newman Brothers, J W Evans, Pen Room Museum and other organisations can work together to create a heritage offer to take to schools, and strategies to encourage schools to visit and engage with the heritage of the JQ!

English Heritage are embarking on an exciting piece of work to develop links between schools local to the Jewellery Quarter with the heritage of the area – something that the Coffin Fitting Works are keen to be involved in.

If you’ve not been to the Pen Room Museum, it is well worth a visit. There is nowhere like it anywhere in the world! It’s not just about pen manufacturing, but all forms of communication – and there are lots of opportunities to interact with past technology such as telephone switchboards and typewriters as well as original  machinery to make your own pen nib. There are even etchosketch toys to keep the little ones busy. Great fun.







I never thought I would see floppy disks in a display case – how old did that make me feel!

One Response to “What do coffin fittings, silverware and pen nibs have in common?”

  1. Birmingham Conservation Trust « The Pen Room June 25, 2012

    […] What do coffin fittings, silverware and Pen Nibs have in common? Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment […]


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