As a history buff I always love finding out new things about my local area, and this month I have been discovering a raft of new information about Birmingham and its pen history through my Buckt subscription box, which included free entry to the Pen Museum in the city’s Jewellery Quarter.
Buckt offer a couple’s activity box that offers between 3 and 5 activities each month in the Birmingham and Manchester areas. You subscribe to Buckt box, choose the activities you want to take part in, and then have 2 months to enjoy them (although you must book them in the first month.) A subscription is £25 per couple, but you can get 50% off your first box with the code FASHIONMOMMY. The activities are fun and varied and often give you the opportunity to try, and discover something new.
And so it was with the Pen Museum. Located in a former factory that is now known as the Argent Centre, the museum is a fascinating journey through a little known, yet crucial industry in Birmingham’s development. The Pen Museum is the history of pens before Biro made them complete and disposable, the age of the ink pen, of ink pots and nibs, when a pen was actually a work of art, and when Birmingham made three quarters of all the pens used in the World, including those that made the animations pop so much for Walt Disney productions.
The museum has so much to show, from a range of ‘pens’ in different designs (what we now call a nib was then a pen, with the rest called a pen holder). There were designs that commemorated important events, packaging that was designed to attract the rest of the world and a whole array of ink pots, from the novelty, to glorious art deco style designs.
The Pen Museum is a great place for children to visit as it is so interactive. From trying out calligraphy, to the Victorian style classroom, to being able to make your own pen nibs with a little help from the brilliant volunteers who run the place so well, there are so many things that will keep little ones interested whilst learning something new.
If you want to discover a little known social and industrial history in the Birmingham area, one that has largely disappeared in our modern times, then I would most definitely recommend a trip to the Pen Museum which is illuminating, education and absolutely fascinating.
Visit the website here.