Making steel pen nibs in Birmingham during the Victorian era was a major industry with 129 companies employing circa 8,000 workers (mainly women). By visiting the Pen Museum, you will discover a wide range of fascinating objects and details that help tell the story of Birmingham’s pen trade and its important legacy including the link between a prominent pen manufacturer (Josiah Mason) and the establishment of the University of Birmingham.
Throughout the Museum there are a range of activities for people of all ages to enjoy including writing with a quill and ink, using typewriters plus an exciting opportunity to make your own nib using the same machinery once operated by women workers in the 19th century.
Book Tickets to Visit
Support Our Work.
As a charity, we totally depend on our dedicated, experienced and loyal team of volunteers along with the generosity of donors and supporters. Our wonderful visitors also provide regular income to help keep this part of Birmingham’s important heritage alive.
Being the world’s only museum dedicated to the history of Birmingham’s steel pen trade and its global impact, we narrate an important part of Birmingham’s industrial development.
Birmingham dominated the world’s production of steel pens in the mid to late 19th century, which, had a significant impact on improving literacy on a global basis. It has been estimated that the City produced approximately three quarters of the world’s pens in the mid to late 19th century.
But it is more than a museum, it’s also a place of discovery and inspiration through our displays, activities and events.
Our aim is to engage and inspire visitors, provide outreach in terms of history, deliver writing skills workshops with a new focus on digitising part of our collection and archive to increase public engagement and accessibility to as wide an audience as possible.
The museum has COVID-19 safety measures in place for all visitors and volunteers.
We really do appreciate every visitor and all donations made and we look forward to welcoming everyone.
Chair and on behalf of the Trustees of the Pen Museum.