Pen Museum – Jewellery Quarter

Immerse yourself in the history of the 19th Century Pen Trade. Discover the tough working conditions of women working in the pen factories. Experience writing with feather quills, reeds and steel pen nibs.

The Pen Museum focuses on the important legacy of Birmingham’s 19th Century pen trade and its significant contribution to improving literacy throughout the world. It’s located in a former pen factory, built in 1863, where visitors experience writing with feather quills, reeds and steel nibs and can also make their own nib using traditional methods. 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.  Explore the collection of over 5,000 objects related to the Birmingham Pen Trade. Our team is also happy to answer (where possible) general questions about pens.

“A fascinating museum greatly enhanced by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers”

7th December 2020 Pen Museum Update

As guardians of the Pen Museum we face our toughest challenge yet and greatly appreciate the kind and invaluable generosity of more than 400 supporters who have already helped raise nearly £7,000 to help support our Museum.

We still need support.

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.

Our doors may be temporarily closed, yet, our important work continues with a view to re-opening as soon as feasible with your support.

We really do appreciate every donation

Thank you

Andy Munro

Chair and on behalf of the Trustees of the Pen Museum

Donate