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The Pen Museum

U4 August 2016

During the 19th Century, 75% of everything written in the world was with a ‘Birmingham’ pen. Birmingham was at the forefront of this trade until it declined in the 1950’s with the invention of the biro and fountain pen. At one time, there were around 100 factories in the Jewellery Quarter area. The development of the steel pen reduced the cost of writing and enabled the spread of literacy throughout the world.

Set in the atmosphere of a former Victorian pen factory, The Pen Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of this trade. There is ongoing research into the social, historical and technical aspects of the trade and also the Jewellery Quarter itself.  The museum has assisted people tracing their genealogy and is keen to hear from anybody who has had connections with the trade.

The Pen Museum is more than just a passive museum with objects on display. It is a hands-on collection! Visitors can try writing with a variety of different implements including quills and typewriters; you can also try writing in Braille or make your own pen nib using original machinery.

The Pen Museum has a range of educational activities that covers both formal and informal learning. The collection can be used to support a variety of curricular subjects including literacy, local history and citizenship.Calligraphy Classes are held regularly at the Museum, please the see website for details.

The Museum is keen to form partnerships with community groups to encourage participation in various cultural activities. For more information please visit The Pen Museum website or telephone 0121 236 9834.

A meeting/activity room is available for hire, facilities include:

  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Overhead projector
  • Internet access
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Refreshments

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Saturday: 11am – 4pm
Sunday: 1pm – 4pm

Admission Fee:

Adult £5 Gift Aid £5.50*
Concessions £4 Gift Aid £4.40*

Children under 16 go free.

*Includes 10% voluntary donation
Admission charges to special events may vary, please check the website for details.

The Pen Museum
Unit 3, The Argent Centre
60 Frederick Street
Birmingham  B1 3HS
Tel: 0121 236 9834

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