Thursday, June 21, 2012

Industrial Birmingham then and now

Today i headed up to Birmingham Central Library to research some sources in the archives. I am currently writing an essay for my History MA on the industrialisation of Birmingham and the West Midlands from 1850-1950 and the sources one can use to facilitate that. As part of that obviously i need to look up some primary sources so had a look at some wage books from the now-closed Hardman Trading Company, a stained class and ecclesiastical metalwork manufacturer (the company is not that relevant, it just was a handy source). It is interesting to have a peek into the lives of past workers, who earned 8s and 2d or whatever it was called back in 1864. Was that a lot of money back then (probably not)? The bosses seemed to get a few quid though which i suspect was more comfortable.

After researching the past on the way home i checked out the future of industrial Birmingham with the Birmingham Made Me design expo in the Mailbox. No stained glass on show this time but we did have a guard of honour created by 2 JCBs.

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