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“Lovely Specialist Museum”
Review of Pen Museum

Pen Museum
Ranked #20 of 311 things to do in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Set in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, The Pen Museum is unique in the UK. It celebrates the legacy of Birmingham's 19th century steel pen trade, where mass production first made mass communication possible. And through exports, made an enormous contribution to global literacy. In effect, this is where the world learned to write. Our museum is based in an 1863 Florentine Renaissance style former pen factory; 1 factory of 129 in Birmingham that once manufactured the majority of the world's pens. The Museum holds regular calligraphy workshops and learning sessions.
Reviewed 5 May 2018

A fascinating little museum that covers the history of Pen manufacturing in Birmingham, with an array of artifacts and tools. It's located in a former factory in the Jewellery Quarter and has friendly and knowledgeable staff to explain a lot of the ins and outs of what it was like to work in the industry. Well worth the visit.

Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anthony H, Manager at Pen Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

We're really pleased you enjoyed your visit. Come and see us again soon!

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Reviews (637)
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"jewellery quarter"
in 81 reviews
"nib making"
in 28 reviews
"ink wells"
in 19 reviews
"run by volunteers"
in 21 reviews
"knowledgeable volunteers"
in 9 reviews
"treasure trove"
in 6 reviews
"interesting place"
in 10 reviews
"industrial history"
in 6 reviews
"on display"
in 16 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 10 reviews
"two hours"
in 11 reviews
"fascinating insight"
in 6 reviews
"great visit"
in 8 reviews
"interesting visit"
in 6 reviews
"coffin works"
in 8 reviews
"nibs"
in 141 reviews
"calligraphy"
in 74 reviews
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24 - 28 of 637 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2018

Were extremely surprised with the museum - very knowledgeable staff and interesting exposition with interactive experience! Great choice for a rainy day.

Thank Olga W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anthony H, Manager at Pen Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Hi! Thank you very much for your review. We're really pleased you enjoyed your visit with us.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2018

Pen Museum perhaps more accurately should be called the Pen Nib Museum, although if you root around the display cabinets and drawers there are many fountain pens available to see, The nib manufacturing process carefully explained by the very helpful guide. A very informative and worthwhile exhibition highly recommended to anybody interested in pens and related materials.

Thank Brian Charles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anthony H, Manager at Pen Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Hi Brian, Many thanks for your review. We're very pleased you enjoyed your visit.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2018

It is said that this particular factory supplied 75% of pens to the world in the 19th century. Women working in the museum had to produce 18000 pens a day. How crazy is that?

The first area of the museum houses numerous casings of memorabilia as well as show casing the stages of making pen nibs. The machines are lined up one side of the narrow hall. Some machines cut the metal and others imprint or emboss them. There are examples of all kinds of nibs at the machines for you to see what they look like.

Eldest had a go at typing his name in braille. He loved that he could do that. We then spent a few moments with him closing his eyes and sliding his fingers across the braille numbers to guess what he is “reading”. He was spot on most times - very impressed.

In the second room was more memorabilia and displays. The kids sections were bright and interesting. Eldest was attracted to the antique type writers and loved hitting the keys and spelling all our names. He tried every typewriter there.

I was attracted to the table with ink wells and pens. Dip, dip, blot, blot and off I went giving my writing skills a try. Bar for the blue fingers thereafter - I can honestly see myself in a 1920s dress sitting at a desk and plotting my letters away.

It was an interesting visit and I enjoyed that it catered with so many interactive elements! I would like to go back and spend more time in the first hall that we arrived in to make some pen nibs myself.

Thank CelestePienaar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anthony H, Manager at Pen Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Hi Celeste, thank you so much for your review. We're really pleased you had a great day out with us and we hope you come back and see us again soon.

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Reviewed 22 April 2018

This was another small and personal museum - full of facts about pens and pen nibs. Facinating place. Very hands on when on the factory floor, got to make a pen nib - which was very memorable. You have to love pens and writing to get the most out of this museum. Some of the nib displays are beautiful.

Thank Sharon E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anthony H, Manager at Pen Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Hi Sharon, we're really pleased you enjoyed making a pen nib! Thanks for your review!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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