The Birmingham Assay Officeâs outstandingÂ silver collection featured in a new programme on BBC 2 this week. Why the Industrial Revolution Happened Here was presented by Professor Jeremy Black from The University of Exeter. The programme explored the reasons why the Industrial Revolution happened when and where it did and included contributions from heritage organisations around the region.
The West Midlands made an important, although sometimes overlooked contribution to industrialisation through the work of James Watt and Matthew Boulton, particularly their development of steam power, and Birmingham became known as the âworkshop of the worldâ through its manufacture of thousands of small metal items known as âtoysâ. The BBC were looking for fine examples of toys to film and Sally Hoban, Heritage & Training Officer at the Assay Office, appeared on the programme discussing some of the examples in the collection.
Other contributions to the programme came from Thinktank (Birminghamâs Science Museum), Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Soho House and Birmingham Central Library.
You can watch the programme on BBC iPlayerÂ here:
If Â you would like to visit the Assay Officeâs magnificent silver collection for yourself there are two forthcoming opportunities. The first is on Thursday 28th
March and the second is on Thursday 27th
June. Visits from recognised groups can be arranged throughout the year. For further information or to make a booking visit http://www.theassayoffice.co.uk/silvercollection.html