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Jenny
4337.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:06 pm Reply with quote

The Domesday book of 1086 valued Birmingham at twenty shillings, one of the poorest manors in Warwickshire. By 1400 it was the fourth wealthiest place in Warwickshire.

 
Jenny
4338.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:07 pm Reply with quote

More famous people with a Birmingham connection:

Matthew Boulton, one of the great pioneers of the Industrial Revolution was born in Snow Hill in 1728.

James Watt worked with Boulton in Birmingham and together they perfected Watt's invention of the steam engine, which powered Britain's rise to industrial supremacy.

William Murdock, inventor of gas lighting, was also employed by Boulton.

Boulton, Watt and Murdock are all buried at St Mary's Church, Handsworth which has become a place of pilgrimage for historians, scientists and thinkers from all over the world.

 
Jenny
4339.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:08 pm Reply with quote

Joseph Priestley, the world renowned Birmingham-based scientist and chemist, discovered oxygen. However, it obviously wasn't a popular discovery, because he was forced to leave Birmingham after a rioting mob destroyed his house in Sparkbrook.

 
DELETED
4340.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:08 pm Reply with quote

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Last edited by DELETED on Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:10 pm; edited 2 times in total

 
Jenny
4341.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:09 pm Reply with quote

The Baskerville typeface is named after its inventor John Baskerville, who lived and is buried in Birmingham.

I do hope he didn't have a pet dog.

<gets coat>

 
Jenny
4342.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:10 pm Reply with quote

Garrick - I see you've discovered the Virtual Brum site, as have I. Source for all the above fascinating facts is http://www.virtualbrum.co.uk/facts.htm

 
Jenny
4343.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:12 pm Reply with quote

Two national British banks were founded in Birmingham - the Midland Bank and Lloyd's Bank, which was founded in 1765 in Dale End by Sampson Lloyd (any relation Jack?) and John Taylor.

 
Jenny
4344.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:18 pm Reply with quote

George Cadbury began making chocolate in Birmingham in 1824. At that time chocolate was considered an aphrodisiac and therefore not suitable for a lady's diet.

That has *got* to be a keeper, surely?

 
Jenny
4345.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:19 pm Reply with quote

American consul, Elihu Burritt acclaimed Birmingham as the "pen shop of the world" in 1868 and declared Birmingham's pens were one of "the pioneers of civilisation", bringing to a large number of people the opportunity to write

 
Jenny
4346.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:20 pm Reply with quote

Birmingham Town Hall was designed by the architect Hansom, who also designed the Hansom cab.

 
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4347.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:20 pm Reply with quote

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Jenny
4348.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:22 pm Reply with quote

The famous ODEON chain of cinemas was first opened in Birmingham in 1930 by Oscar Deutsch. ODEON stands for Oscar Deutch Entertains our Nation.

 
Jenny
4349.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:23 pm Reply with quote

Symphony Hall, within the International Conference Centre (largest in UK, 7th largest in Europe), sits on 2,000 rubber "shock absorbers" which help to prevent any external vibration reaching the hall. It is recognised as one of the most acoustically perfect venues in the world.

 
JumpingJack
4350.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:24 pm Reply with quote

Ah, Jenny, you've discovered my Brum mine! (Or one of them at least).

Sadly, Lloyd's Bank (or Lloyds of London) are no relation, though I've often thought of getting an account there to impress people with my cheque book!

 
Jenny
4351.  Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:24 pm Reply with quote

One third of the jewellery manufactured in the UK is made within one mile of Birmingham city centre.

Half of all jewellery made in the UK comes from Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter

 

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