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6340.  Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:58 pm Reply with quote

[Birmingham] acquired a reputation for shoddy workmanship, the word brummagem entering English as a synonym for cheap, sham, second-rate or counterfeit.

A little harsh, I feel:

Around 1680 some counterfeit groats were made, and Birmingham toys (ie buttons, trinket boxes, buckles etc) began to be known disparagingly as “Brummagem ware”. However, products quickly regained their reputation, and by 1759 there were 20,000 people employed in Birmingham toy-making.

Those Brummies soon regained their good reputation.

6341.  Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:00 pm Reply with quote

Birmingham still has the largest working Jewellery Quarter in Europe, the world's largest Assay Office, which has been in existence since 1773, and the world's largest private mint.

6342.  Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:00 pm Reply with quote

Elgar was Professor of Music at Birmingham University

6343.  Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:02 pm Reply with quote

The site "Birmingham's History on your Doorstep" lists about 30 different spellings over the years, and the variety of spellings indicates that the pronunciation Brummagem had equal status with Birmingham until relatively modern times.

6344.  Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:03 pm Reply with quote

John Taylor, who set up Lloyd's Bank as mentioned by Jenny, made his fortune by inventing the gilt button, and owned Birmingham’s first large factory, producing buttons and expensive high quality articles.

6345.  Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:03 pm Reply with quote

Electroplating was invented by Birmingham surgeon John Wright and pioneered commercially by Henry & G R Elkington 1840, later with partner Josiah Mason.

Celluloid was also invented in Brum - details in a later post. I can feel the anticipation building.

6346.  Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:04 pm Reply with quote

In 1875 Edwin Samson Moore, founded a company in Aston producing vinegar, which became the Midland Vinegar Company in 1879 and soon branched out into pickle making. By 1905 it was producing HP Sauce. The sauce was actually invented by F G Garton, a Nottingham shopkeeper who gave the recipe to Moore as repayment of a debt; it was originally sold door-to-door in small bottles, but soon became popular, including at 10 Downing Street (the name allegedly deriving from the Houses of Parliament). During World War 1 the sauce was bought by the Ministry of Defence to cheer up the soldiers' rations of bully beef. Moore sold the business 1924 which became HP Sauce Limited, acquiring Lea & Perrins 1930.

6347.  Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:06 pm Reply with quote

The firm of Bird’s originated in a small shop in Bell Street near the Bull Ring. Chemist Alfred Bird Senior invented eggless custard based on cornflour 1837 for his wife Elizabeth who was allergic to eggs; he was also the inventor of baking powder, an agent to make bread dough rise without using yeast, which was used to provide British troops with fresh bread during the Crimean War 1852-1856. The company went from strength to strength especially under Alfred Bird Junior introducing new products including Bird’s Blancmange Powder c1870 and Bird’s Jelly Crystal Powder 1895.

Bird's was the first company to use free calendars as advertising.

And the arts/offices complex where I used to work was one of their old buildings, still called The Custard Factory.

6348.  Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:07 pm Reply with quote

sources for all recent Stapes posts

S: History of Birmingham on your doorstep

10295.  Mon Nov 08, 2004 2:23 pm Reply with quote

The Birmingham: It's Not Shit campaign's theme song is very catchy and horrible.

The University of Birmingham has such distinguished alums as Ann Widdecombe (oh, woo), David Kelly, Chris Tarrant (eek), and Simon LeBon.

10298.  Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:20 pm Reply with quote

That song is now echoing round my brain - thanks, I think.

10310.  Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:58 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
That song is now echoing round my brain - thanks, I think.

there's more where that came from. You have heard an annoying song till you've heard the wonders of the llama song, the badger song and the banana phone song, you'll be at it for days with those wonders

10318.  Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:24 pm Reply with quote

I've heard the badger song - no more please!

Cleverina Clogs
10335.  Tue Nov 09, 2004 8:02 am Reply with quote

badgers, badgers, badgers, badgers, mushroom, mushroom .... quick everyone run to the hills, it's too late for me, but save yourselves!

Frederick The Monk
10346.  Tue Nov 09, 2004 1:04 pm Reply with quote

augh! it's a snake! snake, a snake, oh it's a snake! it's a badger badger badger badger badger badger badger...............


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