Trade card of Thomas Beach, manufacturer of scales, c 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving. Based in Birmingham, England, Thomas Beach was a maker and seller of copper and bras scales. The left side of Thomas Beach's trade card illustrates the blindfolded figure of Justice, standing with a sword in one hand and a pair of scales in the other, surrounded by garlands. Birmingham's rise to prosperity during the Industrial Revolution was largely built on its pre-industrial importance as a centre for the manufacture of metal goods, especially bras. Birmingham was already known for its metalworking industry in the late 14th century due to its three natural resources - iron ore, coal and water. By the 1860s around ten thousand people were employed in Birmingham's bras industry.