Trade card of W Blakeway & Son, lamp maker, c 1830.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving. Blakeway & Son were based at Edgbaston Street, Birmingham. They were manufacturers of bras and Jappanned lamps and their other products included 'Carriage and Hand Lanterns'. 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. Watermills powered the bellows for the forges which were powered by coal. By the 1860s around ten thousand people were employed in Birmingham's bras industry. The most prominent trades included those making pens, toys, buttons, guns, jewellery and coins.