Advertisement for Thomas Walker's Patent Self-Feeding Stove, c 1854.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving from a promotional leaflet published by Thomas Walker whose factory was located at 58 Oxford Street in Birmingham. The advertisement features an external and internal view of the self-feeding stove that Walker invented, and an explanation of it. 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 brass. 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 brass industry. The most prominent trades included those making pens, toys, buttons, guns, jewellery and coins.