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A landscape of the end of the world: the industrial revolution and the Black Country c. 1706-1914


Saturday 1 July 2023 10.00am to 4.40pm


Black Country Living Museum, Tipton Rd, Dudley DY1 4SQ

0121 557 9643


The conference will consider the distinctiveness of the Black Country as a region apart, a recurring theme of nineteenth-century writers, and well summed up in the title of day - a quote from Francis Brett Young's novel, Cold Harbour (1924). Organised by the Centre for West Midlands History at the University of Birmingham and The Black Country Living Museum, this fascinating conference, open to all, explores how today's researchers are making sense of the impact of the region's industrial development on people as well as the landscape.

Cost £30 per person. Use the button below to book a place.




10:00: Tea & coffee on arrival


10.15: Introduction, Dr Malcolm Dick (chair)


10.20: Making the Black Country


10.20: Dr Matthew Stallard, ‘The Invention of the Black Country: The ‘‘Shock Landscape’’ of Extractive Fossil Capitalism’


10.50: Dr Simon Briercliffe, ‘Migration and the Black Country: the arrival of the Irish in the Nineteenth Century’ 


10.20: Questions


11.30: Refreshment break


11.50: Shaping places


11.50: Elizabeth Thomson, ‘Brickmaking and the development of canals in the Black Country’


12.20: Professor Chris Baker, ‘Topography and the Industrial Black Country: the 1822 and 1840 Fowler maps of Kingswinford’


12.50: Questions


1.00 Lunch


1.50: Products and producers


1.50: David J Eveleigh, ‘Change and Resilience: The Black Country Hardware Trades 1851-1914’


2.20: Rebecca Wilton, ‘The Life and Legacy of Eliza Tinsley (1813-1882): Black Country Nail Mistress’


2.50: Questions


3.00 Refreshment break


3.20: Interventions and interpretations


3.20: Sarah Jordan, ‘Preventing Industrial Accidents in the Black Country: Edward Bindon Marten and Steam Boiler Explosions in the Victorian Era’


3.50: Jack Price, ‘‘A domain divided between pitchy blackness and fire’’: Francis Brett Young and the Black Country’s Industrialisation’


4.20: Questions


4.30: Summary and final questions

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