Our Collections

There are over 80,000 items in our collections including buildings, cars, sad irons, trolley buses, photographs, shops, locks, canal boats,catalogues and glass!

This was the World's first industrial landscape

Historically, the Black Country played a vital role in the nation’s industrial history. This was the world’s first industrial landscape and one of the most intensely industrialised regions of the UK.

The Museum preserves a section of the Black Country’s industrial landscape, including two mine shafts, limekilns and a canal arm. The Museum has relocated buildings into our canalside village, which have been drawn from across the many small towns of the region.

Each house, shop and workshop has been filled with collections, from sad irons to nails, that would have been seen in situ from the 1800s to 1940s.

In total, there are approximately 80,000 items in the collections for you to discover.

This page is currently under construction and will be updated soon.  In the meantime, we’re featuring a selection of iconic items from our collection.

Cast iron houses

Cast iron houses

Cast iron houses built in Dudley in 1925. The houses are constructed from 600 panels of cast iron, bolted together and originally lined with asbestos. They were an experiment in using iron to pre-fabricate buildings, but the idea was too costly and only 4 were ever made.

Year: 1925

Ref: PRV49

Area: Dudley

Theme: Historic Buildings

Penfold pillar box

Pillar box manufactured by Cochrane, Grove & Co. of Dudley.

Ref: 1969-022-001-2

Area: Dudley

Theme: Metal Working Industry

Trolleybus 433

Trolleybus 433

Wolverhampton Corporation trolleybus 433, with a Wolverhampton manufactured Sunbeam W4 chassis. Supplied to the Corporation in 1946.

Find out more about our trolley bus collection

Year: 1946

Ref: 1975-012-001-9

Area: Wolverhampton

Theme: Transport

Charcoal iron

Charcoal iron

Charcoal iron manufactured by Archibald Kenrick & Sons, West Bromwich. The inside is hollow so that it can be filled with smouldering coals, keeping it hot whilst ironing.

Ref: 1990-134-154

Area: West Bromwich

Theme: Metal Working Industry

Palethorpes box

Palethorpe's box

Box for ‘Royal Cambridge’ sausages, manufactured by Palethorpes Limited of Tipton.

Ref: _DSC0015-2

Area: Tipton

Theme: Other Industries

“The Black Country, black by day and red by night, cannot be matched for vast and varied production, by any other space of equal radius on the surface of the globe.”‬

Elihu Burritt, American Consul to Birmingham, 1868

Latest Blogs

Black and white photograph of Boris Karloff (left) and James Whale (right) on the set of 1931's Frankenstein. Boris is in full costume as Frankenstein, while Whale is talking to him holding a paintbrush.

Six times sci-fi got a Black Country twist

Mummies, monsters and mayhem abound in this week’s blog! It may surprise you to learn that there are numerous links between classic science fiction and Black Country history! BCLM Researcher Nadia Awal explores six of these fascinating connections, featuring Black Country talent from James Whale to Jane Webb.

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The resurrection of Henry Box Brown in Philadelphia, illustration. By Samuel Rowse, 1850.

Five Black Lives in the Black Country

In this week’s blog, BCLM Researcher Simon Briercliffe uncovers the hidden stories of 5 Black lives in the history of the Black Country, going as far back as the 1700s, and discusses the challenges historians face in finding out more about Black lives in the past. From eighteenth-century entrepreneur George Africanus to George Cosens, Britain’s first Black pastor who became minister in Cradley Heath in 1837, Simon uncovers the contributions these incredible individuals made to Black Country history.

Read More »

“Don’t Pay!” The 1913 Wolverhampton Rent Strike

In 1913 Wolverhampton residents had had enough of poor housing conditions and high rents set by profiteering landlords. With help from reformers they formed the “Tenants Defence League” and went on strike. Resarcher Simon Briercliffe explores this fraught story.

Read More »
There are over 80,000 items in our collections buildings, cars, sad irons, trolley buses, photographs
shops, locks, canal boats, catalogues, glass,and much more