An Adaptable Trade: The Jewellery Quarter at War

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An Adaptable Trade: the Jewellery Quarter at War
digitised by Leanne Rodgers-Gibbs (IWM)

Business was booming within Birmingham's jewellery industry before World War I, with an estimated 70,000 people in employment throughout the trade. By 1918, over 200 firms had closed and the number of employees had been halved, but, despite this, the city's jewellery trade continued to operate – and even succeeded in retaining its former status. Three key firms from the Jewellery Quarter are profiled in the exhibition, with objects on loan from family collections. The displays look at how the industry adapted during the onslaught of war, the impact it had on residents and the intrinsic role women played at the time.