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Victorians - The Victorian Timeline

1837

In 1837 Queen Victoria was crowned at the age of nineteen. Many people thought the responsibility was too great for her but she was a determined woman and reigned for 64 years.

1840 In 1840 the the Penny Black stamp was issued. This was the first stamp in the world. People wrote a lot of letters at this time, as this was the only way to communicate over long distances.
1841 In 1841 the first railway excursion was organised by Thomas Cook. At the museum you can see some of the very first train tickets used for such excursions.
1854 In 1854 Florence Nightingale went to the Crimea to organise nursing during the war. There she saved the lives of many injured soldiers.
1855 In 1855 the famous Victorian artist, Ford Madox Brown, painted the 'Last of England'. It shows a family emigrating, possibly to Australia, to find work, like many people did in Victorian times. You can find this painting at the Museum in Gallery 18.
1860's In the 1860's the 'boneshaker' appeared on the roads. This was one of the first bicycles to have pedals, which directly turned the front wheels. School visits to the Museum can see examples of Victorian bicycles in the classroom.
1864 In 1864 boys under the age of 10 were banned from being chimney sweeps. At Birmingham Museum you can see a Victorian fire place similar to the ones the boys would have cleaned.
1874 The '10 hour Factory Act' was introduced. This meant that people could only be made to work for up to 10 hours per day. Can you think of any laws that protect workers today?
1880 In 1880 children up to the age of 12 were made to go to school. In Gallery 30 at the Museum you can see a writing slate that was used for sums, Victorian schools books and even an old classroom desk!
1884 In the mid 1880's the 'Safety Bicycle' was built. It was much easier to ride than earlier models, with both wheels the same size and a chain. This finally gave ordinary people the freedom to travel. You can see one of these bikes at the Museum in Gallery 30.
1885 In 1885 the Prince of Wales opened the Birmingham Museum Round Room and Industrial Gallery. This part of the Museum still looks much the same today. You will notice from the columns and pillars that Victorians liked to copy Greek and Roman architecture.
1901 In 1901 Queen Victoria died and Edward Vll was made King. She had ruled longer than any other British Monarch.

 

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