Hall Green is an area in south-east Birmingham, England. It is a council constituency, managed by its own district committee. Hall Green is part of the parliamentary constituency of Birmingham, Hall Green, which includes the wards of Moseley and Kings Heath and Springfield. Hall Green ward is represented by three Labour councillors; the 2001 Population Census found that there were 25,921 people living in Hall Green with a population density of 4,867 people per km², this compares with 3,649 people per km² for Birmingham. Housing is inter-war. There is still a small number of independent locally run shops which survived the looting in the summer of 2011; the Shire Country Park runs past Sarehole Mill and along the course of the River Cole to Small Heath. Millstream Way passes through the park. Wildlife present at the country park include many types of birds; the old village of Sarehole is where J. R. R. Tolkien lived as a child and gained inspiration for the Hobbit's home "The Shire" as well as the book, "The Lord Of The Rings".
Hall Green was the home to Moor Green F. C. prior to an arson attack on the club's original Moorlands stadium in 2005, leading to the club moving their home games to Solihull Borough's Damson Park stadium, with the two clubs subsequently merging to become Solihull Moors. The local Moorlands stadium has since been demolished to make way for a housing estate. Hall Green was the home to the popular Greyhound racing stadium and race course situated on York Road called Hall Green Stadium; the stadium was closed by its owners Euro Property Investments Limited in July 2017 to make way for a housing estate. On School Road is the Church of the Ascension the Job Marston Chapel, built in 1704 and is believed to have been designed by Sir William Wilson; the chancel and transepts were added in 1860. The brick building consists of an exterior with a stone entablature and balustrade supported by Doric pilasters and the window architraves are of moulded stone. At the west end is a tower with an octagonal upper storey with a copper cupola.
The interior of the nave is covered by a coved plaster ceiling. It is the earliest classical church. Other historic buildings in Hall Green include Sarehole Mill, one of only two watermills in the city. Highfield House was another historical building, it was built in 1850, making it the third oldest building in Hall Green. It was the farm house for Highfield Farm; the house was built in Georgian style with beautiful Neo-Classical features. It retained the original sash windows. In March 2008, in the face of much public opposition, articles in local newspapers and items on radio stations, Birmingham City Council's Planning Committee approved plans for its demolition and the building of four houses and six apartments; as well as this is Petersfield Court, an Art Deco housing block containing 14 flats, built in 1937. Built out of brick, it has rounded corner windows, made possible by the introduction of reinforced concrete. Examples of architecture include the original Hall Green Technical College on the Stratford Road.
It was designed by S. T. Walker and Partners in association with Alwyn Sheppard Fidler, the City architect for Birmingham. Built in 1958, it consists of a reinforced concrete framed classroom and an administration block clad with cedar boards and aluminium windows. Boarding was used on educational buildings of this size at the time. A private development named "The Hamlet" was built between 1883 and 1893, it consists of fourteen villas on Hamlet and Fox Hollies Roads, along with the Friends Meeting House on the Stratford Road. The architectural style of these brick and tile properties is typified by massive chimneys and timbers, leaded casements, bracketed bays, it is believed that all the properties carried a moulded plaque bearing the initials'MS' along with the date of construction but few of these plaques now remain. Whilst there is not a definite explanation for the'MS' monogram, the most interpretation is that they stand for Marian Severne whose families land they were built on. Primary schools in Hall Green include Chilcote Primary School, Hall Green Infant School, Hall Green Junior School, Lakey Lane Primary School, St Ambrose Barlow RC Primary School, Robin Hood Academy and Yorkmead School.
Rosslyn School is an independent primary school located in the area. Hall Green School is the main secondary school for the area, while South and City College Birmingham has a campus in Hall Green. Hall Green railway station is on the Birmingham to Stratford Line, it opened in 1908. Hall Green has been a home to comedian Tony Hancock, who lived at 41 Southam Road until the age of three, racing commentator Murray Walker, born at 214 Reddings Lane, Nigel Mansell, who though born in Upton-upon-Severn spent most of his childhood and early adult years in the area, comedian Joe Lycett, most famously J. R. R. Tolkien, who lived near Sarehole Mill, Birmingham's only working water mill. Sarehole Mill is a tourist attraction, powered by a tributary of the River Cole, open to visitors during the summer months
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, was an English writer, poet and academic, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion. He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, from 1945 to 1959, he was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, fictional histories, invented languages, literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and Middle-earth within it.
Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre; this has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or, more of high fantasy. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning "dead celebrity" in 2009. Tolkien's immediate paternal ancestors were middle-class craftsmen who made and sold clocks and pianos in London and Birmingham; the Tolkien family originated in the East Prussian town Kreuzburg near Königsberg, where his first known paternal ancestor Michel Tolkien was born around 1620. Michel's son Christianus Tolkien was a wealthy miller in Kreuzburg, his son Christian Tolkien moved from Kreuzburg to nearby Danzig, his two sons Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien and Johann Benjamin Tolkien emigrated to London in the 1770s and became the ancestors of the English family.
In 1792 John Benjamin Tolkien and William Gravell took over the Erdley Norton manufacture in London, which from on sold clocks and watches under the name Gravell & Tolkien. Daniel Gottlieb obtained British citizenship in 1794, but John Benjamin never became a British citizen. Other German relatives joined the two brothers in London. Several people with the surname Tolkien or similar spelling, some of them members of the same family as J. R. R. Tolkien, live in northern Germany, but most of them are descendants of recent refugees from East Prussia who fled the Red Army invasion and subsequent ethnic cleansing. According to Ryszard Derdziński the Tolkien name is of Low Prussian origin and means "son/descendant of Tolk." Tolkien mistakenly believed his surname derived from the German word tollkühn, meaning "foolhardy", jokingly inserted himself as a "cameo" into The Notion Club Papers under the translated name Rashbold. However, Derdziński has demonstrated this to be a false etymology. While J. R. R. Tolkien was aware of the Tolkien family's German origin, his knowledge of the family's history was limited because he was "early isolated from the family of his prematurely deceased father".
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892 in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State to Arthur Reuel Tolkien, an English bank manager, his wife Mabel, née Suffield. The couple had left England when Arthur was promoted to head the Bloemfontein office of the British bank for which he worked. Tolkien had one sibling, his younger brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien, born on 17 February 1894; as a child, Tolkien was bitten by a large baboon spider in the garden, an event some think echoed in his stories, although he admitted no actual memory of the event and no special hatred of spiders as an adult. In another incident, a young family servant, who thought Tolkien a beautiful child, took the baby to his kraal to show him off, returning him the next morning; when he was three, he went to England with his mother and brother on what was intended to be a lengthy family visit. His father, died in South Africa of rheumatic fever before he could join them; this left the family without an income, so Tolkien's mother took him to live with her parents in Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Soon after, in 1896, they moved to Sarehole a Worcestershire village annexed to Birmingham. He enjoyed exploring Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog and the Clent and Malvern Hills, which would inspire scenes in his books, along with nearby towns and villages such as Bromsgrove and Alvechurch and places such as his aunt Jane's farm of Bag End, the name of which he used in his fiction. Mabel Tolkien taught her two children at home. Ronald, as he was known in the family, was a keen pupil, she taught him a great deal of botany and awakened in him the enjoyment of the look and feel of plants. Young Tolkien liked to draw landscapes and trees, but his favourite lessons were those concerning languages, his mother taught him the rudiments of Latin early. Tolkien could write fluently soon afterwards, his mother allowed him to read many books. He disliked Treasure Island and The Pied Piper and thought Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was "amusing but disturbing", he liked stories about "Red Indians" and the fantasy wor
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary; the largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public; the goal of serving researchers is shifting to serving the general public. There are many types of museums, including art museums, natural history museums, science museums, war museums, children's museums. Amongst the world's largest and most visited museums are the Louvre in Paris, the National Museum of China in Beijing, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. the British Museum and National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and Vatican Museums in Vatican City.
According to The World Museum Community, there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries. The English "museum" comes from the Latin word, is pluralized as "museums", it is from the Ancient Greek Μουσεῖον, which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses, hence a building set apart for study and the arts the Musaeum for philosophy and research at Alexandria by Ptolemy I Soter about 280 BC. The purpose of modern museums is to collect, preserve and display items of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the education of the public. From a visitor or community perspective, the purpose can depend on one's point of view. A trip to a local history museum or large city art museum can be an entertaining and enlightening way to spend the day. To city leaders, a healthy museum community can be seen as a gauge of the economic health of a city, a way to increase the sophistication of its inhabitants. To a museum professional, a museum might be seen as a way to educate the public about the museum's mission, such as civil rights or environmentalism.
Museums are, above all, storehouses of knowledge. In 1829, James Smithson's bequest, that would fund the Smithsonian Institution, stated he wanted to establish an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."Museums of natural history in the late 19th century exemplified the Victorian desire for consumption and for order. Gathering all examples of each classification of a field of knowledge for research and for display was the purpose; as American colleges grew in the 19th century, they developed their own natural history collections for the use of their students. By the last quarter of the 19th century, the scientific research in the universities was shifting toward biological research on a cellular level, cutting edge research moved from museums to university laboratories. While many large museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, are still respected as research centers, research is no longer a main purpose of most museums. While there is an ongoing debate about the purposes of interpretation of a museum's collection, there has been a consistent mission to protect and preserve artifacts for future generations.
Much care and expense is invested in preservation efforts to retard decomposition in aging documents, artifacts and buildings. All museums display objects; as historian Steven Conn writes, "To see the thing itself, with one's own eyes and in a public place, surrounded by other people having some version of the same experience can be enchanting."Museum purposes vary from institution to institution. Some favor education over conservation, or vice versa. For example, in the 1970s, the Canada Science and Technology Museum favored education over preservation of their objects, they displayed objects as well as their functions. One exhibit featured a historic printing press that a staff member used for visitors to create museum memorabilia; some seek to reach a wide audience, such as a national or state museum, while some museums have specific audiences, like the LDS Church History Museum or local history organizations. Speaking, museums collect objects of significance that comply with their mission statement for conservation and display.
Although most museums do not allow physical contact with the associated artifacts, there are some that are interactive and encourage a more hands-on approach. In 2009, Hampton Court Palace, palace of Henry VIII, opened the council room to the general public to create an interactive environment for visitors. Rather than allowing visitors to handle 500-year-old objects, the museum created replicas, as well as replica costumes; the daily activities, historic clothing, temperature changes immerse the visitor in a slice of what Tudor life may have been. This section lists the 20 most visited museums in 2015 as compiled by AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association's annual report on the world's most visited attractions. For 2016 figures see List of most visited museums; the cities of London and Washington, D. C. contain more of the 20 most visited museums in the world than any others, with six museums and four museums, respectively. Early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families or institutions of art and rare or curious natural objects and artifacts.
These were displayed in so-called wonder rooms or cabinets of curiosities. One of the oldest museums known is Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum, built by Princess Ennigaldi at the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire; the site dates from c. 530 BCE, contained artifacts from earlier M
Moseley School is a large comprehensive school in the Moseley area of Birmingham, England. The school's main entrance is situated on Wake Green Road and it lies in the parish of St Christopher, Springfield. In the early 21st century, the school is non-denominational with around 1,360 students, two-thirds of whom are boys. 80% do not have English as a first language, over 40% are eligible for free school meals. The March 2016 Ofsted report graded the school as good with good features, at which students make good progress; the school comprises three main buildings on a single campus – a Victorian college built in the 1850s, a state-of-the-art modern building completed in 2012, a newly built sports complex. The history of what is now Moseley School is complicated. In 1838 a private house in Spring Hill, Birmingham, was opened as a training college for Congregationalist ministers under the patronage of George Storer Mansfield and his two sisters Sarah and Elizabeth. Twenty years in 1857, after expansion to include a further three private houses, the establishment, still named Spring Hill College, moved to new, much larger, purpose-built premises on Wake Green Road, in what was rural Worcestershire, some miles south of the city.
This striking Gothic revival building was designed by the architect Joseph James, is noted for its gargoyles. In 1886, the college was closed and a replacement establishment founded in Oxford, known as Mansfield College. Meanwhile, the Wake Green Road buildings were re-opened as the'Pine Dell Hydropathic Establishment and Moseley Botanical Gardens', which entailed the construction of a swimming bath and greenhouses. At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the building was commandeered by the War Office for use as a military barracks. After a brief period as an orphanage, the site returned to educational use in 1921 as a teacher-training facility, under the new name of Springfield College. In 1923, the premises were transferred to Birmingham City Council, which opened the Moseley Secondary School, for boys only and with a selective entrance examination. Major Ernest Robinson served as headmaster until 1956; the study bedrooms of the former college were merged in pairs to form classrooms.
The former hydropathic swimming bath was boarded over to serve as the school assembly hall. An extension was built to further classrooms. A feature of the school was that the headmaster would live on the premises, which continued as the practice until 1972; the school changed its name to Moseley Grammar School in 1939. In 1955, the city council opened a separate school, known as Moseley Secondary Modern School, fronting College Road, on what had been a playing field adjacent to the grammar school site; this new school, with Miss Eileen Cohen as headmistress until 1967, was both co-educational and non-selective. It specialised in performing arts such as music. Only a fence separated the two schools, relations between the two sets of pupils were not always peaceful, it was during the headmastership of Bruce Gaskin from 1956 to 1972, that Moseley Grammar School acquired its reputation for academic excellence. It had been known more for its sporting achievements in rugby. In 1968 it acquired a former inn near Abergavenny, known as Old Grouse Cottage, for outdoor activities and field trips, which the current school still retains.
The main school range was designated as a Grade II listed building in the year of Mr Gaskin's retirement. In 1974, after two years of uncertainty, the grammar school and the secondary modern school were amalgamated into a single school; this changed. The combined establishment, known as Moseley School, became one of the largest comprehensives in Birmingham. At least, it inherited the good reputations of its predecessors in their respective fields. Moseley Grammar School had been without a head since 1972, Donald Wilford, headmaster of Moseley Secondary Modern School since 1967, applied for the appointment as head of the merged school. In the event, the job went to an outsider, Alan Goodfellow, on record as being bitterly critical of comprehensive education, he was plagued by ill-health and died in office in 1981. David Swinfen was appointed as head the following year, his ambitious plans, were overwhelmed by events, when the former grammar school building, known since the amalgamation as the West Wing, began falling apart as a result of decades of neglect and under-funding.
In 1986 the roof of the library was declared unsafe halfway through an exam, the entire building was closed and earmarked for demolition – the latter prevented only by Mr Swinfen's speedily organised campaign and the resultant public outcry. By the end of his tenure in 1992, the school had undergone a radical change of character, following the redrawing of its catchment area in 1987/88. Hitherto, Moseley School had taken a majority of its pupils from the white area of Hall Green, but now it took them from the Asian area of Sparkhill; the campaign for the restoration of the West Wing continued for many years. As part of it, in 1995 Mrs Mary Miles, head teacher from 1992 to 2001, authorised the formation of the Moseleians Association, for former students and staff of the grammar school, secondary modern school, comprehensive school, it publishes the twice-yearly Moseleian Gazette, organises regular reuni
A watermill or water mill is a mill that uses hydropower. It is a structure that uses a water wheel or water turbine to drive a mechanical process such as milling, rolling, or hammering; such processes are needed in the production of many material goods, including flour, paper and many metal products. These watermills may comprise gristmills, paper mills, textile mills, trip hammering mills, rolling mills, wire drawing mills. One major way to classify watermills is by wheel orientation, one powered by a vertical waterwheel through a gear mechanism, the other equipped with a horizontal waterwheel without such a mechanism; the former type can be further divided, depending on where the water hits the wheel paddles, into undershot, overshot and pitchback waterwheel mills. Another way to classify water mills is by an essential trait about their location: tide mills use the movement of the tide. According to Terry S. Reynolds and R. J. Forbes, the water wheel may have originated from the ancient Near East in the 3rd century BC for use in moving millstones and small-scale grain grinding.
Reynolds suggests that the first water wheels were norias and, by the 2nd century BC, evolved into the vertical watermill in Syria and Asia Minor, from where it spread to ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. S. Avitsur supports a Near-Eastern origin for the watermill. Engineers in the Hellenistic world used the two main components of watermills, the waterwheel and toothed gearing, along with the Roman Empire, operated undershot and breastshot waterwheel mills. Early evidence of a water-driven wheel is the Perachora wheel, in Greece. An early written reference is in the technical treatises Pneumatica and Parasceuastica of the Greek engineer Philo of Byzantium; the British historian of technology M. J. T. Lewis has shown that those portions of Philo of Byzantium's mechanical treatise which describe water wheels and which have been regarded as Arabic interpolations date back to the Greek 3rd-century BC original; the sakia gear is fully developed, attested in a 2nd-century BC Hellenistic wall painting in Ptolemaic Egypt.
Lewis assigns the date of the invention of the horizontal-wheeled mill to the Greek colony of Byzantium in the first half of the 3rd century BC, that of the vertical-wheeled mill to Ptolemaic Alexandria around 240 BC. The Greek geographer Strabon reports in his Geography a water-powered grain-mill to have existed near the palace of king Mithradates VI Eupator at Cabira, Asia Minor, before 71 BC; the Roman engineer Vitruvius has the first technical description of a watermill, dated to 40/10 BC. He seems to indicate the existence of water-powered kneading machines; the Greek epigrammatist Antipater of Thessalonica tells of an advanced overshot wheel mill around 20 BC/10 AD. He praised for its use in grinding grain and the reduction of human labour: Hold back your hand from the mill, you grinding girls. For Demeter has imposed the labours of your hands on the nymphs, who leaping down upon the topmost part of the wheel, rotate its axle. If we learn to feast toil-free on the fruits of the earth, we taste again the golden age.
The Roman encyclopedist Pliny mentions in his Naturalis Historia of around 70 AD water-powered trip hammers operating in the greater part of Italy. There is evidence of a fulling mill in 73/4 AD in Roman Syria. Another Roman author Ausonius mentions a lot of watermills in the walley of Rhine and its tributaries in the 4th century, it is that a water-powered stamp mill was used at Dolaucothi to crush gold-bearing quartz, with a possible date of the late 1st century to the early 2nd century. The stamps were operated as a batch of four working against a large conglomerate block, now known as Carreg Pumpsaint. Similar anvil stones have been found at other Roman mines across Europe in Spain and Portugal; the 1st-century AD multiple mill complex of Barbegal in southern France has been described as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world". It featured 16 overshot waterwheels to power an equal number of flour mills; the capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for the 12,500 inhabitants occupying the town of Arelate at that time.
A similar mill complex existed on the Janiculum hill, whose supply of flour for Rome's population was judged by emperor Aurelian important enough to be included in the Aurelian walls in the late 3rd century. A breastshot wheel mill dating to the late 2nd century AD was excavated at Les Martres-de-Veyre, France; the 3rd-century AD Hierapolis water-powered stone sawmill is the earliest known machine to incorporate a crank and connecting rod mechanism. Further sawmills powered by crank and connecting rod mechanisms, are archaeologically attested for the 6th-century water-powered stone sawmills at Gerasa and Ephesus. Literary references to water-powered marble saws in what is now Germany can be found in Ausonius 4th-century poem Mosella, they seem to be indicated about the same time by the Christian saint Gregory of Nyssa from Anatolia, demonstrating a diversified use of water-power in many parts of the Roman Empire. The earliest turbine mill was
Lunar Society of Birmingham
The Lunar Society of Birmingham was a dinner club and informal learned society of prominent figures in the Midlands Enlightenment, including industrialists, natural philosophers and intellectuals, who met between 1765 and 1813 in Birmingham, England. At first called the Lunar Circle, "Lunar Society" became the formal name by 1775; the name arose because the society would meet during the full moon, as the extra light made the journey home easier and safer in the absence of street lighting. The members cheerfully referred to themselves as a pun on lunatics. Venues included Erasmus Darwin's home in Lichfield, Matthew Boulton's home, Soho House, Bowbridge House in Derbyshire, Great Barr Hall; the Lunar Society evolved through various degrees of organisation over a period of up to fifty years, but was only an informal group. No constitution, publications or membership lists survive from any period, evidence of its existence and activities is found only in the correspondence and notes of those associated with it.
Historians therefore disagree on what qualifies as membership of the Lunar Society, who can be considered to have been members, when the society can be said to have existed. Josiah Wedgwood, for example, is described by some commentators as being one of five "principal members" of the society, while others consider that he "cannot be recognized as full member" at all. Dates given for the establishment of the society range from "sometime before 1760" to 1775; some historians argue that it had ceased to exist by 1791. Despite this uncertainty, fourteen individuals have been identified as having verifiably attended Lunar Society meetings over a long period during its most productive eras: these are Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Thomas Day, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Samuel Galton, Jr. Robert Augustus Johnson, James Keir, Joseph Priestley, William Small, Jonathan Stokes, James Watt, Josiah Wedgwood, John Whitehurst and William Withering. While the society's meetings provided its name and social focus, they were unimportant in its activities, far more activity and communication took place outside the meetings themselves – members local to Birmingham were in daily contact, more distant ones in correspondence at least weekly.
A more loosely defined group has therefore been identified over a wider geographical area and longer time period, who attended meetings and who corresponded or co-operated with multiple other members on group activities. These include Richard Kirwan, John Smeaton, Henry Moyes, John Michell, Pieter Camper, R. E. Raspe, John Baskerville, Thomas Beddoes, John Wyatt, William Thomson, Cyril Jackson, Jean-André Deluc, John Wilkinson, John Ash, Samuel More, Robert Bage, James Brindley, Ralph Griffiths, John Roebuck, Thomas Percival, Joseph Black, James Hutton, Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Banks, William Herschel, Daniel Solander, John Warltire, George Fordyce, Alexander Blair, Samuel Parr, Louis Joseph d'Albert d'Ailly, William Emes, the seventh Duke of Chaulnes, Barthélemy Faujas de Saint-Fond, Grossart de Virly, Johann Gottling. and Joseph WrightThis lack of a defined membership has led some historians to criticise a Lunar Society "legend", leading people to "confuse it and its efforts with the general growth of intellectual and economic activities in the provinces of eighteenth century Britain".
Others have seen this both as real and as one of the society's main strengths: a paper read at the Science Museum in London in 1963 claimed that "of all the provincial philosophical societies it was the most important because it was not provincial. All the world came to Soho to meet Boulton, Watt or Small, who were acquainted with the leading men of Science throughout Europe and America, its essential sociability meant that any might be invited to attend its meetings." The origins of the Lunar Society lie in a pattern of friendships. Matthew Boulton and Erasmus Darwin met some time between 1757 and 1758 through family connections, as Boulton's mother's family were patients of Darwin. Darwin was a poet who had studied at Cambridge and Edinburgh. Despite their different backgrounds they shared a common interest in experiment and invention, their activities would show Darwin's theoretical understanding and Boulton's practical experience to be complementary. Soon they were visiting each other and conducting investigations into scientific subjects such as electricity and geology.
Around the same time the Derby-based clockmaker John Whitehurst became a friend, first of Boulton and subsequently of Darwin, through his business supplying clock movements to Boulton's ormolu manufacturing operation. Although older than both Boulton and Darwin, by 1758 Whitehurst was writing to Boulton telling excitedly of a pyrometer he had built, looking forward to visiting Birmingham "to spend one day with you in trying all necessary experiments". Boulton and Whitehurst were in turn introduced by Michell to Benjamin Franklin when he travelled to Birmingham in July 1758 "to improve and increase Acquaintance among Persons of Influence", Franklin returned in 1760 to conduct experiments with Boulton on electricity and sound. Although Michell seems to have withdrawn from the group when he moved to Thornhill in 1767, Franklin was to remain a common link among many of the early members