Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,145 pages of information and 233,681 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1853 Between 5000 and 6000 people attended a meeting to hear of the progress made in establishing the Institute
One of the main promoters was Arthur Ryland, a local lawyer and politician, partner of Thomas Martineau, who wanted to set up the Institute to rectify the dearth of adult education facilities and literary culture in Birmingham. The plan drew widespread support, including that of Charles Dickens, who performed the first public readings of A Christmas Carol to raise funds.
1853 Proposal made to Parliament to grant powers to Corporation of Birmingham to provide land for the Institute and to incorporate the Institution.
1855 Prince Albert laid the foundation stone.
1887 There were 4,600 students enrolled at the Institute studying all branches of science, literature, and music; J. B. Seeley (sic) was President, G. H. Johnstone, C. A. Harrison were vice-presidents, G. S. Mathews was Treasurer, R. F. Martineau was the Hon. Secretary