Steel pen making: grinding the nibs

Victorian illustration to download showing the grinding room in a steel pen factory. Women sit at long benches grinding pen nibs on grindstones, which are turned by belts fastened to wheels over their heads. The women hold the nibs in a pair of nippers, and grind the back of the nibs to make them flexible. Their wages ranged from 5s to 14s per week, depending on age and experience. This scene was sketched at Hinks, Wells & Co’s factory in Birmingham, 1851.