Discover the Past

Uncover the fascinating industrial heritage of Birmingham. Discover transport and industry through the ages, from steam engines to aircraft. 

The galleries are located on Level 0.

Move It Gallery

Explore the incredible cars, bikes, planes, train and tram built in and used around Birmingham.

Birmingham has always been a city in motion, but what made it such a major hub of transport during the industrial revolution?

In this gallery you can find out first hand by seeing some of the remarkable machines that made it all happen. Unravel the remarkable story of Birmingham's transport revolution. Learn about the complex web of canals, roads and railway networks that connected Birmingham to the rest of Britain, and hear some of the stories from the people who made, used and ran them. 

See the iconic Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft hanging above your head. Over 11,000 Spitfires were built in Birmingham during World War Two. Stand behind the controls of the massive City of Birmingham steam locomotive and find out how it worked. See the amazing Railton Land Speed Record car, and watch a film of it travelling at 394 miles per hour (634 km per hour) on its final record-breaking run.

Power Up Gallery

See the mighty working engines that helped drive the great industrial revolution rumble into life. 

Before we had electricity to power our everyday lives, these marvellous machines were the strongest things in the world, providing the driving force for everything from looms to weave cloth, to mills that rolled out metal and pumps to move water.

This is one of the most comprehensive steam engine collections in the world and through demonstration and interactive exhibits the power of steam and its remarkable history are explained in living and exciting ways. See the Smethwick Engine, the oldest working steam engine in the world, dating from 1779. Find out how steam engines supplied the power to make the industrial revolution happen.