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Paul Scott provides a review of the evidence linking Joseph Banks (1743-1820) to the rise of manufacturing and industry in Britain and beyond in the late-18th and early-19th century.

It is well known how Joseph Banks became famous, due to his voyage accompanying Captain James Cook on their voyage to Australia on board the Endeavour. His later contributions in the field of botany and collections at Kew Gardens are also well documented as is his influence on the creation of Australia as a British colony. However, there is much less published material concerning his contribution to manufacturing and industry.

During his time Britain, Joseph Banks went from a pre-industrial agricultural society to mechanical production. His letters demonstrate his infuence on development in the era.


Erasmus Darwin House

Beacon Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 7AD

01543 306260


Opening times

The museum is open from 11am to 5pm Mon-Sun. Last admission 4.15pm. Booking is encouraged to avoid disappointment but tickets can be purchased at the door if we have spaces free.

The herb garden is open all year with free access - please observe social distancing in our small garden

Please visit for full information.

We have decided to maintain social distancing and other mitigation measures, including reduced capacity and face mask use (unless exempt) until otherwise announced, in accordance with industry best practice and guidance issued by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. We also have a one way system in place in the museum.

To ensure the financial stability of this independent museum it has been necessary for us to introduce an admission charge.

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