The museum is in an old terraced house that once was the working premises of the Smith & Pepper company, 75 to 79 Vyse Street, Hockley. The mark on their jewellery is S & P.
Uncle and nephew, Charles Smith and Edward Pepper, rented one house that Charles lived in and the one next door. Turning their home into a factory was not unusual in those times. In the late Victorian period many people in the Jewellery Quarter did this or rented the front room out for industry. Eventually building an extension workshop in the back garden. Edward Pepper's only son died in WW1 and 3 children of Charles took over the family firm. Eric, Tom and Olive, the three never married or had children to continue the family business and so in 1981 when gold was at an all time high they called it a day. Eric was 81, Olive 78 and Tom 74 giving the 11 remaining employees two weeks notice they closed shop. Literally just shut everything down and left. Ten years later Birmingham City Council acquired the premises and found tool covered benches and a gold making factory suspended in time. Many of the items used were used almost a hundred years before. Every time they had attempted to modernize the workers had rebelled preferring old tradition to mechanism that could have made their life a bit easier.