Joseph Chamberlain
Joseph Chamberlain was Mayor of Birmingham in the 1870s and went on to play a significant role in national politics, entering Parliament and later being appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Chamberlain has always been a controversial figure. In his early political career, he was committed to radical social reform. He campaigned on issues such as education and old age pensions, and as Mayor of Birmingham he revolutionised the way the town was run, bringing services such as gas and water under civic control. Under his ‘improvement scheme’ large swathes of poor housing were demolished to make way for Birmingham’s new commercial centre. As a national politician, he gained a reputation as a rampant imperialist. The objects in this album reflect many different aspects of Chamberlain’s career and personal life. July 2014 marks the centenary of his death.
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