It was in the 1830s when the heavy industry conquered the area north and west of Birmingham. At that time, the Black Country already was known for its vast, partly near-surface coal layers. Now, iron mills, foundries and coke plants joined the numerous mines. Since then the immense industrial plants have largely disappeared. Only the award-winning Black Country Living Museum is still deeply rooted in Victorian times. The Museum effortlessly transports visitors to the late 18th and early 19th century when the working of shallow coal seams and the vents of industrialization turned this area black. All the buildings of the open-air museum are original and have been moved here to save them from development. Costumed staff bring the period to life and make their guests a part of the story.