Starting on Radio 4 on January 18th is a new radio series "A History of the World In 100 Objects". Each week there will a fifteen minute slot where an item from the British Museum's extensive collection will be discussed in the context of its role in world history.

I'm really looking forward to the series and started to wonder what local artefacts would best illustrate the fantastic history of our borough in its massive contribution to changing the world. Here's some which spring immediately to mind:

1. A lump of local coal to signify the work of Dud Dudley and Abraham Darby - both of whom were of this borough. The gloriously named Dud Dudley, from Dudley (hmmm...perhaps his parents might have had a little more imagination when it came to naming him) is credited with working out how to smelt iron using coal rather than charcoal. Abraham Darby further developed the way of smelting iron from coke and famously went on the build the world's first iron bridge. These two gentleman were at the forefront of the industrial revolution which changed the world.

2. Dorothy Round's tennis racket and Duncan Edwards's football boots. Dorothy Round won Wimbledon in 1934 and 1937 whilst Duncan Edwards was part of the famous Busby Babes who sadly lost his life in the Munich air disaster. These artefacts mightn't have changed the world but they do remind us of the local talent and drive and ability to succeed which is an inspiration.

3. Any remaining parts of the Stourbridge Lion. As its name suggests it was built in Stourbridge, exported to America where in 1829 it became the first steam locomotive to run on a commercial line in the United States. From this we should take credit for entire subsequent commercial success of the USA!

4. Early Frankenstein films - by James Whale, born and brought up in Dudley - setting in motion a whole genre of film making.

5. The world's oldest excavated condoms found at Dudley Castle. Dating from 1642 to 1647 and made from animal membranes these are the earliest examples of safe sex. Having said that they were designed to be reused, so perhaps they weren't that safe. What I particularly like was that a 'pack of five' was found - clearly an innovative form of marketing of credit to the Black Country.

All of these point to the proud and influential history of the Black Country and illustrate its impact on the world. They came from the top of my head and I wonder if what other ideas people might have?