Tipton is located about halfway between Birmingham and Wolverhampton and is a part of the West Midlands conurbation, and is a part of the Black Country. Tipton was once one of the most heavilly industrialised towns in Britain.
Until the 18th century, Tipton was a collection of small hamletss. Industrial growth started in the town when ironstone and coal were discovered in the 1770s. A number of canals were built through the town, and later railways, which greatly accelerated the pace of industrialisation.
The massive expansion in iron and coal industries lead to the population of Tipton expanding rapidly through the 19th century, going fron 4,000 at the beginning of the century to 30,000 at the end. Tipton gained a reputation as being "the quintessence of the Black Country" because chimineys of local factories belched heavy pollution into the air, whilst houses and factories were built side by side.
Most of the traditional industries which once dominated the town have now disappeared, and Tipton today is one of the poorest towns in the West Midlands. The far-right British National Party have performed well in local elections in the town. The UK Freedom Party also have an elected councillor in the area.
The Black Country Living Museum re-creates life in the early 20th century Black Country, in original buildings which have been painstakingly rebuilt and furnished.