1832 - ?

The Cornwall Polytechnic Society was founded in 1832 by the Fox family, a prominent Quaker business family of Falmouth, to promote the ideas and inventions of the workers in their Perran Foundry. This was the first use of the word ‘Polytechnic’, 'of many arts and techniques', in Britain. In 1835 King William IV bestowed Royal Patronage on the Society and it changed its name to the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society. In 1835 the Polytechnic Hall at 24 Church Street, Falmouth was built, and a Meteorological Observation Tower was built in 1868. The Society played a prominent role in industrial development of Cornwall in the 19th century, and in 1858 the Society founded The Miners Association to better aid the mining industry. The secretary in 1840 was Robert Hunt, who organised the programme of Exhibitions and Lectures and the Society. In the year 2000 the Society merged with Falmouth Arts, being renamed the Falmouth Arts Centre.