Andrew Ure (1778–1857), a talented and versatile scientist, was Professor of Chemistry and Natural Philosophy at Anderson’s College, Glasgow, during the second and third decades of the nineteenth century. In 1830 he removed to London, where he established himself as a consulting analytical and commercial chemist. Though he also wrote extensively on a wide range of scientific subjects, he is best known for his two books on cotton manufacture — The Philosphy of Manufactures (1835), from which the following passages are drawn, and The Cotton Manufactures of Great Britain (1836). Both were based on researches made during a tour of only a few months in 1833 through the cotton manufacturing district of the North of England, and although his work in Glasgow must also have brought him into contact with the cotton manufacturers of Clydeside, his researches into factory conditions appear to have been extremely superficial and, at least, a flimsy foundation for the forthright praise he bestows on the factory system.
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