Andrew Ure

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Andrew Ure (1778–1857).

Andrew Ure FRS (18 May 1778 – 2 January 1857) was a Scottish doctor, scholar, chemist, Scriptural geologist and early business theorist.


  • of the body was immediately agitated with convulsive movements resembling a violent shuddering from cold. ... On moving the second rod from hip to heel, the knee being previously bent, the leg was thrown out with such violence as nearly to overturn one of the assistants, who in vain tried to prevent its extension. The body was also made to perform the movements of breathing by stimulating the phrenic nerve and the diaphragm. When the supraorbital nerve was excited 'every muscle in his countenance was simultaneously thrown into fearful action; rage, horror, despair, anguish, and ghastly smiles, united their hideous expressions in the murderer's face, surpassing far the wildest representations of Fuseli or a Kean. At this period several of the spectators were forced to leave the apartment from terror or sickness, and one gentleman fainted.'
    • Andrew Ure (1819) Quart. J. Sci., vol. 6, pp. 283-294. quoted by: W.S.C. Copeman, (1951). "Andrew Ure, M.D., F.R.S. (1778-1857)". Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine. Royal Society of Medicine. 44 (8): pp. 658–59,

The Philosophy of Manufactures, 1835


Andrew Ure. (1835) The Philosophy of Manufactures, or an Exposition of the Scientific, Moral and Commercial Economy of the Factory System of Great Britain.

  • The present is distinguished from every precenn hvjh vding age by an universal ardour of enterprise in arts and manufactures. Nations convinced at length that war is always a losing game, have converted their swords and muskets into factory implements, and now contend with each other in the bloodless but still formidable strife of trade. They no longer send troops to fight on distant fields but fabrics to drive before them those of their old adversaries in arms, and to take possession of a foreign mart. To impair the resources of a rival at home, by underselling his wares abroad, is the new belligerent system, in pursuance of which every nerve and sinew of the people are put upon the strain.
    • p. vii; Preface, lead paragraph
  • Great Britain may certainly continue to uphold her envied supremacy, sustained by her coal, iron, capital, and skill, if, acting on the Baconian axiom, " Knowledge is Power," she shall diligently promote moral and professional culture among all ranks of her productive population.
    • p. vii
  • The present volume, introductory to a series of works in more ample detail, is submitted to the public as a specimen of the manner in which the author conceives technological subjects should be discussed.
    • p. viii
  • Being advised by his medical friends to try the effects of travelling, with light intellectual exercise, he left London in the latter end of last summer, and spent several months in wandering through the factory districts of Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, &c., with the happiest results to his health; having everywhere experienced the utmost kindness and liberality from the mill-proprietors.
    • p. ix
Ch. 1. General View of Manufacturing Industry
  • Manufacture is a word, which, in the vicissitude of language, has come to signify the reverse of its intrinsic meaning, for it now denotes every extensive product of art, which is made by machinery, with little or no aid of the human hand; so that the most perfect manufacture is that which dispenses entirely with manual labour.
    • p. 1
It is in a cotton mill, however, that the perfection of automatic industry is to be seen.
- Andrew Ure, 1835
  • A mechanical manufacture being commonly occupied with one substance, which it conducts through metamorphoses in regular succession^ may be made nearly automatic; whereas a chemical manufacture depends on the play of delicate affinities between two or more substances, which it has to subject to heat and mixture under circumstances somewhat uncertain, and must therefore remain, to a corresponding extent, a manual operation.
    • p. 2
  • It is in a cotton mill, however, that the perfection of automatic industry is to be seen; it is there that the elemental powers have been made to animate millions of complex organs, infusing into forms of wood, iron, and brass an intelligent agency.
    • p. 2
  • The processes that may be employed, to give to portions of inert matter, precise movements resembling those of organized beings, are innumerable, as they consist of an indefinite number and variety of cords pulleys, toothed-wheels, nails, screws, levers, inclined-planes, as well as agencies of air, water, fire, light, &c., combined in endless modes to produce a desired effect Ingenuity has been long exercised on such combinations, chiefly for public amusement or mystification, without any object of utility.
    • p. 9

The Cotton Manufacture of Great Britain, 1836


Andrew Ure. The Cotton Manufacture of Great Britain: Systematically ..., Volume 1

  • The difficulties which Arkwright encountered in organizing his factory system, were much greater than is commonly imagined. In the first place, he had to train his work-people to a precision in assiduity altogether unknown before, against which their listless and restive habits rose in continual rebellion; in the second place, he had to form a body of accurate mechanics, very different from the rude hands which then satisfied the manufacturer; in the third, he had to seek a market for his yarns; and in the fourth, he had to resist competition in its most odious forms. From the concurrence of these circumstances, we find that so late as the year 1779, ten years after the date of his first patent, his enterprise was regarded by many as a doubtful novelty.
    • p. 234
  • One event has been adduced in evidence of the uncertainty of his condition, which ought to excite interest in his behalf. He parted from his wife in 1779, because she would not agree to join him in converting some landed property into money, for the sale of which her consent was required by law. The property was worth, it is said, little more than four hundred pounds. Mrs. Arkwright entertained a high esteem for her husband, and always spoke of him with respect; yet she preferred separating from him, to the chance of being beggared by placing her dowry in so precarious a concern as she then thought the water-spinning frame to be. For some years after this event she lived altogether upon her own means. Mr. Arkwright was justly indignant at this want of sympathy in one so nearly related to him, and in consequence allowed her only thirty pounds a year, out of his own pocket, even when he had realized great opulence. These particulars are given by Mr. Guest on the authority of Sir Richard Arkwright’s niece, probably a disappointed and prejudiced person
    • p. 234

A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines, 1844

There are only two ores of tin: the peroxide, tin-stone, or Cassiterite; and tin pyrites, sulphide of tin, or Stannine: the former of which alone has been found in sufficient abundance for metallurgical purposes. - Andrew Ure.

Andrew Ure in: A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines:Containing a Clear Exposition of Their Principles and Practice, Volume 2, D. Appleton & Company, 1844; Longmans, Green, 1878

  • The final tin-dip is useful to remove the marks of the brush, and to make the surface uniformly bright.
    • 1844, p. 1259.
  • The stanniferous small veins, or thin flat masses, though of small extent, are sometimes very numerous, interposed between certain rocks, parallel to their beds, and are commonly called tin-floors.
    • 1878, p. 1000.
  • There are only two ores of tin: the peroxide, tin-stone, or Cassiterite; and tin pyrites, sulphide of tin, or Stannine: the former of which alone has been found in sufficient abundance for metallurgical purposes.
    • 1878, p. 999.

Quotes about Andrew Ure

  • Another forerunner of modern organization theorists was Andrew Ure, a professor of chemistry. An enthusiastic proponent of “the factory system,” Ure (1835) took a step beyond Adam Smith. Whereas Smith’s pin factory was solely an example of division of labor, Ure pointed out that a factory poses organizational challenges. He asserted that every factory incorporates “three principles of action, or three organic systems”: (a) a “mechanical” system that integrates production processes, (b) a “moral” system that motivates and satisfies the needs of workers, and (c) a “commercial” system that seeks to sustain the firm through financial management and marketing. Harmonizing these three systems, said Ure, was the responsibility of managers.
    • William H. Starbuck (2005). "The Origins of Organizational Theory," in: Haridimos Tsoukas, Christian Knudsen (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Organization Theory. p. 149-150
  • Of the early management pioneers, history has provided us with the best records for four men: Robert Owen, Charles Babbage, Andrew Ure, and Charles Dupin... Ure knew the French engineer and management writer Charles Dupin, and when Dupin visited Great Britain in 1816–1818, Ure escorted him around the Glasgow factories. Dupin commented that many of the managers of these factories were Ure’s own students.
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