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Bader, Ernest (1890–1982), chemical manufacturer and industrial reformer, was born in Regensdorf, Switzerland, on 24 November 1890, the youngest of thirteen children of a protestant farmer, Gottlieb Bader, and his wife, Barbara Meier. He was expelled from school at the age of twelve and went to work as a menial in a ...

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Baker, Robert (1803–1880), surgeon and factory inspector, was born on 15 August 1803 in York, the second son of John Baker, druggist, of High Ousegate, York, and his wife, Hannah. His career shows many parallels with that of the better-known Charles Turner Thackrah...

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Balme, Matthew (1813–1884), factory reformer, was born in Tong, Yorkshire, on 8 July 1813, the third son of Francis Balme (1742–1819), a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Elizabeth West (d. 1846), of Redhill Farm, Dudley Hill, Bradford. He was baptized at St James's Church, Tong...

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Birtwistle, Thomas (1833–1912), trade unionist and factory inspector, was born at Great Harwood, Lancashire, on 16 October 1833, the son of Jonathan Birtwistle, a calico printer, and Ann Birtwistle, a hand-loom weaver. Put to the hand-loom at the age of six, he became a power-loom weaver when he was fourteen and married a fellow weaver, ...

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Browning [née Chadwick], Ethel (1891–1969), toxicologist and factory inspector, was born on 16 March 1891 at 36 Audlam Street, Bury, Lancashire, the daughter of James William Chadwick, cotton spinner, later a gentleman (1916), and sometime managing director of a soap factory, and his wife, ...

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Clark, Frederick Le Gros (1892–1977), social and industrial reformer, was born on 3 September 1892 in Chislet, Kent, the eldest in the family of three sons and one daughter of the Revd (Edward) Travers Clark, of Washfield, Tiverton, Devon, and his wife, Ethel May...

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Harrison, Agatha Mary (1885–1954), industrial welfare reformer and unofficial diplomat, was born on 23 January 1885 at Sandhurst in Berkshire, the youngest daughter of Charles Harrison, a Methodist minister, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Tilt. She was educated at Jersey Ladies' College and at ...

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Minnie Louise Haskins (1875–1957) by Keystone, 1939 © Getty Images

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Haskins, Minnie Louise (1875–1957), author and industrial welfare promoter, was born at 2 Kingswood Hill, Oldland, near Bristol, on 12 May 1875, the second child and eldest daughter of Joseph Haskins (1842–1891), a grocer who acquired a pottery works at Warmley where he manufactured clay drainpipes, and his wife, ...

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See Haydon, Benjamin Robert

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Hindley, Charles (1796–1857), politician and factory reformer, was born on 25 June 1796 at the Fairfield Moravian Settlement, Droylsden, near Manchester. He was the third son of Ignatius Hindley (1756–1803), a muslin manufacturer in Dukinfield, Cheshire, and his wife, Mary, née Ambler (1762–1801)...

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Leonard Horner (1785–1864) by unknown artist Heriot-Watt University Archive

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Horner, Leonard (1785–1864), factory inspector, geologist, and educationist, was born on 17 January 1785 at St George's Square, Edinburgh, the third and youngest son of John Horner (d. 1829), a wealthy whig linen merchant, and his wife, Joanna, née Baillie. In his youth his circle of acquaintances included ...

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Hyde, Sir Robert Robertson (1878–1967), industrial welfare promoter, was born on 7 September 1878 in London, the second son among the five children of Robert Mettam Hyde, of Paisley, and his wife, Marjorie Stoddart Robertson, of Inveraray. His father was a constructional civil engineer who had been responsible for laying the first submarine cables in ...

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Legge, Sir Thomas Morison (1863–1932), factory inspector, was born on 6 January 1863 in Hong Kong, the younger son of Reverend James Legge (1815–1897), missionary and Chinese scholar, and his second wife, Hannah Mary Willetts, née Johnstone (1822–1881). He was educated at Dollar Academy, Clackmannanshire...

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Lewis, John Spedan (1885–1963), department store owner and industrial reformer, was born in Marylebone, London, on 22 September 1885, the elder son of John Lewis (1836–1928), a Somerset draper who from 1864 built up a successful retail business in Oxford Street, and his wife, ...

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Merewether, Edward Rowland Alworth (1892–1970), factory inspector, was born on 2 March 1892 at 33 Arbour Square, Stepney, London, the only son and eldest of the three children of Alworth Edward Merewether (b. c.1870) later a Royal Navy surgeon, and his wife, ...

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Oastler, Richard (1789–1861), factory reformer, was born on 20 December 1789 in St Peter's Square, Leeds, the eighth and last child of Robert Oastler (1748–1820), a local linen merchant, and his wife, Sarah Scurr (d. 1828). Of his mother's family little is known save that they were devout and respected middle-class folk who had been established in ...

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Richard Oastler (1789–1861) by James Posselwhite (after B. Garside) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Paterson, Mary Muirhead (1864–1941), factory inspector and philanthropist, was born in Glasgow on 23 June 1864, the daughter of Gavin and Annie Paterson. Her father was an affluent businessman; her mother came from a well-known Glasgow family, the Muirheads. Mary Paterson was described as having a gracious personality and great charm. She received her early education at ...