Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,119 pages of information and 233,665 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Adelaide Mary Anderson

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Dame Adelaide Mary Anderson (1863–1936), civil servant

1863 Born on 8 April in Melbourne, Australia, the eldest child of Alexander Gavin Anderson, a Scottish shipbroker, and his wife, Blanche Emily Campbell.

The family later returned to Britain and settled in London.

She was educated at home by governesses and later attended schools in France and Germany as well at Queen's College, Harley Street, London.

She went to Girton College, Cambridge, where she was awarded the Gamble gold medal

1887 Second-class honours in the moral sciences tripos.

Lectured on philosophy and economics for the Women's Co-operative Guild.

1892 Clerk on the royal commission on labour

1894 Lady factory inspector in the factory department of the Home Office.

1897 Appointed principal lady inspector of factories; head of the new women's branch. Women inspectors were responsible for enforcing protective legislation as it applied to women and children working in factories and workshops. particularly excessive hours, poor sanitation, dangerous conditions, illegal stoppages from wages, payment in kind, and exploitation of child labour.

WWI Under Anderson's leadership, women inspectors took on men's inspections

1918 Created CBE

1921 The separate men's and women's branches were merged into an integrated inspectorate. Anderson then retired but continued working, especially internationally, on women's affairs and factory conditions.

1921 Created DBE

1936 Died on 28 August at a nursing home in London.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography in ODNB