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John HD Anderson
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John HD Anderson

John Anderson (1726 - January 13, 1796), Scottish natural philosopher, was born at Roseneath, Dumbartonshire. In 1756 he became professor of oriental languages in the University of Glasgow, where he had finished his education; and in 1760 he was appointed to the more congenial post of professor of natural philosophy.

In 1960 Anderson began to concentrate on physics and wrote the pioneering textbook 'Institutes of Physics'. In addition to his University duties Anderson provided lectures for men of the working class during the evenings. Anderson was known for his radical political views and was a supporter of the French Revolution and in 1791 he invented a new type of six-pound gun, which was presented to the National Convention as "the gift of Science to Liberty".

He devoted himself particularly to the application of science to industry, instituting courses of lectures intended especially for artisans, and he bequeathed his property for the foundation of an institution for the furtherance of technical and scientific education in Glasgow, Anderson's College,which underwent many mergers with other institutions before arriving at its current form as the University of Strathclyde. He died in Glasgow. His Institutes of Physics, published in 1786, went through five editions in ten years.

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica.