Coloured cartoon from the "Northern Looking Glass" 14 November 1825 entitled "Rival Lectures: Anderson's Institution". The cartoon accompanies one depicting a lecture at the Glasgow Mechanics' Institution (search under "Rival Lectures: Mechanics' Institution"), and is intended to point out the difference in the social classes attending each institution.
In this cartoon, the lecturer has better scientific apparatus than his counterpart and more gas lights. His audience (of both men and women) appear both better dressed and more attentive than those depicted at the rival educational establishment.
The cartoonist clearly intended to ridicule the aims of the Glasgow Mechanics' Institution, which set out to educate the ordinary working man in the important scientific ideas and industrial processes of the day. He appears to refer to a recurring middle class concern of the period, that the education of the "lower orders" in Glasgow might threaten the social position of their "betters": the caption accompanying the cartoons makes the point that "the social equilibrium cannot be maintained unless the higher ranks keep in intellectual advance of the lower."
Reference: Sp Coll Bh14-x.8
Glasgow University Library, Special Collections
Anderson's College, Anderson's Institution, audiences, continuing education, evening classes, fashions, gas lights, Glasgow Looking Glass, Glasgow Mechanics' Institution, hats, lecture theatres, lecturers, lithographs, night schools, Northern Looking Glass, Rival Lectures: Anderson's Institution, science lectures, students, women