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Richard Sanders Rogers (1861 -1942)
Papers and biographical material 1894-2003

MSS 0085

Biographical Note

Dr Richard Rogers, 1936Richard Sanders Rogers was born in December 1861 and attended the University of Adelaide as a University Scholar, graduating B.A. with first class honours in 1881.  In 1883 he was awarded a South Australian scholarship and commenced a medical degree at Edinburgh University, from which he graduated in 1887.  Returning to South Australia he set up practice first in Port Wakefield and then Adelaide, and in 1897 became Honorary Physician to the Adelaide Hospital. He undertook in 1909 a survey of the health of State School children that was to be highly regarded and influential, and in 1911 was elected to the Medical Board of South Australia (President 1932).  He was appointed Lecturer in Forensic Medicine at the University of Adelaide in 1919, a position he held until his retirement at the age of 78 in December 1939.

Rogers had many interests in addition to his official medical profession.  He studied mental telepathy and mesmerism and in 1894 began to practice hypnotism (on which he also gave public lectures), and in 1896 he imported the first X-ray machine into Adelaide and encouraged its use in medical diagnosis and surgery.  He also took up as a hobby the study of Australian orchids, publishing 25 papers on them between 1906 and 1932, building his own herbarium, corresponding with experts in England, Holland and America, and becoming recognised himself as an expert on Australian orchids in spite of a lack of formal training in botany.  He was assisted in this field by the drawings of Adelaide artist Rosa Fiveash, who worked with him for nearly 30 years in illustrating the numerous species of orchids that he located and identified.  In 1905 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Australia (Vice-President 1914, President 1920)  and in  1924 a Fellow of the Linnaean Society.

These papers were donated by Rogers' grandson, Lauder Scott Rogers [the son of Lauder Scott Rogers who wrote Rogers' biography] in August 2003.

Contents Listing

1.  Richard Sanders Rogers, M.A.: M.Ch: M.D.: F.L.S.: R.A.C.P.; a biography by his son, L. Scott-Rogers.  1984.  1 v. (illus.)  typescript.
Includes a chronology and a list of Rogers' publications.

2.  Notebook of R.S. Rogers on experiments and experiences with clairvoyance and mesmerism, 1894-96.  1 v.
Manuscript notes, with inserted newspaper cuttings and some additional notes from other notebooks.  Also letter of Olive M. Carter 18 March 1919 re her recent success in curing trauma-induced stammering, thanking Rogers for his support, and copy of Pix 14 August 1954 with article on ‘Surgery under hypnosis'.

3.  List of botanical books and technical papers published by Dr R.S. Rogers 1861-1942, compiled by his grandson Lauder Scott Rogers, 2003.   5 p.

4.  Photographs of Dr .R. S. Rogers and of early work with X-rays.  1896-1936.
6 images on CD, with paper prints.
Rogers' D. Sc investiture 1936; visit to Kangaroo Island family 1902; in group at Memory Cove 1902 to commemorate the centenary of Flinders visit; Rogers as Commanding Officer of 7th Australian general Hospital in WWI; use of first X-ray machine by a medical practitioner 1896 and schematic of the process of cold-cathode gas discharge tube for X-rays.

5.  Notes and correspondence of Lauder Scott Rogers, grandson of Dr R.S. Rogers, relating to the 1919 review by Dr Rogers of R.D. Fitzgerald's work on Western Australian native orchids.
[the original typescript is held in SR 584.15 R72w]

6.  Notes on the X-ray machine imported into South Australia by Dr R.S. Rogers in 1896, with a photograph of Rogers with the machine and correspondence regarding its donation to the S.A. School of Mines and Industries in 1945.  4 p. and photographic print. See also series 4.

7. Reprints on orchids 1914-1932. 9 items.

Notes and correspondence of Lauder Scott Rogers, grandson of Dr R.S. Rogers, relating to the paintings of Rosa Fiveash and a compilation of holdings of her works is held in the Special Collections administration files.

Rare Books & Special Collections
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Level 1, Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005
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