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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/862

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the American Journal of the Medical Sciences. He, however, preferred chemistry to medicine, and served from 1876 as chemist of the first Geological Survey of Pennsylvania, under his brother Henry, who was chief of the survey. In this position he was associated with James Curtis Booth and John F. Frazer as the other assistants.

In the fall of 1841 he was invited to the University of Virginia to take the place in teaching the chemistry classes of Prof. John P. Emmet, who was ill. Prof. Emmet not recovering from his illness, Mr. Rogers was in March, 1842, elected in his place Professor of General and Applied Chemistry and Materia Medica, a position which he held with credit till 1852. In August of the latter year he was elected Professor of Chemistry, in the place of his brother, James B. Rogers, deceased, in the University of Pennsylvania. In 1856 he became Dean of the Medical Faculty of that institution. In July, 1862, during the civil war, he was appointed acting assistant surgeon in the Army of the United States, and assigned to duty in the Military Hospital at West Philadelphia, where he served not quite one year. At his suggestion a steam mangle was set up under his supervision in the neighborhood of the hospital. On the day it was completed he was showing a woman how to feed it safely, when his right hand was caught in the machinery and crushed. He was able with his other hand to throw the machine out of gear and stop it, but while a workman was lifting the cylinder, weighing eight hundred pounds, from off the disabled hand, the great piece slipped from the crowbar and fell upon it, aggravating the injury it had received. He was anxious lest his wife should be seriously shocked by too quickly realizing the severity of the mutilation he had suffered, and, to prevent this as far as possible, he left the carriage in which he was conveyed a short distance from his house and walked home. The hand was amputated by Prof. Smith, of the university, and its place was supplied for a time by an artificial hand. “Almost ambidextrous prior to the accident,” says Dr. Ruschenberger, “he speedily learned to write with his left hand and to use the right arm, beneath the shoulder, in prehension with notable skill in his experiments while lecturing.”

About this time the United States was swept by the “oil fever,” and visions of wealth to be suddenly acquired by the possession of a well turned many an otherwise well-balanced head. Prof. Rogers did not escape the epidemic; and the fact that a man so well informed in scientific matters as he was associated in the enterprise contributed no little to the success of the scheme for organizing the Humboldt Oil Company in February, 1864, to which a capital of a quarter of a million dollars was contributed. Organization was all the success the company had. Land was