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Professor Sir Alexander Ogston's MD gown, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1895-1929

Alexander Ogston (1844-1929) was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine at the University of Aberdeen in 1866. However, scarlet MD robes like the one seen here were first used at Aberdeen only in the mid-1890s. The ‘frogs’ on the sleeves show that Ogston held a chair in the University; he had been appointed Regius Professor of Surgery in 1882. This woollen gown trimmed with crimson silk was made by the Edinburgh robemakers James Middlemass & Co. Ogston was a pioneering Scottish surgeon and bacteriologist and was in charge of Aberdeen’s smallpox isolation hospital. He is best known for his discovery of Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium that causes carbuncles, boils, abscesses and most post-surgery wound infections. He was made an LLD of Glasgow University in 1901 and Edinburgh University in 1910. He was appointed Surgeon-in-Ordinary in Scotland by Queen Victoria, Edward VII, and George V, and was knighted in 1912.

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Glossary: academic robe

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Glossary: Academic graduation

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