S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Tapscott, Mr Sidney (plant collection, fossil collection)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: 1943, South Africa.

Sidney (sometimes Sydney) Tapscott, mining engineer, passed the matriculation examination of the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1903. Continuing his studies at the Transvaal University College, Johannesburg, he was awarded the BSc degree in mining engineering by the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1909. In 1912 he moved to Kimberley, where his address was 17 Park Road.

In 1912 Tapscott presented a large collection of fossil crustaceans from the Dwyka formation to the McGregor Museum in Kimberley. The collection seemed of great interest and was sent to Cambridge, England, for study.

Tapscott was also a keen collector and photographer of succulent plants. By 1918 he resided on the farm 'Tipperary', near Kimberley, but later worked on the N'kana Mine at Broken Hill (now Kabwe), Zambia. He collected plants in Griqualand West, Botswana, and Zambia. In February 1929 he collected together with Dr John Hutchinson*. His photographs of succulents are held in the Bolus Herbarium, University of Cape Town. The species Stultitia tapsottii, commonly known as the Ghapie, was named after him.

List of sources:

Gunn, M. and Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

McGregor Museum: Annual Meeting, Curator's Report [for 1912]. The Diamond Fields Advertiser, 2 April 1913. Photocopy received from McGregor Museum.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Sidney Tapscott.

University of the Cape of Good Hope. Calendar, 1905/6, 1910/1-1917/8.

Compiled by: C. Plug