S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Dubois, Mr Raymond (viticulture)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Raymond Dubois, a French agricultural engineer (Ingenieur Agricole) and expert in viticulture, had obtained the degree Bachelor of Science (BSc) and was a Fellow of the (British) Chemical Society. In about 1898 he was appointed as principal of the Viticultural College at Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia, where he compiled or translated several viticultural works into English, all of which were published by the Government Printer in Melbourne. They included First steps in ampelography: a guide to facilitate the recognition of vines (translator, 1900); Ameriacan vines; their adaptation, culture, grafting and propagation (translator, with W.P. Wilkinson, 1901); New methods of grafting and budding, as applied to reconstitution with American vines (compiler and translator, with W.P. Wilkinson, 1901); Studies on wine sterilizing machines (translator, 1901); Trenching and subsoiling for American vines (compiler and translator, with W.P. Wilkinson, 1901); and Manual of modern viticulture (translator, 1902).

In 1903 Dubois was appointed as government viticultural expert in the Department of Agriculture of the Cape of Good Hope. During that year he visited the wine producing districts of the colony and reported to government on his investigation of the industry in his Rapport van de Gouvernements Wynbouw Expert (Report of the Government Viticultural Expert, 1903). One of his recommendations was that a central viticultural experimental station be established on the government's farm Groot Constantia.

Both he and his wife became members of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science. At the association's first annual congress in Cape Town in 1903 Dubois read a paper, "On ferments causing 'Casse' in wines", which was published in the association's Report for 1903 (pp. 53-62). He described his investigations of the decomposition of some wines as a result of the fermentation of albumen in the wine by a bacterium, and reported that the problem could be solved by pasteurisation at 75ºC.

Both Dubois and his wife became members also of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1905, when it met in South Africa jointly with its local counterpart. They resided at Groot Constantia at the time. However, they appear to have left soon thereafter, as their names in a list of members of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science compiled in June 1906 is followed by the note "address wanted". That same year the government of the Cape Colony instituted a court case against him for breach of contract.


List of sources:
British Association for the Advancement of Science. Report of the seventy-fifth meeting... South Africa, 1905, list of members.

Cape of Good Hope. Rapport van de Gouvernements Wynbouw Expert, 1903.

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

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

South African Association for the Advancement of Science. Report, 1903, Dubois' paper and list of members; 1905/6, list of members.


Compiled by: C. Plug


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