ACS President: Edward W. Morley (1828-1923)

Served as President: 1899

With Albert A. Michelson he performed the famous “ether drift” experiments which are the basis for the modern theory of relativity

Worked for the Sanitary Commission during the Civil War


  • Graduated, Williams College, 1860, Chemistry
  • License to preach, 1862, Andover Theological Seminary

Career Highlights:

  • Professor, chemistry, Western Reserve College (now Case Western Reserve University), Cleveland, OH, 1868-1923

Notable Accomplishments:

Determined the relative atomic weights of O and H to an accuracy of 0.0004, 1896

Major Awards and Honors:

  • Davy Medal, 1907
  • Willard Gibbs Medal, 1899

Service to Science:

Did You Know

. . . that he first prepared for a profession as a Congregational Church minister?

. . . that a grave in the basement of Noyes Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was purported to belong to him? The grave has since been called a hoax but is regularly visited by students.

Former ACS President Edward W. Morley