Edward Sylvester Morse (June
18, 1838 – December 20, 1925) was an American zoologist and orientalist.
born in Portland, Maine.
was expelled from a series of schools as a boy. As a young man, he
worked as a mechanical
at the Portland Locomotive Company
a wood engraver attached to a Boston company before beginning his
study of zoology.
Morse rapidly became successful in the field of zoology. He
attracted the attention of Charles
with his discovery that brachiopods
are worms rather than mollusks.
Morse visited Japan in search of
coastal brachiopods. His visit turned into a three year stay when
he was offered a post at the University of Tokyo.
He went on to recommend several fellow
Americans as o-yatoi
(hired foreigners) to support the modernization
of the Meiji Era
. He opened the study in
in Japan, by the discovery of the
Omori shell mound, and his research on material culture.
While in Japan, he authored a book on Japanese homes and their
illustrated with his own line drawings. He also
made a collection of over 5,000 pieces of Japanese pottery.
became Keeper of Pottery at the Museum of Fine
Arts in Boston in 1890, which now contains his pottery collection,
the Morse collection. He was also a director of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and
Ethnology in Salem from 1880 to 1914.
He died in
Massachusetts in 1925.