Milton Walker Eddy (1884-1964)

Milton W. Eddy, c.1950

Milton Walker Eddy was born in 1884 in India, at Calcutta, to American parents. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1910 and obtained his Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in 1918. He became an instructor in zoology at the Pennsylvania State College in 1910 and was promoted to professor in 1913. He left in 1918 to become an assistant chief chemist for the United States Ammonium Nitrate Plant in Perryville, Maryland. Also, as part of the war effort, he served as a bacteriologist at the Ordinance Department of the United States Army. Continuing a career with the government, Eddy was a scientific assistant at the United States Public Health Service.

Eddy joined the Dickinson College faculty in 1921 as full professor of biology and chair of the department, replacing the late Professor Stephens. A leader in and out of the classroom for thirty-four years, Eddy was a supporter of James Henry Morgan against President Waugh. While teaching at Dickinson, he attended the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania for further postgraduate work. Much of Eddy's time went into researching the microphotography of hair. His research helped the police in criminal investigations, most famously the "Babes in the Wood" case of 1934 that established him as the recognized authority on the identification of persons by hair specimens. After a successful career in teaching and research, Eddy retired in 1955.

Eddy was an ardent photographer and collector of lamps, of which he amassed around two hundred. He was married to Rebecca Reiley and the couple had three daughters, all of whom graduated from Dickinson. Milton Walker Eddy died suddenly at his home on June 14, 1964. His wife died the following year.

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Dickinson College Archives
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