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E. Emerson Morse

by Susan J. Ainsworth
January 19, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 3

E. Emerson Morse, 98, a retired research director at the now-defunct pulp and papermaking company Brown Co., died on Sept. 30, 2014, in Berlin, N.H.

Born in Willimantic, Conn., Morse earned a B.A. in chemistry cum laude in 1936 from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1940 at the University of California, Berkeley, under Gilbert N. Lewis.

Morse then began working as a research scientist at Spreckels Sugar in Woodland, Calif. In 1948, he moved to Gorham, N.H., to work as a research chemist at Brown Co. He was promoted to research director of the company’s Berlin, N.H., labs, before retiring in 1984.

He received U.S. patents for his work with sugar technology, wet-strength resins for paper towels, and cellulose derivatives, including the first crystallized cellulose, sold as Solka-Floc. He published papers in numerous international scientific journals and contributed to several technical books.

Morse served as a member of New Hampshire’s State Advisory Council on Engineering from 1959 until 1969 and received a personnel award from President Lyndon B. Johnson.

He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi and an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1941.

Morse is survived by his wife of 70 years, Vivian; sons, David and James; and six grandchildren.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.


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