geometer

One of the most sparkling gems in all of elementary geometry is Morley's Theorem:
If the reference triangle is labeled ABC, then the equilateral triangle is called Born in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, Morley received the Sc.D. degree from Cambridge University. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1887 and taught at Haverford College until 1900, when he became chairman of the mathematics department at Johns Hopkins University. The pencil portrait of Morley seen here is used by permission of the estate of Felix M. Morley. (Felix Morley, son of Frank and Lilian Morley, was editor of the Washington Post (1933-1940), won a Pulitzer Prize (1936), and was President of Haverford College (1940-1945).) |

**Cletus O. Oakley and Justine C. Baker,** *American Mathematical Monthly* 85 (1978) 737-745.

In his youth, Morley won a number of medals at chess tournaments. Of his three sons, one of them, Frank Vigor Morley, became a mathematician and the author of a book entitled *My One Contribution to Chess* (B. W. Huebsch, New York, 1945). There, the great geometer is vividly portrayed —

... then he would begin to fiddle in his waistcoat pocket for a stub of pencil perhaps two inches long, and there would be a certain amount of scrabbling in a side pocket for an old envelope, and then there would be silence for a long time; until he would get up a little stealthily and make his way toward his study—but the boards in the hall always creaked, and my mother would call out, "Frank, you're not going to work!"—and the answer would always be, "A little, not much!"—and the study door would close.These paragraphs are quoted by permission of the estate of Frank V. Morley, mathematician and writer. F. V. Morley wrote a review for the second-most widely read geometry book of all time:(It wasn't hard to gather that my father was working at geometry, and I knew pretty well what geometry was, because for a long time I had been drawing triangles and things; but when you examined the envelope he left behind, what was really mysterious was that there was hardly ever a drawing on it, but just a lot of calculations in Greek letters. Geometry without pictures I found it hard to approve; indeed, I prefer it with pictures to this present day.)

Dr. Abbott was out for fun when he wrote his friendly little geometrical romance, and it is good to see that the old wine is no worse for its new bottle. It is still a pleasant tonic, and an excellent stimulant ...Another son of Frank and Lilian Morley was the famous author, Christopher Morley. All three sons were Rhodes scholars.

Here is a photograph of Frank Morley lecturing at Haverford College, sometime before 1901. Courtesy of the Haverford College Archives.
Morley was President of the American Mathematical Society during 1919-1920 and editor of the |

Morley's life and works are the subjects of two articles:

**Arthur B. Coble,** "Frank Morley - In Memoriam," *Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society* 44 (1938) 167-170.

**H. W. Richmond,** "Frank Morley," *Journal of the London Mathematical Society* 14 (1939) 73-78.

Morley's publications, beginning with his co-authored books, are listed here:

**Books**

*A Treatise on the Theory of Functions* (with James Harkness), Macmillan, London, 1893.

*Introduction to the Theory of Analytical Functions* (with James Harkness), Macmillan, London, 1898.

*Inversive Geometry* (with his son, F. V. Morley), G. Bell, London, 1933. Reprinted, Chelsea, New York, 1954.

**Articles**

A nine-line conic, *Messenger of Math.* 15 (1886), 190-192.

Some properties of confocal conics and a derived cubic, *Messenger of Math.* 16 (1887) 181-185.

On critic centres, *American J. of Math.* 10 (1888) 141-148.

On plane cubics which inflect on crossing their asymptotes, *Messenger of Math.* 17 (1888), 51-57.

Note on geometric inferences from algebraic symmetry, *American J. of Math.* 10 (1888) 173-174.

On the geometry of a nodal circular cubic, *American J. of Math.* 11 (1889) 307-316.

On the epicycloid, *American J. of Math.* 13 (1890) 179-184.

On the kinematics of a triangle of constant shape but varying size, *Quart. J. of Math.* 24 (1890) 359-369, 386.

On the covariant geometry of the triangle, *Quart. J. of Math.* 25 (1891) 186-197.

On adjustable cycloidal and trochoidal curves, *American J. of Math.* 16 (1894) 188-204.

Note on the congruence 2^(4n) = ((-1)^n)(2n!)/(n!)^2, where 2n+1 is prime, *Annals of Math.* 9 (1894) 168-170.

Apolar triangles on a conic, *Bull. American Math. Soc.* 1 (1895) 116-124.

Note on the theory of three similar figures, *Bull. American Math. Soc.* 1 (1895) 235-237.

On the generalization of Weierstrass' equation with three terms, *Bull. American Math. Soc.* 2 (1896) 21-22.

Note on the common tangents of two similar cycloidal curves, *Bull. American Math. Soc.* 2 (1896) 111-116.

A generating function for the number of permutations with an assigned number of sequences, *Bull. American Math. Soc.* 4 (1897) 23-28.

A construction by ruler of a point covariant with five given points, *Math. Annalen* 49 (1897) 596-600.

On a regular rectangular configuration of ten lines, *Proc. London Math. Soc.* 29 (1898) 670-673.

Some polar constructions, *Math. Annalen* 51 (1899) 410-416.

On the Poncelet polygons of a limaçon, *Proc. London Math. Soc.* 29 (1898) 83-97.

On a regular configuration of ten line pairs conjugate as to a quadric, *Bull. American Math. Soc.* 5 (1899) 252-253.

Note on the sphero-conic, *Math. Gazette* 1 (1900) 249-250.

The no-rolling curves of Amsler's planimeter, *Annals of Math.* 1 (1900), 21-35.

On the metric geometry of the plane n-line, *Trans. American Math. Soc.* 1 (1900) 97-115.

The value of [an integral], *Bull. American Math. Soc.* 7 (1901) 390-392.

On a point in Sylvester's theory of canonical forms, *Bull. American Math. Soc.* 7 (1901) 206.

On the series 1 + (p/1)^3 + {p(p+1)/2}^3 + ... , *Proc. London Math. Soc.* 34 (1902) 397-402.

Orthocentric properties of the plane n-line, *Trans. American Math. Soc.* 4 (1903) 1-12.

Projective coordinates, *Trans. American Math. Soc.* 4 (1903) 288-296.

On the geometry whose element is the 3-point of a plane, *Trans. American Math. Soc.* 5 (1904) 467-476.

On a plane quintic curve, *Proc. London Math. Soc.* 2 (1905) 114-121.

On two cubic curves in triangular relation, *Proc. London Math. Soc.* 4 (1907) 384-392.

On reflexive geometry, *Trans. American Math. Soc.* 8 (1910) 14-24.

Plane sections of a Weddle surface [with J. R. Conner], *American J. of Math.* 31 (1909) 263-270.

Contact curves of the plane quintic curve, *Johns Hopkins Univ. Circular* 2 (1912) 69-73.

On the extension of a theorem by W. Stahl, *Prov. 5th Internat. Congress of Math.*, Cambridge (1912) 2, 11-17.

An extension of Feuerbach's theorem, *Proc. Nat. Acad* 2 (1916) 171-173.

The Lüroth quartic curve, *American J. of Math.* 41 (1919) 279-282.

The curve of ambience, *American J. of Math.* 46 (1924) 193-200.

The eliminant of a net of curves, *American J. of Math.* 47 (1925) 91-97.

On an equation of planar motion, *American J. of Math.* 47 (1925) 98-100.

Note on Neuberg's cubic curve, *American Math. Monthly * 32 (1925) 407-411.

On a differential inversive geometry, *American J. of Math.* 48 (1926) 144-146.

New results in elimination [with A. B. Coble], *American J. of Math.* 49 (1927) 463-488.

Extensions of Clifford's chain theorems, *American J. of Math.* 51 (1929) 465-472.

On algebraic inversive invariants [with B. C. Paterson], *American J. of Math.* 52 (1930) 465-472.

On the intersections of trisectors of the angles of a triangle, *J. Math. Assoc. Japan* 6 (1924) 260-262.

It has been a pleasure to correspond with several grandchildren of Frank Morley in the United States, England, and Scotland, who provided helpful materials for this site. I thank Mrs. Louise Morley Cochrane, especially, and friend-of-the-family Thomas Banchoff of Brown University. Mrs. Cochrane's recent book and Professor Banchoff's website (mostly geometry) are listed below.

**Louise Cochrane,** *Adelard of Bath: the first English scientist,* British Museum Press, London, 1994.

1st and 2nd Morley Centers

Thomas Banchoff's Home Page

Morley Family Papers (1890-1986), Special Collections, Haverford College

Clark Kimberling Home Page