The papers of Edward O. Essig, renowned entomologist whose main interest was aphids. Included are insect species index, correspondence,
manuscripts, drawings, woodblock stamps, and ephemera.
Edward Oliver Essig was born on September 29, 1884 in Arcadia, Indiana. He studied entomology at Pomona College, where he
received his B.A. in 1909 and M.A. in 1912. His career in entomology started when he became a horticultural commissioner
in Ventura County in 1910. His field of interest was aphids, or plant lice. Essig had the largest collection of aphids in
the world. His writings and journals were specifically about the manner in which plant lice attack plants.
From 1911 to 1914, Essig was secretary to the California State Horticulture Commission. In 1914, he joined the University
of California, at Berkeley faculty as an instructor and in 1928 became a full professor at the Agricultural Experiment Station.
In 1941, he became the acting Chairman of the Entomology Department at U.C. Berkeley and later Chairman in 1943 until his
retirement in 1954.
Professor Essig was a member of different science institutions including the American Association for Advancement of Science,
the Entomological Society of America, the American Association of Economic Entomologists of America, the Pacific Coast of
Entomological Society, and the California Academy of Sciences.
Professor Essig received many honors, including the Chevailer Du Nerite Agricole and the Dykes Medal of the American Iris
Society for his work in iris hybridizing. He also served on many commissions and committees including the Committee for Relief
of Belgium during World War I and the National Research Council.
He presented his aphid collection to the University of California at Berkeley in 1962. On November 23, 1964, Professor Edward
Oliver Essig, world-renowned entomologist and long time Chairman of the Entomology Department at U.C. Berkeley died.