< Back to front page Text size +

Eva Morrison

Posted by Joshua Glenn  January 23, 2008 02:39 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

That was quick! I guess crowdsourcing really does work. Thanks, reader Maya H., of Hyde Park, for identifying Eva Morrison.


According to this vintage postcard, Morrison is "the only woman in the world to make the Boston Light swim and return of 3 miles."

A visit to Flickr reveals that another user has offered more info about Morrison:

Eva Morrison of Roxbury MA was a prominent distance swimmer in the 1920s, best remembered for making a record-breaking time in the Boston Light Swim, and training to swim the English Channel at the same time as Gertrude Ederle did. She served on the initial Board of Governors for the International Professional Swimmers' Association when it formed in 1927. Morrison was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1973.

Finally, I discovered a 2d image of Morrison in the LoC photoset; it wasn't tagged "Boston," which is why I didn't find it the first time. (I've added the tag.) Here it is:

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

6 comments so far...
  1. My Mother, Frances Vincent Portalla, won the Boston Light swim in 1927 at the age of 16.

    Posted by william portalla January 31, 08 06:04 PM
  1. Eva Morrison did not win the the boston light swim in 1925. Irene Hessenius did and I have the trophy to prove it. Irene swam the boston light in 7 hours and 9 minutes and Eva came in 59 minutes after her. Sam richards, Eva's then pilot, left Eva during the swim to pilot Irene because Eva wouldn't follow his instructions. I have the original newspapers showing both swims and Irene Hessenius clearly one. We have the James Curley Trophy engraved with the date and her name to prove it.

    Posted by Diane Costanza August 18, 08 04:55 PM
  1. I had an aunt who spoke of a cousin ,Robert Stafford,who swam the boston light swim in the 1920s.She said," he developed a cramp and drowned". Can this be verified?

    Posted by martin stafford August 30, 08 11:40 AM
  1. eva morrison was my grandmothers sister and my father has gave me several articles and pictures on her if any one is interested ?

    Posted by Raymond Chiasson April 18, 09 09:11 PM
  1. I am writing the 196 biographies of the individuals currently inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame on behalf of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Eva was inducted in 1973 as the article states above. Any additional information, photos or items that you wish to donate or inform us would be greatly appreciated. Eva's background greatly helps us to document the history of marathon swimming.

    Posted by Steven Munatones April 21, 09 12:19 PM
  1. The organizers of the Boston Light Swim are updating the History page on the web site. If any of you have old newspaper articles, photos, etc. please contact us.

    Posted by Greg O'Connor November 14, 09 03:18 PM
About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


Browse this blog

by category