Although never achieving the recognition of his brother-in-law Addison E. Verrill, Sidney Irving Smith
(b. 1843, d. 1926) was nevertheless an important contributor to late
19th century zoological study. As a young man growing up in Norway,
Maine, he became an expert on the local fauna and won local praise for
his skill as a collector, particularly of insects. Eventually he
enrolled at Yale University, where he received formative training under
his brother-in-law’s tutelage. Following his education, Smith served as
assistant in the Sheffield Scientific School and was appointed
Professor of Comparative Anatomy at Yale in 1875, a position he
maintained until his retirement in 1906.
Relatively early in his career, Smith abandoned his initial focus on insects (he served as State Entomologist in 1872 and 1873) to concentrate on various aspects of the taxonomy and biology of crustaceans, undoubtedly because of his formal association with the U.S. Fish Commission and its coastal survey program. During a career ultimately hindered by health problems, Sidney Smith produced more than 70 papers, many of which have contributed to our basic understanding of the western Atlantic crustacean fauna.