Orton, the name of two United States scientists, father and son.

Edward (Francis Baxter) Orton

(1829–1899) did important studies in economic geology and was one of the first to warn of the probable exhaustion of oil and gas reserves if waste continued. He was born in Deposit, New York, and graduated from Hamilton College in 1848. Although an ordained minister, Orton taught science most of his life. After teaching at a normal school and being principal of an academy, he became professor of natural history at Antioch College in 1865. He became president of Antioch in 1872 but left the following year to become president of Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College (which in 1878 became Ohio State University), He served as president until 1881 and was also a professor of geology there, 1873–99.

Edward Orton, Jr.

(1863–1932) was born in Chester, New York. He graduated as an engineer from Ohio State University in 1884. Through his efforts, the first school in the United States for instruction in the technology of the clay, glass, and cement industries was established at Ohio State in 1894; he served as its director until 1916. From 1899 to 1906, Orton was state geologist of Ohio, succeeding his father. He was also dean of the College of Engineering at Ohio Stale (1902–06, 1910–16). In 1916 he was appointed to the post of research professor, the first to hold that position at Ohio State.