Geology Library Receives Gift from the Orton Foundation

by Mara Diaz

One of the oldest buildings on the OSU campus has some new additions.

The Orton Geological Library has received a desk and two filing cabinets, once belonging to Edward Orton Jr., the son of the first president of the university. The Orton Foundation is to thank for these historical donations to the library. It is unsure whether the pieces were ever in the library before its recent placement. The pieces are currently sitting in the library, but due to the plan to replace the flooring in the building over the summer, they have no permanent placement.

Edward Orton Sr. was a professor of geology at The Ohio State University from 1882-1899, following his term as the first president of the university. The library was dedicated to him in 1920. Orton Hall also originally had a kiln in a building formally located behind the library. His son, known as General Orton Jr., established the Department of Ceramic Engineering (now known as the Department of Material Sciences) in 1894. He was president of the American Ceramic Society, currently located in Westerville near the foundation.

The Orton Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created in Orton Senior’s will for the benefit of the ceramic art industry and to continue the “Standard Pyrometric Cone Company.” Pyrometric cones are made to test the temperature of kiln by melting when it reaches a certain degree. The foundation has made donations to the Department of Material Sciences at OSU in the past, but this is its first donation to the library.

If you wish to know more about the foundation, you can visit and look under company history.

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