Burton, William Merriam

Burton, William Merriam

(1865–1954) inventor; born in Cleveland, Ohio. Trained as a chemist, he went to work for Standard Oil and eventually became a refinery superintendent. He devised the first successful "cracking" process for yielding gasoline from crude oil, an essential step in the development of the automobile industry.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.