William Howard Taft Die Proof Engraving on card BEP, GFC Smillie
William Howard Taft was the 27th president of the United States and the tenth chief justice of the United States, the only person to have held both offices.
George Frederick Cumming (Fred) Smillie was born in New York on 22 November 1854. Together with the stamp engraver Alfred Jones, His uncle James Smillie taught him the art of engraving. Smillie was so talented that at only 17 years, he was taken on as an apprentice by the ABNC, in 1871. Smillie left the ABNC in 1887, to go and work for his uncle William Cumming Smillie, at the Canadian Bank Note Co. However, Smillie did not enjoy working there so a year on he moved back to the United States and started working for Homer Lee Bank Note Co. Seemingly restless, he also worked for the Hamilton Bank Note Co. and the Western Bank Note Co., in the years 1890 to 1894.
Smillie finally settled down in March 1894, when he started working for the BEP. He became not only their Master Engraver but also the Head of the Engraving Department. Here at the BEP his career really blossomed and he became famous for being the finest engraver of both portraits and vignettes. His work for the allegorical design on the $5 US silver certificate of 1896 is regarded the pinnacle of his talents.
This is an ORIGINAL early twentieth-century die proof; not a reproduction or contemporary print. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.