George T. Morgan – 7th Chief Engraver of the United States Mint
Best known for designing the Morgan Dollar and the Columbian Exposition half dollar, as well as an engraver for the United States Mint, George T. Morgan was born in Birmingham England on November 24, 1845. He studied under Wiliam Wyon at the Royal Mint in London and worked as a die engraver in England before immigrating to the United States in 1876. In October of that year, he became an assistant engraver at the United States Mint under Charles Barber. Morgan was prominent in the production of many pattern coins from 1877 onward. He designed many official medals as well as a $100 Gold Union coin. Unfortunately the Gold Union coin never became a reality.
After the death of Charles E. Barber in February 1917, Morgan became the 7th Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. He held the position until his death on January 4, 1925.
Morgan had hoped to be named Chief Engraver of the United States Mint years earlier following the death of then Chief Engraver William Barber in 1879. The position, however, went to Barber’s son, Charles. By this point, Morgan’s “glory years” at the mint were already behind him, having spent the better part of his career in the secondary position. Still, his influence and work have created a lasting legacy, while his name will long be synonymous with some of the most beloved and cherished designs in US coinage history.