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BEP Directors

Alvin W. Hall Portrait

Alvin W. Hall

Life: (1888 - 1969)
Director, Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Years in Office: 1924-1954

Alvin Hall was born and raised in Harleigh, Pennsylvania.  He received a Bachelor of Law degree from National University in Washington, DC, and worked as an accountant and auditor in the private sector before entering Government service as an accountant in the Bureau of Army Ordnance in the War Department.  In 1920, he became an investigator for the U.S. Bureau of Efficiency and conducted efficiency studies in many government agencies.  Hall was assigned to a special committee tasked by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon to survey procedures in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 1922.  His participation on that committee led to his appointment as head of the BEP’s planning unit and later as Director in 1924.  Only 36 years old at the time of his appointment, Hall was the youngest Bureau Director, and he held the top spot for 30 years—far longer than any other BEP head.  During his tenure, he oversaw many technological advances and changes in production, most notably the conversion to small-sized, standardized currency notes in 1929 and the development of non-offset inks in the early 1950s.  Hall died in 1969 in Washington at the age of 80.