Henry J. Holtzclaw
Henry Holtzclaw was born in Virginia and attended school in the District of Columbia. He began at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing as a machinist’s helper in 1917. Although he did not finish school, Holtzclaw rose to become the BEP’s designated mechanical expert and designer in 1931 and later, when that position expanded into the Office of Research and Development Engineering, he served as its first head. As the mechanical expert for the BEP, Holtzclaw was primarily responsible for developing the electric eye perforator in the 1930s. In 1949, he became Assistant Director and in 1954 he was appointed Director. Holtzclaw served as Director for 13 years, the second longest tenure of any BEP head. He died at age 71, a little more than a year after retiring from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and completing 50 years of government service.