When the US mint was incepted in 1793, Robert Scot (sometimes confused with the misspelling Robert Scott) served as the first Chief Engraver of the US mint. Scot was actually born in 1744 in Edinburgh, Scotland and grew up working as a silversmith and watch maker in England. Shortly later, he began getting involved in engraving. It wouldn't be until 1775 when he would move to the United States and Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Robert Scot was first known for engraving banknotes before he got into coins. In fact, he began engraving plates for subsistence money, office scales and bills of exchange. Some years later in 1780, the Commonwealth of Virginia decided to appoint him to become their engraver. During this time, his work caught the eye of Thomas Jefferson and he later moved to Philadelphia in 1781 where he would later be appointed to become the Chief Engraver of the US Mint in Philadelphia on November 23, 1793. George Washington himself appointed Robert Scot to work under David Rittenhouse, who was actually the first Director of the US Mint at the time. Although originally, Joseph Wright was appointed by Washington to become the first Chief Engraver, but he died before taking the position.
Many of the United State's early coins were designed and engraved by Robert Scot. The Draped Bust obverse design was applied to a wide range of denominations of US coins and included the Draped Bust Half Cent, Draped Bust Large Cent, Draped Bust Half Dime, Draped Bust Dime, Draped Bust Quarter, Draped Bust Half Dollar and Draped Bust Silver Dollar. Scot designed both varieties that included the small eagle and heraldic eagle that appeared on the reverse of these coins. Here are some of his designs shown below:
Sometime later on in 1816, the mint requested that Scot redesign the Classic Head large cent due to criticism from the public. The Classic Head large cent was actually designed by John Reich, who was the assistant to Robert Scot and given the title Second Engraver. This Classic Head design was also made after Scot's Draped Bust version. So the newer coin that Scot would make to replace the Classic Head was known as the Coronet Matron Liberty Head Large Cent. The term Matron was due to the fact that there was a demand to make the lady liberty face on the coin look older and more mature looking. This design would also inspire many future coronet liberty head styles on other coins created by other designers.
In addition to the draped bust design, Scot was also responsible for designing the Liberty Cap Half Cent (Head Facing Right variety), Flowing Hair Half Dime, Flowing Hair Half Dollar and Flowing Hair Silver Dollar as well. The flowing hair designs are officially some of the first designs for many of these silver coins and even predated the capped liberty designs in some cases. Joseph Wright actually designed the original liberty cap half cent in 1793 but with the liberty facing left. Here are more of Scot's designs shown below:
Not only did Scot engrave the designs for the common US coinage denominations that contained copper and silver, he was also involved in many of the first gold coins as well. The type of gold coins that he designed includes the $2.50 Gold Turban Head Quarter Eagle, $5 Turban Head Gold Half Eagle and lastly, the $10 Capped Turban Head Gold Eagle. All in all, he was responsible for some of the first foundational designs of many of our modern coin denominations today.
Besides his own work, Scot also employed additional engravers. One of which was John Reich, who would end up designing a large number of major official US coins later on. Robert Scott passed away on November 1, 1823 while still in office at the mint and William Kneass would become his successor on January 29, 1824.