April 25, 2016

William Jack

1862 – 1915

William “Mr. Jack” Jack was born and raised in Back Mill, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. In 1880 Jack immigrated to the United States, where he quickly found his way to Barre, Vermont.

Jack was a pioneer in the industry as one of the first individuals to pursue the occupation of memorial draftsman, which was new to the industry in the early 1890s. Jack was employed throughout his career as a draftsman by several prominent granite companies in Barre, including Ryegate Granite Works, Marr and Gordan, and Barclay Brothers. Later, in 1911 he was employed as a traveling representative for the Boutwell, Milne, & Varnum Company where he finished his career.

In the mid-1890s, Jack created a lettering book for the industry titled Old English Capitals, containing an alphabet of full-sized Old English capitals in 5 varying sizes. The letters were meant to be transferred to stone via tracing, and then hand-carved. It is perhaps the first lettering book or method introduced to the monument industry for reproducing consistent lettering for inscriptions. The book saw relatively wide success in the industry but was out of print by the time Jack passed away in 1915.