At 14 years of age Sam Hyde Harris was already a successful commercial artist. A 1903 letter of recommendation from Andre & Sleigh, stated that, "We have the pleasure in stating that Samuel Harris (aged 14 ½ years) has given every satisfaction during the 8 or 9 months he has been engaged in our Artists Department."
After moving to California with his family Harris got a job as painter of signs, billboards and hand-lettered show cards in 1906. He developed a reputation for doing excellent commercial work and opened his own commercial art studio by 1914. His commercial art business received a boost in 1920 when he was hired by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company to work on their poster
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