Smooth Fox Terrier history, and the actual origin of the dog, has not been closely documented, but the breed has existed in England since the eighteenth century, if not longer. This is known to be true because of a man named General Thornton, who in the late 1700's painted a portrait of his dog, a Smooth Fox Terrier called Pitch.
Until the twentieth century, common understanding was that the Fox Terrier had two varieties--the Smooth and the Wire, the only difference being the coat texture. Historians believe Fox Terriers were developed by crossbreeding several terrier breeds like the Welsh Terrier, the Fell Terrier, the Bull Terrier, and possibly the Beagle. Through the years, these dogs became known for their "fox bolting" skills, in which they would enter fox dens (something the larger fox hounds couldn't do) and drive them out to the hounds and the waiting hunters. And the more white the Fox Terrier was, breeders learned, the more valuable it was, as the hunters could more easily discern the white dogs from the actual foxes as they ran from the den. The mostly white coat, then, became highly prized among these still-developing dogs. Eventually the Wire and Smooth varieties emerged, and Smooths became known for their abilities to hunt rats and other vermin as well as foxes.
Starting around 1900, Smooth Fox Terriers became popular in America and other parts of the world. One of the most notable Smooths from this time was Nipper, a dog that was made famous by an image of him staring into the horn of a phonograph machine; the image was later used as a logo by the RCA Victor company.
Though the Fox Terrier (which included both the Smooth and Wire varieties) had been recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885, the organization recognized Smooths and Wires as separate breeds in the late twentieth century.