Frederick August Otto Schwarz

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Frederick August Otto Schwarz
Frederick August Otto Schwarz.jpg
Born (1836-10-18)October 18, 1836
Herford, Westphalia, Germany
Died May 17, 1911(1911-05-17) (aged 74)
Occupation Businessman
Spouse(s) Caroline Clausen

Frederick August Otto Schwarz (October 18, 1836 – May 17, 1911) was a toy retailer who started FAO Schwarz.[1]


He was born in 1836 at Herford, Westphalia, Germany, and immigrated in 1856 with his three brothers: Henry, Richard, and Gustav.[2] He worked for a Baltimore stationery importer. German exporters sometimes packed toys and other items in with the stationery in the hope of expanding their exports. Schwarz put the toys in the store window, and they outsold the stationery.[3] By 1862 he had switched to selling the toys from his own shop, and in 1870 he moved his business to Manhattan. He married Caroline Clausen (1841–?). Together they had three sons and three daughters: Anna Schwarz (1863–?); Ida Schwarz (1865–?); Henry Schwarz (1867–1903[4]); Frederick Schwarz (1868–?); Emilie Schwarz (1870–?); and H. Marshall Schwarz.[5] Frederick August Otto Schwarz died on May 17, 1911.[1][6] Schwarz is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery.

Frederick August Otto Schwarz, Jr. is his great grandson.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Frederick A. O. Schwarz". New York Times. May 18, 1911. 
  2. ^ Augustyn, Frederick J. (2004). Dictionary of Toys and Games in American Popular Culture. Haworth Press. ISBN 0-7890-1504-8. 
  3. ^ "A Century in Toyland". Time (magazine). March 9, 1962. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  4. ^ Kelly, Jacques. "The Schwarz house of toys started here, without F.A.O.". 
  5. ^ Frederick August Otto Schwarz in the 1880 US Census in Manhattan
  6. ^ Frederick A. Schwarz; 74 y; May 17, 1911; death certificate 16589; Manhattan
  7. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (April 25, 1989). "Man in the News". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Frederick August Otto Schwarz, Jr. was born in New York City on April 20, 1935. He is the great-grandson of the founder ... 

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