Frederick August Otto Schwarz

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Frederick August Otto Schwarz
Frederick August Otto Schwarz.jpg
Born(1836-10-18)October 18, 1836
DiedMay 17, 1911(1911-05-17) (aged 74)
Manhattan, New York City, United States
Spouse(s)Caroline Clausen
Parent(s)Johann Conrad Friedrich Schwarz, goldsmith, born May 30, 1789 Herford, and Friederike Wilhelmine Louise Rothe born Dec 28, 1804 Herford
RelativesCharles Henry Schwarz
Richard Schwarz
Gustav Schwarz (christened and married as Justus Friedrich Eduard Schwarz, born May 30, Herford

Frederick August Otto Schwarz (October 18, 1836 – May 17, 1911) was a German-born American toy retailer known for founding FAO Schwarz.[1][2][3]


Schwarz was born to a German Lutheran family in 1836 at Herford, Westphalia, Germany [4] and immigrated to the United States in 1856 with his three brothers, Henry, Richard, and Gustav.[5][6][7] 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.[8] 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 (1841–1904). Together they had three sons and three daughters: Anna Schwarz (1863–?), Ida Schwarz (1864-1942), Henry Schwarz, George Frederick Schwarz (1868–1931), Emilie Schwarz (1870–1958) and H. Marshall Schwarz.[9][10] Frederick August Otto Schwarz died at his home in Manhattan at 20 East 61st Street.[1][11] Schwarz is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery.

Frederick August Otto Schwarz, Jr. is his great grandson.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Frederick A. O. Schwarz". New York Times. May 18, 1911.
  2. ^ "Noted Schwarz toy store has deep roots here". tribunedigital-baltimoresun. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  3. ^ "The Schwarz house of toys started here, without F.A.O." tribunedigital-baltimoresun. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  4. ^ Westfalen: Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evang. Kirche > Kirchenkreis Herford > Herford, Münster > Taufen 1836 - 1839 Band 51
  5. ^ Augustyn, Frederick J. (2004). Dictionary of Toys and Games in American Popular Culture. Haworth Press. ISBN 0-7890-1504-8.
  6. ^ "FAO Schwarz closes: Read Fortune's 1940 story about its rise". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  7. ^ Kelly, Jacques. "The Schwarz house of toys started here, without F.A.O."
  8. ^ "A Century in Toyland". Time. March 9, 1962. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  9. ^ "Frederick Augustus Otto Schwarz". Find A Grave. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  10. ^ Frederick August Otto Schwarz in the 1880 US Census in Manhattan
  11. ^ Frederick A. Schwarz; 74 y; May 17, 1911; death certificate 16589; Manhattan
  12. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (April 25, 1989). "Man in the News". New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2007.

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