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 Felix Oscar Schlag

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Felix Oscar Schlag

  • Birth 4 Dec 1891 Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurter Stadtkreis, Hessen, Germany
  • Death 9 Mar 1974 Owosso, Shiawassee County, Michigan, USA
  • Burial Owosso, Shiawassee County, Michigan, USA
  • Plot Section Y, Block 1
  • Memorial ID 9987466

Sculptor. He is best remembered as the designer of the US Jefferson nickel that was circulated from 1938 through 2003. Born in Frankfurt, Germany exhibited a great talent for the arts and had become quite experienced throughout his childhood, winning many art competitions and contests in Europe. When World War I broke out in Europe in July 1914 he served in the German Army. After the war he worked as medalist, sculptor, and designer. In 1929 he and his family immigrated to the US and he obtained a job with General Motors, where he actually designed and stylized classic automobiles. In the 1930s he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he was commissioned to work on designing sculptures in prominent public locations inside the city. In early 1938 the Treasury Department announced that it was holding a public competition to design the new US nickel. The rules of the coin design competition stated that the new nickel would have an obverse that depicted a portrait of the 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson, while the reverse would be required to depict Monticello, his Virginia home. He was one of nearly 400 contestants who submitted their designs to the Treasury and in April 1938, his initial design was chosen by Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first female Director of the US Mint, along with the contest judges, and he won the $1,000 award. After modifying his original design, it was accepted in July 1938 and the following November, the first Jefferson nickels were placed into circulation. That same year he became a US citizen. During World War II he relocated to Owosso, Michigan where he operated a photography studio. In 1966 he accepted the offer of the American government to place his initials "FS" on the nickel on Jefferson's coat near the rim of the coin in small letters that are easily viewable. He died at the age of 83.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Frank Passic, Albion Historian
  • Added: 29 Nov 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9987466
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Felix Oscar Schlag (4 Dec 1891–9 Mar 1974), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9987466, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Owosso, Shiawassee County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .