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FAO Schwarz, founded in 1862, is the oldest toy store in the United States. The company is known for its unique high-end toys, life-sized stuffed animals, dolls, and games. The FAO Schwarz flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City is a popular tourist destination, and has gained iconic status for its floor piano, cameos in major motion pictures, and real-life toy soldiers.

History
FAO Schwarz was founded in 1862 under the name “Toy Bazaar” by German immigrant Frederick August Otto Schwarz, in Baltimore, where he and his brothers retailed toys from a fancy-goods store. Additional locations of “Toy Bazaar” followed in Philadelphia and Boston.
In 1870, Schwarz opened a New York City location known as the "Schwarz Toy Bazaar" at 765 Broadway which moved to 42 E. 14th Street in Union Square in 1880 and operated at that location until April 28, 1897, when it took over two vacant store locations at 39 and 41 W. 23rd Street. By then, The New York Times described Schwarz as "the largest dealer in toys in this city."
Beginning in November 1869, the Schwarz Toy Bazaar held an exhibition of toys that would be available for the Christmas season, which in 1883 was described as the "14th Annual Exhibition." In 1896, Schwarz proclaimed the store as the "Original Santa Claus Headquarters" in New York.
In 1889, Schwarz added his initials to newspaper advertisements, branding the store at that time as simply "F.A.O. Schwarz," although the "Toy Bazaar" identifier continued until the move in 1897 to W. 23rd Street.
In 1931, the New York City location moved to 745 Fifth Avenue where it operated for 55 years. The FAO Schwarz flagship store opened at its current location in 1986 in the General Motors Building at the corner of 58th Street and 5th Avenue.

This year the store comemorate the 150th anniversary.

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Additional Photos by Andre Bonavita (bona) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1267 W: 116 N: 2462] (12195)
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