Innovators and Genius in Ohio

Innovators and Genius in Ohio
Viktor Schreckengost
by Andrew R. Spriegel
December 31, 2010

I am surprised by the number of people in Ohio that do not know Viktor Schreckengost  (the American DiVinci), his place in history and the Ohio innovator and genius.  Born and residing in Ohio, Schreckengost lived from June 23, 1906 until January 26th 2008 and died at the age of 101.  Schreckengost an industrial designer, an artist, a humanitarian, a teacher, a role model, an amazing talent and a wonderful human being.

An art professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art from the 1930s until his late 90s, Schreckengost established one of the first industrial design departments in the United States.  Many future auto designers, including Joe Oros who created the 1965 Ford Mustang, took inspiration from Schreckengost.

Here is a brief list of Schreckengost’s students:

John Nottingham -Co-President of Nottingham & Spirk Design
John Spirk -Co-President of Nottingham & Spirk Design
Jerry Hirschberg -Founder of Nissan Design
Guiseppe Delana – Head of Ford Automotive Design
One of his first assignments was a “jazz bowl” with created with a New York theme. The bowl produced for first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and considered a landmark of Art Deco design.  Schreckengost continued to produce watercolors and also took commissions, including the massive sculptures for the Cleveland Zoo.

In the 30s, Schreckengost developed the cab-over-engine truck design for the White Motor Company of Cleveland.


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