Sebring Ohio Historical Society
126 North 15th Street
Sebring, Ohio 44672
330-938-6920  
Viktor Schreckengost (June 26, 1906 – January 26, 2008) was the father of industrial
design and creator of the
Jazz Bowl, an example of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor
Roosevelt during his association with
Cowan Pottery. He is the creator of the largest
freestanding ceramic sculpture in the world, Early Settler, on permanent display at
Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Ohio. He also designed
dinnerware. Eschewing
the fancy, flowery French designs that were popular in the United States during the Great
Depression, Schreckengost created simple modern designs that were popular throughout
the country. He designed
bicycles manufactured by Murray bicycles for Murray and
Sears, Roebuck and Company (which took their total yearly sales from one million to
four hundred million dollars)as well as other fancy
pedal toys. He designed the first cab
over engine with engineer Ray Spiller. This design is used in almost every city bus
today.
Schreckengost's peers included designers
Raymond Loewy, Norman Bel Geddes,  Eva
Zeisel, and Russell Wright. Schreckengost, whose influence ranks with  theirs according
to scholars, had a quieter and more low-profile career in  Cleveland. His designs
included trucks,
airplanes, bicycles, furniture, industrial equipment and dinnerware.
Schreckengost was one of six children. His father worked at a ceramics factory from