Eighty-eight years ago, the United States was introduced to what is now one of the most recognized figures in the world; a symbol that would end up meaning more to those in the acting realm than the Hinesman to an American college football player, the Academy Award, Oscar.
For the better part of nine decades, close to three thousand Oscars have been awarded to writers, actors, directors, producers and technicians. During this time, the recipient statuette appearance has changed very little on the surface but a good deal beneath.
When first created, the 13.5" Oscar was solid bronze and gold plated, but for a short time during World War II when metals were scarce, the Academy was forced to abandon this model and opt for gold painted plaster. Three years later, the sleek and svelte statuette would then be made from Britannia metal, an alloy that is plated in copper, nickel silver and completed in a 24-carat gold exterior.
Since 1982, R&S Owens in Chicago, IL has had the privilege of casting and molding this historical figure. Along with seeing through the creation of each and every award since this time, the company and its employees also have the task of breaking them out of the vault to be buffed and polished prior to the awards ceremony each January. Since results are unknown until the time of announcement, this means that those who participate in readying the Oscars must complete an exorbitant amount prior to showtime. Any surplus awards are then housed in the Academy vault until the following year for distribution.
The biggest night in Hollywood is more than just an award for"Best Supporting Actress"or "Best Film". For each artist, it is a symbol of their hard work and dedication to their craft as recognized by their peers and mentors. What better way to celebrate a job well done than to hear those five little words?
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