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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was founded in 1927. At the first board of governors meeting, Cedric Gibbons, who was the art director for MGM, presented the idea that instead of plaques, medals certificates, or scrolls, something of dignity and prestige should be presented. He sketched out a rough drawing of the statuette.

The drawing was adopted and sent to a Los Angeles sculptur name George Stanley who created it.

From 1928 until 1931, the award was just called 'the statuette'.

Rumors are that Bette Davis named it after her first husband, Harmon Oscar Nelson Jr. but officially story is a little different.

In 1931 Margaret Herrick, former executive secretary of the Academy, reported for her first days work as librarian. The 'statuette' was sitting on the desk. She stated "He reminds me of my Uncle Oscar".

A newspaper columnist was sitting nearby and the next day his syndicated column contained the line "Employees have affectionately dubbed their famous statuette 'Oscar'." From that day it's been called that.

On May 6, 1929, first year awards were given for 1927-28 and 11 'Oscars' were presented.

The 'Oscar' is 13 1/2 inches including the pedestal and weighs 8 1/2 pounds.