The Fifth Third Museum

Celebrating our shared heritage in Cincinnati

Since 1858, Fifth Third Bank has left an indelible signature on the people and places of Cincinnati. Now you can explore the bank’s rich heritage and legacy at the Fifth Third Bank Museum.

Explore how Fifth Third—and the city—have grown over the decades through events and connections that not only shaped the bank but also helped shape the Cincinnati community.

The Fifth Third Entrance, newspaper article

The Vault

How We Got Our Name

We’re often asked about our name. While a few legends exist over the origin of our name, watch here for the real story.

How It All Began

Our story is still unfolding, but it began on June 17, 1858. Watch how Fifth Third got started over 160 years ago. Inside The Vault, you’ll find a featured item of Fifth Third history on display.

Honoring Our Heroes

Melvin Schmidt started at Fifth Third as a mailroom clerk after he graduated from Hughes High School in the late 1930s. He volunteered for the Army Air Corps’ pilot training in 1942 but ended up qualifying as a radio operator. After training, he was assigned to the 703rd Heavy Bombardment Squadron of the 445th Bomb Group. The squadron flew B-24 Liberator bombers. Schmidt’s commanding officer was none other than Hollywood actor Jimmy Stewart. Schmidt was with the Squadron for his entire tour in the European Theater, flying dozens of bombing missions.

Melvin E Schmidt formal photo, Air Crew photo, Melvin E Schmidt Draft Card

On March 3, 1945, disaster struck. While flying a mission to destroy the Rothensee Oil Refinery near Magdeburg, Germany, Schmidt’s aircraft (#44-48844) was struck twice by anti-aircraft fire two minutes out from its target and started breaking up. Out of the crew of ten men, only Schmidt, S/Sgt. Carl Goff (Waist-Gunner), Lt. Ira Castles (Navigator), and Lt. Matthew Bahelka (Bombardier) were able to bail out before the aircraft hit the ground. The survivors were taken as prisoners by the Germans and held for two months until the end of the war in May 1945. For his service, he received an American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Prisoner of War Medal, and a World War II Victory Medal.

After his release and eventual discharge, Schmidt returned home to his position at Fifth Third. He became an auditor and, in 1980, became the Audit Department’s Vice President. He retired in 1984. Schmidt was married to Marian Staud. They had three children. He died in 1995 at the age of 73 and is buried in Saint Joseph New Cemetery on the West Side of Cincinnati.

Current Exhibits

Our featured exhibits include:

Advertising Through the Decades

See how the bank’s advertising has evolved over time, from old print advertisements to some TV commercials you’ll probably remember.

Fifth Third Savings Account Newspaper Ad

The Legacy of George A. Schaefer, Jr.

Despite his 34-year career at Fifth Third, the man who led the bank through nearly two decades of unparalleled growth called himself an "accidental banker." Follow his story—from graduating from West Point to serving in the Vietnam War to leaving a lasting legacy at the bank and throughout the community.

George Shaefer

History Spotted Here


We're happy you spotted a historic object at your favorite Fifth Third branch or on the Signature Wall at the Fifth Third Museum. You can learn more about what you saw here.

History Spotted at our Branches

Fifth Third Museum Signature Wall

The Signature Wall features the signatures of more than 25 Fifth Third Bank presidents and other prominent Cincinnatians who not only helped shape Fifth Third Bank but also helped the city of Cincinnati prosper. A key to the signatures is located on the pillar in the middle of the museum.

The Fifth Third Signature Wall

Explore Our Timeline

Here you’ll find plenty of Fifth Third’s key moments and industry firsts that may surprise you including how the bank was the first to open branches in shopping malls and grocery stores, and the first to launch an online shared network of ATMs, named JEANIE.®

Explore Our Timeline

Two women at the timeline

Resources

The Fifth Third Museum archives contains a diverse mix of historic materials documenting the past and present of the bank, including physical objects, audio and visual media, periodicals, paintings, photographs and other bank documents. For research requests, please email us at FifthThirdMuseum@53.com. Please allow 3–5 days for a response.

Email us

A photo of a cashier's registry

Visit Us


The Fifth Third Museum is free and open to the public.

Located At:

38 Fountain Square Plaza
Cincinnati, OH 45202
 

Hours

Monday–Thursday: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Friday: 10–2 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday
 

To schedule group tours or appointments:

Call: 513-534-2501
Email: FifthThirdMuseum@53.com

The Fifth Third Museum - Photo of Exhibits

Downloadable Museum Audio Tours

To access our audio tours, download the Fifth Third Bank Museum app, available in the App Store or Google Play.
Download the Fifth Third Bank museum app from the Apple app storeDownload the Fifth Third Bank museum app from Google Play

Screenshot of the Fifth Third Museum App