- Born March 17 1857 to Herman
Hammerschmidt ( name later anglicized) and Emma Van Oven,
both educated emigres from militaristic Prussia. Raised
in a family of 10 children on a farm in Naperville, Illinois.
- circa 1875, after highschool,
apprenticed with a watchmaker and engraver.
- 1876 at age 19 went to Milwaukee
to work for Stanley and Camp Co, jewelers. His brother
Herman joined him there as an apprentice.
- 1880 met
future wife Louise Knox who came to the shop to be the
bookkeeper. Paul at that time was an established salesman
and engraver. Louise was youngest of a large family from
- 1882 Paul and Louise married
and had one child Paul Walter.
- 1890 built
a home on Kane Place. Brother Herman and father-in-law
Walter Knox joined them.
- 1898 Stanley
and Comp closed and Paul decided to go into business for
himself. Bought a small photo-engraving firm whose owner
had been elected to Congress.
- 1898 Hammersmith
Engraving Company was launched in the McGeoch building,
116 (later 332) East Michigan Street. Joined by Benjamin
Kortmeyer, a fine salesman. His brothers Carl and Phillip
Hammersmith opened a second plant in Chicago. Son P.W.
joined after college at Univ Wisconsin, Madison, followed
by Silas Kortmeyer, a printing manager.
- 1917 business was incorporated
as Hammersmith-Kortmeyer Co., Engravers and Printers.
Continued as such until merged with L. Breithaupt Printing
Co., in December 1968 to form Hammersmith- Breithaupt
Printing Corp., Printers and Lithographers.
- Began his many travels that were foundations
for his etchings: New Orleans, Amsterdam, Boston, Cape
Cod, Naperville, Milwaukee and Cuba
- Died November 12, 1937, at age
80. Louise followed him a year later