(1857 Naperville, IL – 1937 Milwaukee, WI)
Paul Hammersmith was born in Naperville, IL in 1857 to Prussian immigrants. Early on, Hammersmith knew he wanted to be an artist, but after graduating high school his father insisted that he apprentice as a watchmaker and engraver. In 1876, he came to Milwaukee and began working for Stanley and Camp Co.. When the company closed in 1898, he started his own business called The Hammersmith Engraving Company located in the McGoech Building on East Michigan Street. In 1917, he and his son, Paul W., incorporated his business with Silas Kortmeyer, printing manager, to create Hammersmith-Kortmeyer Company Engravers and Printers.
Hammersmith was a prolific printer. Many of his engravings were made from sketches executed during his travels to New Orleans, Boston, Cape Cod, Illinois, and Amsterdam. He traveled to Jasper Park in the Canadian Rockies, but unfortunately lost his sketchbook and was therefore unable to create engravings from this trip. He also traveled to Cuba with his family and made a series featuring the sights in 1930.