Our Family Heritage
Condensing a history of a family business that has been around since 1850 is not quite as easy as you might think! That has been my task over the past few month's--most idea's have been rejected by our very talented web designer as too long---too boring---too detailed. After a lot of thought, I reasoned that A.E.Schmidt is not about buildings we have occupied, when people lived and died. It should be about people! Who were the people who built a company strong enough to last 160 plus years from nothing. What were they like and what did they do to make their mark!
Ernst Schmidt (the founder) Ernst immigrated from Celle Germany around 1848. St. Louis was an attractive place to settle at the time. It was a large city with lots of opportunity! Ernst was a master craftsman and more importantly an ivory turner of high skill. Seeing the demand he quickly set up shop. His shingle read:
Ernst Schmidt Ivory Turner xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx Xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx
By all accounts his business was successful, he was a craftsman and thought like one. While he could speak English, most of his instructions were written on a chalk board in German. He had very old world idea's and proved it when he brought his son Oscar into the business at age five to learn the trade (a tradition that still continues today). It was very much a working mans type of existence, much like a plumber, electrician or other trade. Very little thought was given to the future, and he was content to get a project, complete it and move on to the next part to make. That was all about to change! Read on, most companies are doomed when the founder turns over the key's to the second generation---but Oscar would prove to be an exception to the rule!