| 1632 series |
POD: May, 1631
|Appearance(s):||Grantville Gazette I|
|Children:||Adolph, Gertrude, Hilda and Marie|
|Affiliations:||Higgins Sewing Machine Company|
|Created by:||Gorg Huff|
Karl Schmidt was a fifty years old merchant living in Badenburg. He was recently widowed and owned a foundry, with a smithy attached, where they made door hinges, wagon parts, and iron objects, mostly for local use. He had four surviving children: his son Adolph, a twenty-two year old journeyman blacksmith, and three teenage daughters: Gertrude, Hilda and Marie. Karl was considered a slow man, but was really quite intelligent.
After the Ring of Fire, Karl had heard rumors about Grantville and the town's military capability. Unlike some of his neighbors, Schmidt did not travel to Grantville, but when the American delegation from arrived, he realized Grantville's importance as many of his fellow businessmen were making profitable arrangments with the American town, often to Schmidt's detriment. Schmidt had sought out what contacts might be made with people either from Grantville or people that knew Grantville. He was directed to Uriel Abrabanel, a wealthy Jew he had done business with before. Karl was somewhat prejudiced towards Jews for being successful money makers. However, as Abrabanel's niece Rebecca was engaged to Michael Stearns, the de facto leader of the town, Schmidt was able to gain direct access to Grantville's government. This fact led Schmidt to re-evaluate his views on religious tolerance.
While talking business with Uriel, Karl learned about sewing machines. He was then directed to Ramona Higgins and reached an arrangment with the Higgins Sewing Machine Company to supply parts. Schmidt grew attached to Ramona.