Ernst Reinhold Schmidt workshop cello circa 1920
German violin maker Ernst Reinhold Schmidt (1857–1928) was born in Markneukirchen where he apprenticed as a violin maker before moving to Leipzig to work for Bausch and Hammig. He later worked for renowned maker and restorer August Riechers in Berlin before returning to his native Markneukirchen in 1884 to open his own firm, E. R. Schmidt & Company. The Schmidt workshop grew to become one of the most successful in Markneukirchen during the early 1900s and employed a large staff including Ernst Reinhold’s sons, Reinhold Wilhelm and Ernst Oscar. The two brothers later departed to the United States to establish their own business in Cleveland, Ohio. Schmidt’s instruments won gold medals at the World’s Fairs of Vienna in 1892 and Leipzig in 1913.