In January 1899, Theodor Louis Max Petermann founded the tinsmithing firm, Petermann, in the city of Ribe. He was a travelling journeyman from Germany, but originally came from Austria. In the preceding years, Max Petermann had travelled round Europe working at various workplaces.
He was a qualified tinsmith (or whitesmith) and laid lead roofing on many churches in the Ribe area. He assisted in the removal of the old lead roofing from Ribe Cathedral and its replacement with copper.
Theodor Louis Max Petermann married and fathered four sons. His third son, Carl, grew up to become a pioneer in the plastic industry in 1950s Denmark and established the Petermann Brothers company. Carl’s own son was named after his grandfather and in 1986 founded MP PLAST A/S.