Hedda Hammer (Morrison) was born in Stuttgart in 1908. She acquired her first camera, a Box Brownie, at the age of 11. Despite her parents' wish that she become a doctor, Hedda studied photography at the State Institute for Photography in Munich (1929-31). After graduation she worked as an assistant to two photographers: Adolf Lazi in Stuttgart and Olga Linckelmann in Hamburg. In 1933 Hedda made plans to leave Germany which was coming increasingly under Nazi control. She planned to travel to Yugoslavia, but this changed when she secured a job in Peking. She answered an advertisement in a German photographic journal and secured a job as manager of the Hartung's Photo Shop in Peking. The Powerhouse Museum houses a small collection of archival material relating to Hedda Hammer's early life in Germany.