This photo was found at Speedy’s Treasures in Scottville, MI. When I realized what I was looking at, I knew I had to have it.

undated photo

undated photo

The back is stamped “H.J.Hansen Photography.”┬áNaturally I googled. (My favorite verb, barring the four-letter variety, of course.) This is all I found out so far:

Another response came from Barbara Gutschke about her father’s cousin Hans Julius Hansen a local Ludington photographer. Barbara writes “if a picture is worth a thousand words then Julius has contributed volumes to our Ludington area history.” H.J. Hansen was born in Denmark in 1882 and came to America with is parents in 1884 settling in Ludington. H.J. Hansen was one of THE photographers of the Ludington area that captured many important historical scenes as well as the everyday lives of the citizens of our community. Many of his prints survive, from schoolhouse pictures to photos of the car-ferry fleet, lumbering and more. During the Centennial he sold copies of many of his pioneer photos. If you have one of these treasures in your family album it most likely has a sticker or some other identification stating HJ Hansen; Photographer.

–David K. Petersen at Mason County Memories

I’ve seen a few similar photos from the time period and always thought they were pretty cool. It seems like dressing in men’s clothes and smoking was a popular pastime with young women of the era. Unfortunately the photo is not dated. I’d love to know the context here too, but it’s probably lost to time.

I picked up a few vintage post cards in nearby Ludington, too:



drun postcard 1910

post card copyright 1910; post office stamp Sept 30, 1911

back side

reverse of 1911 post card


post card stamped Dec 26, 1912

post card stamped Dec 26, 1912

I like the contrast between the last post card and the first picture. Is it “born in them”? One hundred years later and we’re still having the same debate.

Written by Stephanie

Lit lover, history aficionado, baked goods enthusiast, INTP, writer of many things, mom to three.

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