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The Hanson History




Christian Henry Hanson, the ‘CH’ of C.H. Hanson came to the United States from Denmark in the mid 1800s. After being drafted, and fighting in the Civil War, Christian was injured and taken to Fort Dearborn in Chicago. It was there he decided to settle down in the growing city; and that’s where our company story begins.


C.H. Hanson was founded on February 21st, 1866, about 8 months after the end of the Civil War. Christian based the new company off the stencil business he grew to know from his time in Denmark. The initial location of C.H. Hanson was on Clark and South Water Street in Chicago. From that location, Christian started producing hand-cut stencils. Christian also volunteered at the Denmark Consulate, where he became the Danish Consul in 1866, assisting the Danish immigrants in the surrounding areas. There, and at his own company, he led with kindness, generosity, and courage, eventually being recognized by the King of Denmark himself for his work with Danish immigrants.

Tragedy would strike 6 years later, where the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost all of Christian’s work. After his building had burned down, with just the clothes on his back and a handful of stencil dies, he vowed to rebuild everything.


Today, C.H. Hanson is a privately held corporation being managed by the the 4th and 5th direct generation descendants of Christian. After 160 years, his dream of producing quality products, while making a difference in the community he served still lives on.


Over time at C.H Hanson we’ve remained true to our roots. While exploring expanding into new markets like Superior Tool we also remain a market leader in marking tools, flagging tape, carpenters tools, stencils, tags and steel stamps. Our Palmgren line of products provide quality products for stationery metalworking machine tools and accessories.


Beyond the products, the high character of C.H. Hanson’s people keeps the company going. It’s about the individual employe… the bond of a family that really brings our company together. With the fourth and fifth generation Hanson's running the company today, we’ve continued to uphold Christian Henry Hanson’s values. From the tenacity required to start a business in a new country, to the strength and skill of immigrants from all over the globe, C.H. Hanson’s history and day-to-day operation are full of hard-working people.


Like Christian, we credit our unique success to the Lord’s provision and the Hanson family thanks God for His grace and mercy. We will continue to build the company on strong, faith-based principles that enrich people’s lives far beyond monetary gain.

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