Our company’s founder, Christian Henry Hanson, the ‘CH’ of C.H. Hanson, came to the United States of America from Denmark in the mid 1800s. Shortly after arriving in the US, the 39th New York Volunteer Infantry drafted Christian into the Civil War. Christian fought with the 39th in many major battles, but was injured in the Battle of Gettysburg. He was taken to Fort Dearborn in Chicago where he was discharged, and decided to settle in the growing city.
On February 21st, 1866 Christian Henry Hanson founded C.H. Hanson, basing it off the stencil business he knew in Denmark. The first location was on Clark and South Water Street in Chicago, where he began producing hand-cut stencils. Christian also volunteered at the Denmark Consulate. He became the Danish Consul in Chicago in 1866, assisting the Danish immigrants in the surrounding areas. There, and at his own company, he led with kindness, generosity, and courage. The King of Denmark even recognized Christian Hanson for his work helping Danish immigrants.
Six years after the business began; the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost all of his work. After his building burned down, with just the clothes on his back and a handful of stencil dies, he vowed to rebuild everything.
Throughout the years, the company remains true to its past while reinventing themselves for the future. C.H. Hanson has produced everything from license plates to barricade tape, hand tools to marking devices. Today, the C.H. Hanson Company continues its commitment to innovation and quality serving both the metalworking and construction markets and remains the market leader in stencils, tags, steel stamps, workholding and other metalworking machine tools and accessories. Beyond the products, the high character of C.H. Hanson’s people keeps the company going. From the tenacity required to start a business in a new land, to the strength and skill of immigrants from all over the world, C.H. Hanson’s history and current operation are full of hard-working people of character.
C.H. Hanson is a family business, with the fourth and fifth generation Hanson's running the company today. It is not often that a company remains in one family for 150 years, and we credit our success to the Lord’s provision. Upon reflecting on the history of our family company, the Hanson's thank God for His grace and mercy and continue to build the company on strong, faith-based principles.