Family Heirloom

Danish Societies picnic, Portsmouth, NH, August 14, 1921

My maternal grandfather, Robert Hjort, was a Danish immigrant born in 1908. He came to the United States with his family when he was two years old. This photo dates from August 14, 1921, and was taken at a picnic outing of the Danish Societies from Portsmouth, NH.

My grandfather is a 13-year-old with fiery red hair and big ears looking sullenly at the photographer from the back row. I’m sure my great grandparents are in the picture, too, but I don’t know them to recognize them.

With the state of photography at the time, people were actually arranged in a big half-circle around the photographer. The mechanics of the tools flattened things and made it look like everybody was standing in a line. I inherited a framed version of this picture, a family heirloom that is now one hundred years old.

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