The Psychogenealogist Pic of the Week (#111) - Mary Hunscker of Mauch Chunk, PA

Every Friday The Psychogenealogist shares a "Pic of the Week." The intent is to encourage thought and imagination about the spaces where psychology, genealogy, and history converge.

This 19th century cabinet card photograph shows a young woman who appears to be in her late teens or early twenties. A more modern looking inscription on the bottom of the photo has her identified as, I believe, a Mary Hunscker. There may be an alternate spelling of her last name, but that is what it looks like to me.

The back of the photo has a pinkish hue and stamp of a “Zelner Photographer” in Mauch Chunk, a city in Pennsylvania known today as Jim Thorpe. The photographer was located on Susquehanna St., I believe at the corner of Race St. (“cor., Race”).


Here are some questions I encourage you to think about.


  • Who was Mary Hunscker and what is her story?

  • When do you think this cabinet card photograph was taken?

  • What do you make of this woman’s clothing?

  • What do you think, feel, and wonder about as you look at her photo?

  • What can you learn about the photographer Zelner?

  • How about the city of Mauch Chunk?

I would love to hear your thoughts about these questions or other ideas that occur to you about the photo. Please feel to leave a comment below!

Featured Tag: Your Storied Life: Unique Biographical Portraits