PART 239On this day (January 18) in 1927, Swedish-born Otto Algot Johansson Hokanson was issued with four patents for the electrified Woodstock standard typewriter. Hokanson, who had worked for Woodstock since 1918, had applied for the patent in 1924, the year before the electric Woodstock reached the market.
Will Davis says, "The Electrite of 1925-1926 ... was among the very earliest practical electric typewriters, in a developmental vanguard that included the Mercedes and the Remington/Electromatic machines."
Hokanson was born in Sweden on May 18, 1882, and died on January 1, 1953. In the 1940s, he left Woodstock to work in the phonograph industry, and patented a coin operated jukebox for Rudolph Wurlitzer.
Hokanson's last involvement with Woodstock typewriters concerned the famous Alger Hiss trial. A motion for a new trial was filed on January 24, 1952, after which J.Edgar Hoover and Myles Lane set out to counter the defence attack on the authenticity of a key piece of typewriter evidence. On May 3, 1952, Hoover directed the Chicago and Los Angeles FBI offices to interview Hokanson and two other former Woodstock engineers, with respect to the authenticity of typewriter No 230,099 and its date of manufacture (1929).
Will Davis wrote a very interesting story about how Hokanson, in the 1920s, designed a possible Woodstock folding portable typewriter to rival the Corona 3 (see patent drawing below). Will's story appeared in the September 2006 issue of ETCetera (No 75).