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“Mäkärn”

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I have previously told you about the Zorn knives, made by the engineer “Mäkärn” according to Zorn’s design. But who was this man called “Mäkärn”?

In 1859, the twins Anna Ersdotter and Anders Eriksson were born in the Halvar-farm in Östnor. Anna was only 5 years old when she passed away, but Anders reached adulthood and showed technical and mechanical talent. That later came in handy when he got a job as a young man at Sweden’s first sewing machine factory, Mora Mekaniska Fabrik, which was located in Östnor.

Halvar-Anders, as he was first called, was curious and wanted to learn more about the mysteries of mechanics and went on to Sweden’s capital to serve in more interesting and educational workplaces. It was in Stockholm he met the girl from the neighbouring village of Långlet back home, Stenis-Anna Persdotter. They later became engaged to each other and made an inscription of love in a pine tree between the old mountain farms of Eldris and Garberg in 1881.

Halvar-Anders then worked in several different places in both Sweden and Norway before he in 1910 built his own workshop in Eldris with hydropower from Hemulån. There he made knives and Mora clocks and, invented among other things, a washing machine. Unfortunately, his workshop burned to the ground in 1924. After that, he worked from home on his farm in Långlet, where he sharpened surgical instruments for the Mora Hospital.

At one point during his heyday in the workshop, he got a visit from America. It was the Morakniv manufacturer Bud-Carl Andersson’s son Bud-Jannes that was visiting Mora. Bud-Jannes worked at this time in Hollywood as a masseur for Greta Garbo and as an advisor to Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin. Harold, who always made his own escapades, had lost his thumb and forefinger on his right hand in an accident, after which he needed a flexible prosthesis.

 

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“Mäkärn,” as Halvar-Anders was later commonly called, received a casting of Harold Lloyd’s injured hand sent from the USA and to it, he made new wooden fingers with metal joints that controlled the pinching movement between thumb and forefinger by turning the wrist. You can see in Harold Lloyd’s escapades that he always wears gloves after the accident, often with three lines sewn on the top and it is said that it was from Harold that Walt Disney got the idea to give Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse their white gloves. In Harold’s scenes with gloves, we now know that “Mäkern’s” prosthesis did its job so that the result of the accident could not be seen on film. “Mäkärn” died at the age of 72 in 1931, but the stories live on forever.

In this video, Harold Lloyd tells us about his accident.