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My grandfather KJ Eriksson

KJ Eriksson 1954 KJ verkstan Svenska dagbladet m012

My grandfather Krång-Johan Eriksson was born in October 1889 in the village of Östnor, just north of Mora, in the village that would later become well known for, among other things, its knives. The metal industry had already gained a foothold in the village and he grew up in a craft and industrial environment with good opportunities to earn a living. Johan showed his business talent early on when he was 12-year-old and went to his big sister who had a café next to the church where he could buy buns and bread and then cycle around in the villages and sell them. It is said that he already by then earned as much as an adult man with permanent work.

As a teenager, he later worked for a time at Frosts Knife Factory and learned the skills of knife making, but after a controversy with the management, he was fired and later got a job at the water tap manufacturer FM Mattsson. Even in the new workplace, he had difficulty agreeing with the management, perhaps due to the fact that at a young age he is said to have had a rather proletarian view on life that certainly did not smoothen his relationship with his employers. Instead, he joined the army.

He did his military service in Stockholm in 1910 as an artilleryman and then he tried the growing forest industry, but soon found out that he did not have the physique required for forestry work.

Together with his partner Lok-Anders Mattsson, they started their own knife production in 1912 under the name Eriksson & Mattsson’s Knife Factory. After only six years, the partners chose to go their separate ways and from 1918, the company name became KJ Eriksson’s Knife Factory. In 1915 my grandfather married and formed a family. He had four children, three of whom reached adulthood, and even today the family business, which is now named Morakniv, is owned by Johan’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I only have fragmentary memories of my grandfather who passed away in 1964 at the age of 75 when I was only five years old, but the stories about his works and deeds still live on.