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The story behind the name Morakniv

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Kånåsmirjö – Jönsson’s Knife Factory in 1925.

 

Although the origin of the term Morakniv is unclear, it refers to knives made in the Mora region. We do not know when and why they began calling them that. A theory points to Katrin-Jöns Persson.

Katrin-Jöns Persson was born in 1839, about 15 km south of Mora in Sweden, and began making knives in the 1870s. He successfully made knives in Östnor’s oldest workshop, the Kånåsmirjö, which means Kånå Smedjan in Swedish or Kånå forge/workshop. In addition to knives, he would manufacture and sell harness hooks, scissors, etc.

 

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Katrin-Jöns Persson, date unknown.

 

He was one of the first, if not the first, craftsmen to manufacture knives for a living.

He sold his products both locally and in different parts of Sweden, up to Sundsvall in the north, more than 200 km away. It’s a short journey in today’s world, but imagine them by horse and sled, with snow and freezing temperatures in the winter. This clientele from distant towns started calling them “Moraknivar”, referring to where the knives came from. Gambäl Jerk (old Erik), a brother of Jöns, also sold knives in northern Sweden.

Katrin-Jöns Persson founded a long-lasting dynasty of knife makers, Jönssons Knife Factory, that lasted until its destruction by fire in 2020.

While Eriksson & Mattssons Knivfabrik was being built, Lok-Anders Mattsson and Krång-Johan Eriksson settled in Jöns Persson’s forge (a smithy located near Eriksson & Matsson’s Knife Factory). Most of the tools and machines needed, were designed, and made by Anders at Jöns Persson’s forge.