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Hokey Pokey patent, 1896 | by Archives New Zealand
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Hokey Pokey patent, 1896

On 14 March 1896 William Hatton, a manufacturing confectioner from Dunedin, registered an application to patent 'hokey pokey'. He submitted his application under the Patents, Designs, and Trademarks Act 1889, along with a detailed recipe for producing hokey pokey from a mixture of sugar, glucose, water, and baking soda.


Hokey Pokey is a popular and ubiquitous sweet in New Zealand, and is often used as an example of 'kiwiana' culture. It is now more commonly made with golden syrup instead of glucose. Combined with vanilla ice cream, it is one of the most popular flavours of ice cream in New Zealand. Hokey Pokey is also known as honeycomb toffee or cinder toffee, and is reputed to have its origins in Britain, although the name 'hokey pokey' may have originated from Italian street ice cream sellers in the 19th century. The patent application submitted by Hatton is one of the earliest examples in New Zealand culture of the name 'hokey pokey' being used for honeycomb toffee.


This record comes from a book of patent specifications, from 1884-1899, specifically relating to food products. Archives NZ holds many patent specifications files ranging from 1861-2001. These records were created by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand. The Office administered and promoted the benefits of legislation that provided for the protection of intellectual property rights in New Zealand.


Archives New Zealand reference: ABPJ 7396 W5650 1120


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Material from Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga.

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Uploaded on March 12, 2019