Evelyn Ehrlich

Affidavit of Forgery Expert Evelyn Ehrlich on the Baltimore Documents 

Was Woodstock #230,099 the Hisses’ typewriter? In preparing the motion for a new trial, Alger Hiss’s attorney, Chester Lane, asked Evelyn Ehrlich, a leading document examiner, to analyze the Baltimore Documents, the State Department documents that Whittaker Chambers said were copied on the Woodstock by Priscilla Hiss. She was asked to compare them with the “Hiss Standards,” the personal correspondence typed by Priscilla Hiss in the 1930s, and with samples from #230,099. Ehrlich’s response: Woodstock #230,099 did not type the Baltimore Documents or the Hiss Standards. Here is her affidavit:




EVELYN SELTZER EHRLICH, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

My name is Evelyn Seltzer Ehrlich. I live at 417 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts. My background and training in the detection of spurious and deceptive imprints and typography, as well as my experience in the use of photomicrography in the detection and illustration of documentary forgeries, are outlined in an affidavit which I executed on January 24, 1952, for filing in connection with a motion being made for a new trial of Alger Hiss on the ground of newly discovered evidence.

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In the latter part of March 1952, Mr. Lane informed me that he had had a conference with the United States Attorney and with the Judge, and that the Government had agreed to allow him to have access to the original Baltimore Documents and the original Government standards of Hiss typing for detailed examination and comparison with each other and with specimens from the so-called Hiss machine.

* * *

The original documents were put at my disposal in Boston under FBI guard on April 1, 1952, and I have been allowed to make an intensive study of them, and to take such photographs and measurements as I might wish. I have also been able to make a similar study of the original of Defendant’s Exhibit TT, a letter apparently typed on the Hiss Woodstock in 1933. For comparison purposes I have had a large number of specimens furnished me as having been typed on the so-called Hiss machine (which I will call #230099) at various times and with varying ribbons and operators, from the date when the machine was first discovered in April 1949, down to the present.

In my opinion, #230099 cannot be the same machine that typed Government Exhibits 37 and 46-B and Defendant’s Exhibit TT. I base this opinion upon certain differences in type impressions between many of the letters in the two sets of documents, these differences appearing with such a high degree of regularity as to preclude the possibility of their being due to variations of ribbon, typing pressure, or other peculiarities of operation, and being of such a nature that differences in imprint cannot be due to age or wear on the machine.


Sworn to before me this 19th day of April, 1952


Notary Public Comm.

Expires 11/7/53