As you may know, we have a special interest in the hooks developed by Ray Trautman, which were loved by many and have been unavailable for some time. While we've often focused on the 1912 Patent by David Dorrance, you'll notice that one of the distinguishing features of the modern hook is missing: the offset fingers.
It appears as if this feature, shown in the figure below, may have been invented by Ray Trautman in 1919.
Some of Trautman's patents (notably the one that describes the Trautman Hook backlock design) were assigned to Dorrance. It would be interesting to understand these business relationships. Many of these early patents should clearly never have been granted by modern standards, and there is often obviously applicable prior art in the patent literature, so we'd appreciate hearing about it if you've found any.