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Thread: Evinrude Outboard motors

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    Default Evinrude Outboard motors

    US Patent #1,001,260
    1910 patent for Ole Evinrude’s outboard motor, or “marine propulsion mechanism”
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    WISCONSIN MAGAZINE OF HISTORY
    S P R I N G 2 0 0 6 17
    Without question, the cheese and beer industries are
    closely associated with Wisconsin. However, another
    product, the outboard motor, has undergone continuous
    development and enjoyed great popularity for nearly
    one hundred years. The world-renowned name in outboard
    motors had its humble beginnings in Wisconsin. Designed,
    developed, and manufactured in the Milwaukee area, Evinrude
    was founded in 1909 by Ole Evinrude.
    The story of Ole Evinrude begins with his birth in Norway
    April 19, 1877, and continues with the emigration of his family
    to Wisconsin in 1882. There they settled on a farm in Jefferson
    County near Cambridge, Wisconsin, along the shores
    of Lake Ripley. Ole was one of eleven children born to
    Andrew and Beatta (Dahl) Evinrude. In his homeland,
    Andrew, who came from a family of seafaring men, was a
    farmer and landscape gardener. The men in his wife’s family
    had been machinists and blacksmiths for generations. The
    Evinrudes settled into a life much like that of thousands of
    other Scandinavian and German emigrants who came to
    Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakotas. These settlers were
    an industrious, thrifty, and self-reliant group of pioneers.
    Ole’s formal schooling, in which he learned to read, to write,
    and to perform basic math skills, ended with the third grade.
    A Wisconsin Legend
    Ole Evinrude
    and
    His Outboard Motor
    by Ralph E. Lambrecht
    WHi Image ID 36551
    Ole Evinrude, undated
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    18 w w w . w i s c o n s i n h i s t o r y . o r g
    covered the boat parts, chopped
    them up, and consigned them to the
    wood stove. Undaunted, Ole immediately
    began to construct another boat on a woodlot
    that was rarely frequented by his father. There,
    with scrap lumber from the farm and the neighborhood,
    he created an eighteen foot boat with a
    sail. While his father was away for a few days, Ole
    assembled the boat and had it floating in the lake by the
    time his father returned. This time his father relented, and
    Ole began taking people for Sunday afternoon excursions
    around Lake Ripley for twenty-five cents a trip, realizing
    as much as five dollars for the day’s efforts. His mother had
    However, during his school days, Ole had
    access to more than third grade arithmetic since he
    attended a single-room schoolhouse, which
    instructed students through the eighth-grade level,
    and it was said that he could do all the problems in
    the arithmetic book up to that eighth grade level.
    By the age of ten, Ole was helping his father full
    time on the family farm. Nevertheless, there was something
    else on Ole’s mind; perhaps inspired by the beauty
    of nearby Lake Ripley. At the age of fifteen, he started
    to fashion the parts of a wooden boat, which he had to
    keep hidden from his strict father who did not tolerate
    adolescent foolishness. However, his father dis-
    Courtesy of the author
    Norwegian Emigrant Museum
    Above: Ole Evinrude making good use of his invention
    Below: Evinrude’s production prototype of his first line of motors. This version of his initial 1907 model would sell
    for $62 in 1909 and jumpstart his company.
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    WISCONSIN MAGAZINE OF HISTORY
    S P R I N G 2 0 0 6 19
    always supported Ole, and his father, too, came to understand
    that farming would never be Ole’s specialty.
    At the age of sixteen, with his father’s consent, Ole walked
    the twenty miles to Madison and found a job at Fuller and
    Anderson, a farm machinery manufacturer. His starting
    wage was fifty cents a day. At first, he was just a helper in the
    machine shop but before long found himself operating a drill
    press and later learning the art of the lathe and milling
    machine. After his ten-hour days, he returned to his rooming
    house and read all the books and magazines he could find on
    mathematics, mechanics, and engineering. He had discovered
    the library where he could borrow these wonderful
    books for nothing. He worked for several other Madison
    machine shops, the last of which made electric motors, where
    he discovered and learned to operate a variety of machine
    tools. Subsequently, Ole moved to Pittsburgh and found work
    in the rolling mills where he learned about steels and metallurgy.
    Returning to Wisconsin, he gained experience in
    engine building first with Fairbanks and Morse and then with
    Frazier and Chalmers. He learned to make patterns, to use a
    drawing board, to design, and to invent. In 1900, now 23, he
    moved to Milwaukee to become the head of the pattern shop
    of the E. P. Allis Company.
    In Milwaukee, Ole found lodging at Mrs. Doyle’s boardinghouse
    on the corner of Florida and Grove (now South 5th
    Street) on Milwaukee’s south side. With a steady income and
    Courtesy of the author
    One of Bess’s early efforts at advertising,
    and her first national ad, featuring the
    “Don’t Row” slogan, 1910
    Courtesy of the author
    Bess Evinrude,
    Ole’s wife and business partner
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    20 w w w . w i s c o n s i n h i s t o r y . o r g
    skills necessary to aid in the support of the family. Ole also
    noticed her but was too shy to let on.
    Ole’s engine took shape and one evening the engine was
    ready for its first test run, but Ole had forgotten to buy gasoline
    that day. To compensate, he hooked it up to the illuminating
    gas pipe in the basement of the house. It started on the
    second turn of the crank with, in Ole’s words, “more noise
    than a shotgun.”1 The others, already at the dinner table
    upstairs, were suddenly cast into darkness as the muffled
    explosion shook the house, and the gas lights went out. The
    engine had immediately consumed all the gas coming into
    the house. Mrs. Doyle was equal to the occasion and order
    was soon restored, along with the lights. Ole never fired up
    the engine in the basement again.
    A few years later, Ole formed a partnership with a man
    named Clemick to produce gasoline engines. Bess Cary, now
    18 and working days at a machine shop, came in the evening
    to keep the books for Clemick and Evinrude. The firm
    received an order for fifty engines from the U.S. government,
    and the partnership appeared to be on its way to becoming a
    success. However, Clemick and Evinrude differed on which
    course the company should follow, and the partnership
    ended. Ole tried to go it alone with the newly-formed Motor
    Car Power Equipment Company but was unsuccessful.
    Overextended, physically and financially, he returned to the
    trade of pattern making, setting up his own shop on the second
    floor of John Obenberger’s forge business on Lake Street
    (now Pittsburgh Street). With Beth’s assistance, (their partnership
    was becoming more than a business arrangement)
    Ole started to make headway. Ole had learned something
    from his previous ventures.
    Not long after, on a Sunday afternoon, Ole, Bess, and
    some friends had taken a picnic lunch out to Lake Okauchee
    west of Milwaukee. After lunch, Bess expressed an interest in
    getting some ice cream from a shop on the other side of the
    lake. As the story goes, Ole jumped into a boat and rowed
    across the lake to get the ice cream at a place called Schatz’s
    that was some two miles away. The ice cream melted on the
    trip back across the lake, and everyone had a good laugh
    except Ole. For him, the seed of an idea had been planted:
    why not push the boat with a motor that you could clamp on
    the stern? The seed, however, would not immediately germinate.
    By this time, marriage was the most prominent thought
    in Ole’s mind. A few months later, he mustered up the
    courage to pop the question, which Beth answered in the
    affirmative. On November 21, 1906, Ole, now 29, still shy
    and wanting to avoid a big wedding, and Bess, 20, slipped
    away and were married. They were now partners in whatever
    happened next. They both worked with determination, and
    Bess still supplied partial support to her mother. While his
    pattern shop prospered, Ole settled down to his next sideline
    project—an outboard motor.
    some spare time, he turned his thoughts to building engines.
    He built his first engine in Mrs. Doyle’s basement; a twocycle,
    single-cylinder, air-cooled affair. While some of the
    boarders made fun of him, Mrs. Doyle recognized that spark
    of genius that lay beneath the shy, serious Norwegian exterior
    and supported Ole’s efforts. At the same time, Ole had also
    attracted the attention of another person two doors down the
    street; a slender sixteen-year-old, blue-eyed girl named Bess
    Cary. Her father had died when she was fifteen and, being
    the oldest of the six siblings still at home, she took a stenographic
    course at the Spencerian Business College to gain the
    WHS Museum 1997.35.3a-d
    The 1939 Elto Cub weighed only 8.5 lbs. and was advertised as
    the “world’s lightest” outboard.
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    The Evinrude Motor Company
    In spite of his early idea, Ole Evinrude
    did not invent the outboard
    motor. In 1896, the American Motors
    Company of Long Island City, New
    York, began building its “portable boat
    motor with reversible propeller.”2 Little
    is known about this first gasoline
    outboard, but the company allegedly
    made 25 marine motors before the
    turn of the century. There were several
    other attempts at outboard design
    between 1900 and 1907, but none was
    successful until Cameron Waterman of
    Detroit, Michigan, introduced his
    Waterman “Porto” outboard in 1906.
    Twenty-five sold that first year, and
    sales rose to 3,000 in 1907. The motor
    had a vertical cylinder behind the transom
    of the boat with a horizontal
    crankshaft and two sets of bevel gears
    to produce rotary motion of the horizontal
    propeller shaft. The motor, the
    first successful gasoline outboard, continued
    in regular production by Waterman’s
    company until 1917.
    In 1907, Ole designed an engine
    unlike any that had come before. It
    had a horizontal cylinder projecting
    forward into the boat, a vertical crankshaft,
    and a flywheel above the water.
    The driveshaft and gear housing below
    water were enclosed in a bronze housing.
    This mechanical arrangement is
    used on all outboard motors today,
    except that the cylinders are behind
    the boat transom. Ole and Russ Cary,
    his brother-in-law, carried the creation
    to the Kinnikinnic River and rented a
    rowboat, clamped on the motor, and
    took off with a roar that brought
    dozens of people to the river bank. At
    first critical of the effort and practicality
    of the project, Bess later encouraged
    Ole to clean up the design and
    offer it for sale. Ole refined the design
    by adding a muffler and an aluminum
    manifold, and polishing the bronze
    parts. He made enough parts for
    twenty-five motors. A friend’s demonstration
    on Pewaukee Lake in 1909 netted
    ten orders. The hand-built,
    Courtesy of the author
    Evinrude advertisement for a canoe motor with a through-hull design.
    The text reads, “Won’t you come Evinruding with me?”
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    chior, Armstrong, and Dessau, who convinced his boss that
    the motors had great potential in Norway, Denmark, and
    Sweden. After a trial order of two motors to be used at a
    demonstration in Denmark, a firm order for six came—then
    fifty more. Mikkelsen and another man were sent to Milwaukee
    to call on “B. Evinrude” and negotiate a better price for
    a large order. The men were amazed to discover that they
    were dealing with a young woman. Bess was more than a
    match for them; refusing to yield on the price, she received an
    order for 1000 motors. The problems stemming from the seasonal
    nature of the business were solved, and Mikkelsen
    became Evinrude’s New York agent for international sales.
    The Reed Street plant had become too small by 1912, and the
    company moved to yet another three-story brick building on
    Walker Street. Ole was factory manager and chief engineer
    while Bess handled advertising and public relations as well as
    general supervision of the business. Sales in 1912 rose to more
    than 4,000 units and doubled that amount in 1913.
    The years of relentless work started to undermine the frail
    physique of Bess Evinrude. Ole had also been working long
    hours for four years without a break or vacation. Ralph, their
    son who had been born on September 27, 1907, was six years
    old, and they wanted to spend more time with him during his
    formative years. As a result, in 1913, with Bess’ health failing,
    two-horsepower motor weighed 62 pounds and sold for $62.
    Bess wrote an advertisement which appeared in the Milwaukee
    papers: Don’t Row! Throw the Oars Away! Use an Evinrude
    Motor. The remaining fifteen sets of parts were
    purchased in short order, and Ole had to scramble to cover
    the nearly 1,000 orders received in 1910.
    Business boomed, and the company needed to expand to
    a larger facility to accommodate the shop force which now
    numbered 100 employees. Ole borrowed the capital necessary
    and moved his business to 228 Lake Street a few doors
    away. Bess and her sister, Dorothy, were handling all the
    office work until Bess began a national advertising campaign.
    Within three days of the appearance of the first magazine ad,
    they had to hire six stenographers to handle the inquiries.
    They maintained cash only transactions. It kept them afloat,
    but the working conditions were crowded. Early in 1911,
    Chris Meyer, President of Meyer Tug Boat Lines, put up
    $5000 for a 50 percent interest in the fledgling company,
    which now moved to a three-story building on Reed Street.
    In 1911, production increased to more than 2,000 motors.
    The business was seasonal, however, so Bess contacted several
    exporters in New York to explore the sale of their outboard
    motors overseas. At first cast aside, their letter was eventually
    discovered by Oluf Mikkelsen, a Scandinavian clerk of Mel-
    Business boomed for Evinrude in the 1910s, and the company rapidly expanded in factory space and staff.
    The Evinrude day force, pictured here in 1916, numbers well over a hundred.
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    Ole sold his interest in the business to Chris Meyer for
    $137,500; a large sum in those days. The transaction meant
    Ole could afford to take some time off. He bought a big
    Packard touring car, and the family of three embarked on a
    transcontinental journey. Two years later, Ole bought a cabin
    cruiser and toured Florida’s waterways. When the family
    returned north, Ole designed a 42-foot cruiser, the “Bess
    Emily,” and toured the Great Lakes. In 1917, they headed
    down the Mississippi to winter in New Orleans. With rest and
    relaxation, Bess’ health was restored.
    The ELTO Motor Company
    By this time, Ole decided that he had been loafing long
    enough. He had some ideas for a new, lightweight outboard.
    The processes and techniques of using aluminum had made
    great strides during World War I, and Ole recognized that its
    use in an outboard could result in a far lighter motor than the
    steel, iron, and bronze in the Evinrude outboards being manufactured
    by Meyer at the time. However, Ole had signed a
    five-year no-compete contract when he sold his interest to
    Chris Meyer. The contract included the rights to the Evinrude
    name for outboard motors as well. Ole, out of loyalty,
    took the plans for his new motor to Meyer. The new engine
    was a two-cylinder model; mostly aluminum except for its two
    cast-iron cylinders and its steel internal shafts and gears. It
    weighed 48 pounds compared to the 72 pound Evinrude and
    produced three horsepower compared to the two produced
    by Evinrude’s single-cylinder engine. One of its unique features
    was quieter underwater exhaust through a hollow propeller
    hub. Meyer was making money with what he had,
    however, and turned down the offer of a new partnership.
    Ole said he would start his own company to which Meyer
    responded, “You can’t compete with us. You’ll go broke.”3
    In the fall of 1920, Ole started his new company with the
    remaining $40,000 from the sale of his interest in the Evinrude
    operation seven years before. Ole and Bess rented space
    at 62 Mason Street in Milwaukee, and it was just like starting
    all over again. Because they had sold the rights to the Evinrude
    name, they needed a new name for the motor and the
    company. Bess suggested ELTO, which stood for Evinrude
    Light Twin Outboard; a simple, catchy name that was easy to
    remember. Because there was more competition in the market
    now, the new Elto Motor Company suffered a loss of
    $10,500 the first year. Ole was back in overalls, and Bess took
    over the front office. Then, in 1921, 1000 motors were sold,
    followed by 2,500 in 1922. Beneath the Elto name on the
    back of the fuel tank (in smaller letters) appeared “Designed
    by Ole Evinrude.” In 1922, Jacob Stern, export sales man-
    Courtesy of the author
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    outboard motor weighing less than 40
    pounds. It was a success and grew into
    larger models of the same basic design,
    reaching six horsepower in 1926. This
    much power could plane off a light,
    flat-bottom boat, enabling it to run
    over the surface of the water, and a
    world speed record of more than 23
    mph was soon established. The horsepower
    race was on!
    In 1926, the largest outboards in
    the Evinrude or Elto lines were four
    horsepower. The Johnson Motor
    Company 6-horsepower Big Twin was
    a challenge that could not be ignored.
    In 1927, the Johnson 27-cubic-inch Big
    Twin was boosted to 8-horsepower.
    Organized racing competitions began,
    and, by 1928, Johnson produced two
    racing models for Class A at 8-horsepower
    and Class C at 16-horsepower
    using aluminum pistons to allow
    higher rpm. They also used aluminum
    construction extensively on all external
    parts, except the cast-iron cylinders.
    The Evinrude Company responded
    with an 8-horsepower model in 1927
    and offered 6-, 8-, 12-, and 16-horsepower
    models by 1928. In 1928, Ole
    Evinrude had a more innovative
    approach, a 7-horsepower Elto Speedster
    twin and a four cylinder Elto High
    Speed Quad rated at 18-horsepower.
    The Quad weighed 92 pounds and
    sold for $275. It was the first four-cylinder outboard and the
    first of a long line of four-cylinder engines that reached 40
    horsepower in 1930 and topped out at 50 horsepower in
    1946; versions of which saw much service in World War II.
    Outboard racing became a common spectator sport, particularly
    in the Midwest in the late 1920s and on into the 1930s.
    There were even factory-sponsored racing teams. The 18-
    horsepower Quad dominated competitive racing in 1928.
    Conversely, Ole’s old company, Evinrude, did not fare
    well in the mid-1920s. Chris Meyer sold the company in
    1924, and his successor registered a $150,000 loss in 1925 as
    a result of the competition from the lighter weight Elto and
    Johnson motors. Evinrude was sold again to new investors
    headed by August Petrie. They developed a new, lighter
    motor that increased sales in 1926. In 1927, Petrie sold out to
    the Briggs and Stratton Company, the Milwaukee manufacturer
    of automobile ignition locks and small gasoline engines.
    Steven Foster Briggs, president and founder of Briggs and
    ager for the Briggs and Stratton Company in Milwaukee,
    became affiliated with Elto and soon became Bess’ righthand
    man. Sales rose steadily: 4,000 in 1923, 5,500 in 1924
    and 7,600 in 1925.
    The Competition
    Meanwhile, another manufacturer had entered the business:
    the Johnson Motor Company of South Bend, Indiana,
    who started marketing their even lighter two-horsepower, twocylinder
    outboard in 1922. The four Johnson brothers had
    been involved in inboard marine engine building since the
    early 1900s: including V-4, V-8, and V-12 cylinder, two-stroke
    engines up to 180 horsepower; light motorcycles in the latter
    half of the first decade of the twentieth century and; even dabbled
    in aviation. In 1911, they flew their own airplane with one
    of their light V-4 engines, becoming the first monoplane to fly
    in the United States. In 1921, they developed a water-cooled
    version of their light motorcycle engine which resulted in an
    Courtesy of the author
    These two young women demonstrate the light weight of this Elto motor.
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    S P R I N G 2 0 0 6 25
    Stratton, consolidated the resources of the Evinrude company
    and now saw an opportunity to reunite Ole Evinrude
    with the company that bore his name.
    The First OMC
    Elto had nothing to gain financially from a merger with
    Evinrude. They closed out 1928 with a profit of $300,000,
    the highest in the industry. Nevertheless, Evinrude had the
    name and a factory on North 27th Street, which Chris Meyer
    had built during Ole’s retirement. Therefore, when Briggs
    approached, Ole was willing to listen. On February 23, 1929,
    a merger united Evinrude, Elto, and the Lockwood-Ash
    Company of Jackson, Michigan, with a combined worth of
    $4,000,000. The name given to this union was Outboard
    Motors Corporation (OMC). The management consisted of
    Ole Evinrude, president; S. F. Briggs, chairman of the board;
    Jake Stern (from Elto), vice president and general manager.
    Finn T. Irgens, a brilliant engineer and Purdue graduate,
    came over from Lockwood as chief engineer. OMC and
    Johnson now dominated the outboard industry.
    The Great Depression hit the outboard industry hard.
    Outboards were primarily for seasonal recreation and leisure
    in the northern states. Coming out of the merger with a debt
    of $500,000 in bank loans, this was increased to $600,000
    when operating deficits totaled $550,000 from 1930–1932.
    Ole Evinrude gave up his $25,000 salary and never drew
    another paycheck. In fact, he later contributed $50,000 of his
    own money to keep the company afloat. Wages were dropped
    as much as 65 percent and the factory’s hours were down to
    18 per week. Lockwood, the weakest of the group, was
    Courtesy of the author
    Another innovative design from Ole, this
    first Elto “Rudder Twin” with throughprop-
    hub exhaust debuted a feature in
    which the exhaust gases from the engine
    were routed down through the motor
    housing itself and out through a hollow
    hub on the propeller, burying them under
    water behind the boat. Previously, all
    motors had noisier above water exhaust
    systems. This is the 1920 motor that
    launched Ole’s new Elto Company.
    Courtesy of the author
    The 1928 eighteen horsepower Elto
    Quad was the first 4-cylinder outboard
    motor. Ole’s son Ralph worked
    extensively on this model, dropping out
    of college to finish it.
    Courtesy of the author
    The 1929 Elto Lightweight folding
    outboard was an effort to make
    outboards more compact for easier
    storage and transportation; an owner
    would only unfold the motor to full
    length when he or she was on the boat.
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    26 w w w . w i s c o n s i n h i s t o r y . o r g
    departments into the early 1930s and had learned the business
    thoroughly. After his father’s death, Ralph assumed his
    position as President.
    Although 1935 was another good year for OMC, that was
    not so for Johnson now located in Waukegan, Illinois. They
    became overextended financially from building inventory too
    long into the depression years. By 1935, they were operating
    in receivership. S. F. Briggs and Ralph Evinrude bought
    Johnson out of receivership in 1936, arranging to make a cash
    purchase 80,000 of the 120,000 outstanding shares of Johnson
    stock for $10.35 per share. The new group was christened
    Outboard Marine and Manufacturing Corporation
    (OMMC); the world’s largest producer of outboard motors.
    Their product line included outboard models from a tiny
    1/2-horsepower model weighing about 10 pounds up to a
    40-horsepower, four-cylinder, 150-pound model. By 1937,
    Johnson Motors Division of OMMC was again profitable.
    The OMMC benefited financially during World War II from
    the sale of many components as well as finished products to
    the military; including outboard motors, emergency fire
    pumps, aircraft superchargers, and instruments.
    After the war, business boomed.
    The Elto line was incorporated into
    the Evinrude line since the models had
    been similar for several years in the late
    1930s. The post-war pent up demand
    for boats and motors was enormous
    and growing. In the 1950s, new models
    were introduced with features such as
    full gearshift, remote fuel tanks, and
    electric starters. The top horsepower
    increased from 25 in 1951 to 75 in
    1960. By that time, OMC, as it was
    again called (Outboard Marine Corporation),
    was producing nearly
    400,000 outboard motors per year
    with plants in: Milwaukee, Waukegan,
    and Galesburg, Illinois; Peterborough,
    Ontario, Canada and; Brugge, Belgium.
    They were employing more than
    12,000 people and were ranked in the
    top 500 companies in the U. S.
    Evinrude and Elto were not the
    only outboard brands born in Wisconsin.
    Among the others were the Submerged
    Electric Motor Company of
    Menomonie in the early 1900s; the
    Amphion of Milwaukee in 1915; the
    1916 Burroughs of Milwaukee; the
    West Bend by West Bend Aluminum of
    Hartford, who also made the Elgin
    brand for Sears; the Flambeau, made
    dissolved in 1930. The all-time low was in 1933, however, and
    in 1934 OMC made money for the first time, not to be in the
    red again for sixty years. During this period, OMC added
    new products to their line to help smooth out the seasonality
    of the marine business. These new products included gasoline
    driven pumps, small, two-cylinder inboard engines, the Evinrude
    Lawn Boy lawn mower, an Evinrude camp stove, the
    Evinrude Speedibike, and the Evinrude Shop King (a multipurpose
    woodworking unit).
    In 1933, Bess’ health took a turn for the worse and she
    died that year. Ole was devastated by the loss. She had been
    his partner in everything since their marriage. He drifted in
    loneliness and, in 1934, fourteen months after Bess’ passing,
    Ole died at the age of 57.
    Ole Evinrude’s son, Ralph, had attended the University of
    Wisconsin through the end of his sophomore year in 1927.
    During the summer, he worked seven days a week at the plant
    on the new four-cylinder Quad model. The following fall, he
    asked his parents if he could stay out of school “for just a
    semester” to finish up the project. He got wrapped up in the
    business and never returned to college. He worked in many
    Courtesy of the author
    Ole Evinrude together with Stephen F. Briggs in 1929, the year
    OMC (Outboard Motor Company) was formed from the merger
    of Elto, Evinrude, and Lockwood-Ash Company.
    201718_EP.qxd 2/3/06 7:13 PM Page 26
    S P R I N G 2 0 0 6 27
    by Metal Products Corporation in Milwaukee; the Koban of
    Milwaukee, introduced in 1913; the Lauson of 1940 also of
    Milwaukee; and Thor in Cedarburg, closed in 1938, then
    purchased by E. C. Kiekhaefer who brought out the Mercury
    outboard in 1939. Moving after the war to Fond du Lac, and
    Oshkosh, Mercury Marine has prospered. Today, Evinrude
    and Johnson outboards are manufactured in Sturtevant, Wisconsin
    as a part of Bombardier Recreational Products Corporation.
    Of a dozen or more old outboard names, most of
    which were located in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan,
    Evinrude, Johnson, and Mercury are the only survivors and
    are the only manufacturers still producing outboards in the
    United States. The Evinrude legend and name lives on in
    Wisconsin and around the world.
    Notes
    1. W.J. Webb with Robert W. Carrick, The Pictorial History of Outboard Motors (New
    York: Renaissance Editions, Inc., 1967), 33.
    2. Ibid., 20.
    3. History, Outboard Marine Corporation, in-house publication (Milwaukee: Outboard
    Marine Corporation, 1959), author’s collection.
    About the Author
    Ralph Lambrecht is a retired engineer
    (1987 from Outboard Marine Corporation)
    living in Lake Bluff, Illinois. A
    Purdue University graduate with a
    degree in Mechanical Engineering, he
    joined OMC in Waukegan in 1951.
    While growing up in Oshkosh on Lake
    Winnebago and the Fox River, his
    father introduced him to boating and
    outboards. At OMC, he held various positions in engineering,
    in management, and in executive capacities where he also
    made the acquaintance of Ralph Evinrude, Steven F. Briggs,
    and Clarence Johnson, the youngest of the four Johnson
    brothers. He now occupies himself developing boating safety
    standards in association with the American Boat and Yacht
    Council and the International Organization for Standardization
    (ISO). He collects and restores antique outboards as a hobby.
    WHi Image ID 36553
    Promotional photo from the OMC Company, maker of Evinrude motors, ca. 1938
    201718_EP.qxd 2/3/06 7:13 PM Page 27

  2. #2
    Team Member iwanajohnson's Avatar
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    Default and now we know

    so now we know the reeessttt of the story, behind our obsession. Good article but it's choppy and jumps around lol gotta piece parts togeather. nice find.

  3. #3
    Sam Cullis Mark75H's Avatar
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    While Ole didn't invent the outboard or build the first gasoline powered outboard, the real story is that Ole did build the first powerhead intended to be used as an outboard. Waterman's outboard powerhead was a motorcycle motor converted to work on his outboard.
    Since 1925, about 150 different racing outboards have been made.


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