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The First Evinrude Outboard

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Evinrude outboard motors take their name from the man who designed and built his first outboard way back in 1907. That man was called Ole Evinrude who was Norwegian being born in April 1877 in the city of Oslo. Jetski for sale At the age of five his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Cambridge, Wisconsin where Ole was educated and became interested in engineering and decided to pursue this as a career.

His early life involved working on the family’s farm in summer and sorted tobacco in a factory during the winter. Having always been interested in ships he built two wooden sailboats when he was sixteen the first was a disaster from which he learned by his mistakes and produced the second which he charged people to sail on at Lake Ripley.

This venture silenced his father who until this point thought his sons interest in ships and engines was a waste of time when plenty of work was available to do on the farm.

Later in the same year as building the sailboat Ole left the farm to learn about engineering by taking a position as an apprentice machinist in Madison learning the trade and studying in his own time. He moved to Pittsburgh once he was an accomplished machinist to work and learn about the steel industry.

What he done over the next five years was dedicate himself to learning as much as he could by constantly changing jobs as soon as he mastered a specific subject. By the time he returned to Wisconsin aged 23 in 1900 he was skilled in steel making, machining, designing, motors and testing all in all a self made first class engineer.

He started work as a consultant and pattern maker for a Milwaukee company while at the same time opening his own pattern factory.

His attention turned to the internal combustion engine which was a relatively crude invention at this time. He done work for several motor manufacturers mainly in design and consultation while still trying to build up his own factory which was at this time a large garden shed.

The financial break that he needed came in the form of a partnership called Clemiek and Evinrude which produced engines and parts to order and rapidly grew to six machine shops in as many months. The firm had a secretary called Bess who in her time of also helped Ole in his shed where he still had inspirations of his own engine business.

It was on a day out on the lake with Bess that he first thought about an engine for a small boat. This happened as he had rowed to get Bess an ice cream and by the time he rowed back it had melted making him think how good a portable boat motor would be.

It would be three years later before this idea came to fulfillment as he parted company with Clemiek and went into a doomed business venture with a retired furniture maker with whom his decisions conflicted with so much that he left.

He married Bess and had a son opening a pattern shop from which to make a living and it was while doing this that he designed and built the first Evinrude outboard in his shed at home in 1907 and was producing outboards for sale by 1909.

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