Term: Evinrude, Ole 1877 - 1934
inventor, manufacturer, founder of the outboard motor industry, b. Oslo, Norway.
He emigrated at age five with his parents to a farm near Cambridge, Wis., where he attended common schools. After working in Madison, Pittsburgh, and Chicago, he settled in Milwaukee, opened a patternmaking shop and spent 3 years as master patternmaker and consulting engineer with E. P. Allis Co. He designed a gasoline engine and formed a partnership, Clemick and Evinrude, to produce it, but soon dissolved the partnership and organized a company to manufacture engines for horseless carriages. This venture failed. On Nov. 21, 1906, he married Bessie Emily Cary, grandniece of Milwaukee's pioneer settler, George H. Walker (q.v.).
In 1910 he invented the outboard motor, and organized the Evinrude Motor Co. He supervised the manufacturing, and made his own designs and his own machinery, while Mrs. Evinrude managed the business, took charge of sales, and directed the advertising until 1913, when they sold the business. By 1921 Evinrude had perfected outboard motor design and formed the Elto Outboard Motor Co. with himself as president and Mrs. Evinrude as secretary-treasurer. In 1929 the Outboard Motors Corporation was formed through consolidation of this company, the Lockwood Motor Co. of Jackson, Mich., and the original Evinrude Motor Co., with Evinrude as president, a position that he held until his death.
Sources: G. MacQuarrie, Ole Evinrude [Milwaukee, Chicago, 1947]; Encyclopedia of Amer. Biog., n.s., 5 (1936); F. L. Holmes, et al., eds., Wis. (5 vols., Chicago, 1946); Milwaukee Sentinel, May 14, 1933, July 13, 1934; J. G. Gregory, Hist. of Milwaukee (4 vols., Chicago, 1931).
View pictures relating to Ole Evinrude at Wisconsin Historical Images.
View the company's 1929 catalog at Turning Points in Wisconsin History.
View a related article at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.
[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]