Ole Evinrude

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Ole Evinrude
Outboard motor, Evinrude Motor Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1909, view 1 - Wisconsin Historical Museum - DSC03203.JPG
Evinrude Outboard Motor
Ole Andreassen Aaslundeie

(1877-04-19)19 April 1877
Gjøvik, Norway
Died12 July 1934(1934-07-12) (aged 57)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Resting placePinelawn Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nationality American
Known forEvinrude Outboard Motor

Ole Evinrude, born Ole Andreassen Aaslundeie (April 19, 1877 July 12, 1934) was a Norwegian-American entrepreneur, known for the invention of the first outboard motor with practical commercial application. [1] [2]

Outboard motor self-contained propulsion system for boats

An outboard motor is a propulsion system for boats, consisting of a self-contained unit that includes engine, gearbox and propeller or jet drive, designed to be affixed to the outside of the transom. They are the most common motorized method of propelling small watercraft. As well as providing propulsion, outboards provide steering control, as they are designed to pivot over their mountings and thus control the direction of thrust. The skeg also acts as a rudder when the engine is not running. Unlike inboard motors, outboard motors can be easily removed for storage or repairs.



Ole Evinrude was born in Hunndalen in the municipality of Vardal (now Gjøvik), in Oppland, Norway. The Evinrude surname, which he adopted in the United States, is an oeconym from the Evenrud farm in Vestre Toten, where his mother was born. In October 1881, his father emigrated to America, followed the next year by Evinrude, his mother and two siblings. Three additional siblings were born in America. The family settled on a farm in Ripley Lake near Cambridge, Wisconsin. At age sixteen, Evinrude went to Madison, where he worked in machinery stores and studied engineering on his own. He became a machinist while working at various machine tool firms in Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. [3]

Hunndalen Rural settlement in Norway

Hunndalen is a commercial and residential area of Gjøvik municipality. The area is considered to be one of districts of Gjøvik and is approximately three kilometers west of downtown Gjøvik.

Vardal is a former municipality in Oppland county, Norway.

Gjøvik Municipality in Oppland, Norway

Gjøvik  is a town and a municipality in Oppland county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Gjøvik.

In 1900, Evinrude co-founded the custom engine firm Clemick & Evinrude. In 1907, he invented the first practical and reliable outboard motor, which was built of steel and brass, and had a crank on the flywheel to start the two-cycle engine. In 1907 he had built his first gasoline-powered outboard motor, and two years later, Evinrude Motor Company was founded in Milwaukee. The simplest type of engine the company produced was a 2-stroke internal combustion engine that was powered by a mixture of gasoline and oil.

Evinrude reported that his invention was inspired by rowing a boat on Okauchee Lake, a small lake outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on a hot day to get ice cream for his girlfriend, Bess. [4] [5] By 1912, the firm employed 300 workers. Evinrude let two motorcycle-mad teens tinker in his Milwaukee-based machine shop; one was named Arthur Davidson, who went on to Harley-Davidson motorcycle fame, also based in Milwaukee. Ole Evinrude formed Evinrude Outboard Motors, which he sold in 1913 in order to look after his sick wife.

Ice cream A frozen dessert

Ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. It may be made from dairy milk or cream, or soy, cashew, coconut or almondmilk, and is flavored with a sweetener, either sugar or an alternative, and any spice, such as cocoa or vanilla. Colourings are usually added, in addition to stabilizers. The mixture is stirred to incorporate air spaces and cooled below the freezing point of water to prevent detectable ice crystals from forming. The result is a smooth, semi-solid foam that is solid at very low temperatures. It becomes more malleable as its temperature increases.

Milwaukee Largest city in Wisconsin

Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and the fifth-largest city in the Midwestern United States. The seat of the eponymous county, it is on Lake Michigan's western shore. Ranked by its estimated 2014 population, Milwaukee was the 31st largest city in the United States. The city's estimated population in 2017 was 595,351. Milwaukee is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee metropolitan area which had a population of 2,043,904 in the 2014 census estimate. It is the second-most densely populated metropolitan area in the Midwest, surpassed only by Chicago. Milwaukee is considered a Gamma global city as categorized by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network with a regional GDP of over $105 billion.

Evinrude Outboard Motors is a North American company that builds a major brand of outboard motors for boats. Founded by Ole Evinrude in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1907, it was formerly owned by the publicly traded Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC) since 1935, but OMC filed for bankruptcy in 2000. It is now working as a subsidiary of Canadian Muntinational Bombardier Recreational Products.

In 1919, Evinrude invented a more efficient and lighter two-cylinder motor. Having sold his part in Clemick & Evinrude, he founded ELTO or the Elto Outboard Motor Company. (ELTO was an acronym for "Evinrude Light Twin Outboard".) Although Elto faced stiff competition from other companies, such as the Johnson Motor Company of South Bend, Indiana, Evinrude's company survived through acquisitions, eventually forming the Outboard Marine Corporation.

ELTO outboard motor business

The Elto Outboard Motor Company (Elto) was the second major outboard motor business founded by Ole Evinrude. Elto outboard engines were produced in the U.S. from 1921 to 1941.

South Bend, Indiana City in Indiana, United States

South Bend is a city in and the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total of 101,168 residents; its Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 318,586 and Combined Statistical Area of 721,296. It is the fourth-largest city in Indiana, serving as the economic and cultural hub of Northern Indiana. The highly ranked University of Notre Dame is located just to the north in unincorporated Notre Dame, Indiana and is an integral contributor to the region's economy.

Outboard Marine Corporation 1998 power trim

Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC) was a maker of Evinrude, Johnson and Gale Outboard Motors boat motors and many different brands of boats. It was a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 corporation. Evinrude began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1907. OMC was based in Waukegan, Illinois. They also owned several lines of boats such as Chris Craft, Lowe Boats, Princecraft, Four Winns, SeaSwirl, Stratos, and Javelin. OMC was also a parent company to Ryan, which made lawn mowers.

His wife Bess died in 1933, at only 48 years old, and Ole Evinrude died the following year, 57 years old. [4] They were both buried at Pinelawn Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After Evinrude died, his son, Ralph Evinrude, took over day-to-day management of the company, eventually rising to chairman of the board. The company is now called Evinrude Outboard Motors, and is owned by Bombardier Recreational Products. [6]

Ralph S. Evinrude was an American business magnate best known for being the Chairman of Outboard Marine Corporation, and the husband of singer and entertainer Frances Langford.

Bombardier Recreational Products Canadian company

BRP Inc. is a Canadian company making various vehicles. Once part of Bombardier Inc., it was founded in 1942 as L'Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée by Joseph-Armand Bombardier at Valcourt in the Eastern Townships, Quebec.

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In 1934, the original Lawn-Boy lawn mower was manufactured by the Evinrude Company, becoming the first one-handed reel power mower introduced to the American public. Evinrude purchased Johnson Motor Wheel Company from a New York stock brokerage firm a year later, and in 1936 they merged with the Outboard Marine and Manufacturing Company (OMC), continuing production of Lawn-Boy mowers until 1939, when it was temporarily put on hold to manufacture outboard motors for World War II.

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Events in the year 1877 in Norway.

Events in the year 1934 in Norway.


  1. "Dictionary of Wisconsin History: Evinrude, Ole 18771934". Wisconsin Historical Society.
  2. "Highlights Archives: Ole Evinrude and His Outboard Motor". Wisconsin Historical Society.
  3. Magne Brekke Rabben. "Ole Evinrude". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  4. 1 2 "Inventor of Outboard Motor, Ole Evinrude, Dies Suddenly". The Journal Times. July 13, 1934. p. 7. Retrieved January 6, 2019 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. "Biographical information from Spartacus". Archived from the original on 2007-08-07.
  6. Odd Lovoll. Ole Evinrude (Norsk biografisk leksikon)

Further reading