While there is some dispute as to who invented the first practical outboard motor, most credit the discovery to Ole Evinrude, a Norwegian-American inventor who designed the first marketable outboard motors between 1909 and 1912. Ole Evinrude developed the first outboard in 1907, when he filed tested a 1.5 horsepower, 62 pound iron engine. This crude first effort was much different than our modern outboard motors, which can have up to 300 horsepower. Evinrude filed a patent application for his “Marine Propulsion Device” in 1910, and that patent was honored in 1911 and assigned to Evinrude Motor Co. Throughout the next several decades, Evinrude Motor Co. mass produced outboard motors, and went through several mergers and acquisitions. In 1934, Ole Evinrude passed and Evinrude Motor Co. was inherited by Ole’s son, Ralph Evinrude.
Evinrude celebrates its centennial in 2009, and has developed a number of new engines to celebrate a century of quality outboard motors. In addition to their outboard motors, the newest line of which is called E-TEC, Evinrude manufactures Evinrude outboard oil and other marine accessories which cling to the same spirit of pioneering and innovation that Ole Evinrude possessed throughout his life.