John-Rude – 1946

Evinrude ad from 1946.

Evinrude ad from 1946.

A few weeks ago we posted a piece about the start of Mercury Motors in the early 40s. Today we have the two main competitors, or should I say Mercury’s competitors not only for the ‘40s but well through the turn of the century, Johnson and Evinrude.

For those of you who remember the Outboard Marine Company, or more commonly referred to as OMC, you remember that Johnson and Evinrude were both part of that conglomeration. But that wasn’t the case prior to 1936. In fact, both companies were competitors up until that time.

Ole Evinrude is credited by some to be the inventor of the outboard motor industry. In 1882, when he was five years old, his family emigrated from Norway to the U.S. and landed in Milwaukee, WI. By the time he was 25, he’d developed his first outboard motor – a 1.5 horsepower model that was introduced publicly in 1909. [Read more…]

What do You Think of When You Hear TrolMaster?

1970s TrolMaster Ad.

1970s TrolMaster Ad.

I’ve been wanting to do this piece for a while and finally got around to it. In the past we’ve talked here about trolling motors and scantily-clad women but I don’t think in the same piece. Well, today that’s what we’re doing.

I think I’ve probably seen ads for TrolMaster trolling motors in nearly every bass and fishing magazine I’ve picked up that was printed earlier than 1988. It’s obvious that TrolMaster tried to make a dent in the market but I don’t recall seeing that many of them in the west as I was growing up – you saw more Rams, OMCs, Motor-Guides and eventually Merc Thrusters than anything else. But as much money as they were throwing at ads in the major magazines, one would think they were selling a good number of them somewhere. [Read more…]