Kiekhaefer’s Greek God

A 1946 Kiekhaefer Corporation Mercury ad.

A 1946 Kiekhaefer Corporation Mercury ad. Even in 1946 bikini-clad ladies were used to sell fishing-related equipment.

Back before there were Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, there were three individual outboard motor companies that ruled the roost. From before World War II and after, these companies had the majority of the market share of all outboard sales, often sharing almost equal portions of it. Those companies were Mercury, Johnson and Evinrude. Today we’re going to look at the start of the black motor – Mercury.

Mercury outboards was technically started in the mid-‘30s under the name of Thor and built by Thorwald Company. Then in 1939 a man by the name of Carl Kiekhaefer took over the company, for reasons other than outboard motor manufacture. Although Thorwald Company’s main business was outboard motor production, the Kiekhaefers bought the company to change it into a magnetic separators manufacturer. [Read more…]