Ole Evinrude was born in Norway on 19th April, 1877. When Evinrude was five years old his family emigrated to the United States and settled in Cambridge, Wisconsin.
Evinrude worked on his father's farm where he developed an interest in machinery. He moved to Chicago where he found employment in various factories. Evinrude read mechanics magazines and was fascinated by news of the development of the internal combustion engine.
In 1900 Evinrude returned to Wisconsin and opened a pattern-making shop. In his spare time he built his own motor cars. One day, he took his girlfriend on a picnic to an offshore island. It was a very hot day and while in the rowboat he came up with the idea of developing an outboard boat motor.
Evinrude was not the only engineer working in this area but in 1909 he developed a one-cylinder power plant. The following year he established Evinrude Motors in Milwaukee. Evinrude continued to experiment and eventually produced a twin-cylinder, 3-horsepower, 48-pound, aluminum outboard motor. He also produced a successful motorized lawnmower.
Ole Evinrude died in Milwaukee on 12th July, 1934. His son, Ralph Evinrude took over running of Evinrude Motors. Two years later it was merged with the Johnson Motor Company to form the Outboard Marine Corporation.