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April 20, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Two guys wistful in Wisconsin.

James Bond. 1973. "Live and Let Die". James Bond chase scene.100 foot jump over car.(

James Bond knew it was good to have some power behind you. 1973.”Live and Let Die” chase scene with 100 foot jump over police car by motor boat.(

Those Wisconsin boys know how to get around. And how to impress a gal. (You know how girls always go for the bad boys.)

Blame the ice cream.

All she asked was a little ice cream for the picnic on a summer’s day.

Of course, eager to please his intended, Ole said “No problemo.” Anything for his Bess. Nothing as romantic as rowing a small boat across the lake as fast as possible knowing the ice cream is melting and that the sweat is bound to undo that cool and collected image.

The next day Ole Evinrude started tinkering to create the Evinrude Detachable Row Boat Motor. His 1906 invention would revolutionize leisure boating and kickstart water skiing as a sport. (Thanks to his college age son who convinced him to build more than a fishing motor: one that could go 35 mph. Teenagers and college students everywhere thank him.)

1959.Waterskiing. Man in air after launching from a jump.(Nationaal Archief:Dutch National Archives.Spaarnestad Photo/

They’re watching! Every young man’s dream.(1959.Dutch National Archives/Spaarnestad Photo/

Oh, Bess Cary did say “Yes” after that ice cream. They were married in November, 1906. Bess, having attended business school and having a head for business, became his business partner handling the bookkeeping, the serious end of the company like marketing, and even developing a successful international business plan in 1911 to let the company create a splash even during the winter.

Early !930's Bess Evinrude fishing. (

Bess dressed for fishing which she enjoyed, too. (Early 930’s.Bess Evinrude/

Evinrude outboard motors is celebrating their 100th birthday

Company history on a timeline with pictures here.

Or for more great stories  like how Ole almost set his boarding house basement on fire while trying to develop an internal combustion engine for a horseless carriage idea (and intrigued the then 16-year-old Bess), read here.

Evinrude in his boat.(Screenshot. CBS Sunday Morning Show)

Row no more. Evinrude shows how to get that ice cream home in time. (Screenshot. CBS Sunday Morning Show/

Wisconsin guys seem to be lured to the lakes there. Being out on the water and the outdoor life is important to them.

Arthur Davidson, one of Ole’s friends, also loved fishing and ended up working for a time in the fledgling company’s outboard motor shop.

Arthur was a tinkerer, too, and in 1903 founded his own company.

Ole didn’t like rowing a boat. Arthur wanted to “take the hard work out of pedaling a bicycle.”

But that success story has been rode hard in other places.

Dashing daredevils. Dreamers. Doers.

Whoever says sitting on the water all day is foolishness probably doesn’t know hook from sinker.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Short video of “The inventor of the outboard motor” here. (CBS Sunday Morning Show)

Giant shark's wide open JAWS. (Universal Studio. "JAWS" /Andrew

Evinrude has had important powerful supporting roles in many movies.(“Jaws”at Universal Studio./Andrew Thomas/



  1. Cecilia Mary Gunther / Apr 20 2015 4:47 pm

    Jaws terrified me and I grew up on the water!.. c


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 20 2015 5:43 pm

      Me, too. And that Lonesome Dove series episode with all the snakes in the creek. Shiver. Makes me worry about tubing now. Thanks for swimming by to leave a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Crimmins / Apr 20 2015 5:03 pm

    Tinkerers come up with some awesome inventions. It just takes patience.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 20 2015 8:08 pm

      Looking back, it’s the tinkerers who change things big time….we need tinkering time in schools – the kids don’t have time/space at home to real thinking these days. Thanks for pointing out that out!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kate Crimmins / Apr 20 2015 10:00 pm

        So true. It takes a thousand failures for one awesome invention.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 21 2015 12:37 am

          Now if we can only come up with the next great thing ourselves! We’d have our own bloggers’ convention on a nice island somewhere with a spa…and horses on the beach…and chefs.(giggles)

          Liked by 1 person

  3. easyweimaraner / Apr 20 2015 5:04 pm

    I think it’s not easy to jump with a motorboat over a police car, but to shoot a motorboat with a gun is a masterpiece :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 20 2015 8:06 pm

      Their police action just don’t wash. What did they expect, wound it and have it leak motor oil? The environmental agencies would frown! Slippery movie for sure. Thanks for sailing by to bark along. (Hope your mom is feeling better..will sail over shortly to see) Paw waves!


  4. Carrie Rubin / Apr 20 2015 5:32 pm

    I loved learning about Ole and Bess. Thank you! And I love that their names were Ole and Bess. Just don’t hear names like that anymore. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 20 2015 8:11 pm

      Reading the story of Ole catching the boarding house basement on fire hooked me on this pair. It just sounds like a movie. Such a couple. Thanks for rowing over to chat

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Paul / Apr 20 2015 6:10 pm

    Just putting by and saw your post on flying boats. I say that’s the only way to catch a flying fish. Very cool history Phil. Necessity is the mother of invention. Down your way, NASA was the source of many inventions that eventually benefited everyone. We would have been poorer were it not for the space program. Ole and Bess made a major contribution to our lives with their invention. Have you seen some of those good ‘ol boys who will hang two or three HUGE outboards off their boat and can go fast enough to catch the starship Enterprise were it on the water?

    Cool Post Phil. Thank You.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 20 2015 8:21 pm

      Maybe you’re right: James Bond was always fishing around. Some of the best stories are the ones that are real. Bet their son has some tales to tell. Every step leads to more steps, knowledge, and useful products.
      If this weather cycle doesn’t relocate, we may all be building arks…not far from here Sat they got 3.6 inches of rain in 30 minutes. We lost power a bit Sat. night. Lots of trees down. So Sunday was picking up, re-trimming trees/bushes as they have all grown so much with all the rain. Luckily it’s a bit cooler – and the mosquitoes haven’t hatched yet. Ducks are pretty happy on the lake.
      There are speed limits near marinas and some parts of the lake with authorities handing out wake tickets (“and where are the required life jackets on those kids?” At least once a year we get speedboat races…you know the overpowered ones that look like oval pancakes? Sometimes they flip. Summer can be motor loud as people head out down the lake to the bay and Galveston. Ducks general sit those days out.
      (Where are your posts these days? Not managing to keep up very well. Hope you’ve got some warm sights out the window that match your warm words. Thanks!)


  6. sustainabilitea / Apr 20 2015 10:06 pm

    I thought this was going to be a post about my husband and his friend who went on a three day bike trip from Naperville to New Glarus, Wisconsin…on their bikes. 🙂 But this was very interesting as well.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 21 2015 12:43 am

      That sound like a great place to ride. Did they take pictures? I’d want a nice hotel with lots of hot water/pool and not a tent at the end of the day, though.
      The big charity MS150 3 day bike race/challenge/party ride from Houston to Austin got rained out…that’s something of an understatement – there was flooding, hail, tornadoes. The tough guys were bused Sunday to a starting point and rode all day to finish in Austin. It’s usually a huge crowd of all levels of riders (and camping in parks/fair grounds and chase vehicles) Didn’t dampen enthusiasm. The party just wasn’t rolling. People are already talking about next year.
      That’s a bit too intense for me…maybe on horse or Harley…
      Thanks for parking to chat a bit


      • sustainabilitea / Apr 21 2015 1:14 am

        They stayed in motels each night. I went up the second day, met them, stayed overnight, too, then met them at the end of the ride on Sunday to drive them home. I had a good time, too, exploring and hanging out outdoors.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. JackieP / Apr 21 2015 3:49 am

    I’m ashamed to say I’m from Wisconsin and didn’t know that story. Now I learnt my one new thing today! 🙂 I like their story. Romantic in a sort of wet way.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 21 2015 7:42 pm

      It’s the water. Brings out the dreamers and the brave hearted. Sure sounds like a movie to me. Thanks for skipping a comment over.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. susielindau / Apr 21 2015 1:52 pm

    A great fish story from my neck of the woods!


  9. 50djohnson / Apr 21 2015 7:27 pm

    I love the water!!!! Thank you so much for the follow. Looking forward to getting to know you better.


  10. Silver in the Barn / Apr 21 2015 7:46 pm

    Oh yes, Phil, that Lonesome Dove episode is permanently etched in my memory too. How we do digress. From Ole to Gus. Gus would have done a lot to get his gal some ice cream too, come to think of it. He just didn’t have all that pesky water to deal with.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 22 2015 5:37 pm

      Only prickly pears, sticky burrs, and spurs…never squat with your spurs on. (Funny – we take ice cream for granted, but then ice cream socials must have been an eagerly anticipated events.)


  11. jmmcdowell / Apr 21 2015 8:07 pm

    Ah, those Wisconsin boys. Yep. I married one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 22 2015 5:43 pm

      Hard to find better. Our best friends/neighbors growing up still had family there to visit each summer. Their summers always sounded like Heaven….no chlorinated pool required. Thanks for rowing over to dock a comment


  12. heretherebespiders / Apr 21 2015 10:56 pm

    Pretty sure I’ve plonked my arse in front of an Evinrude or three, and currently plunk my arse on top of a HD bike 🙂 Sure, peddling or paddling is a waste of time 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 22 2015 5:45 pm

      Around here you need a Mad Max armored vehicle. But we dream. (and not of riding bicycles up and down TrailRidge Road in the Rocky Mts.) Thanks for rolling in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  13. robincoyle / Apr 22 2015 12:46 am

    Ha! Where do you find this stuff? Always out to amaze us with trivia from weird bald plants to boat motors!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 22 2015 7:42 pm

      People used to call while playing trivia and ask for definitive answers…I don’t know, weird info just searches me out like mosquitoes do. A couple of days ago I found out that humming birds have some sort of defense agreement with hawks for protection against bigger birds. Who needs fiction? Thanks for netting a comment


  14. Kourtney Heintz / Apr 22 2015 9:22 pm

    They say necessity is the mother of invention. Impressing your sweetheart can lead to a successful business. What a cool story! 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 23 2015 8:12 pm

      These two seemed to be living a movie script. They had me at his setting the basement on fire. Thanks for splashing a comment this way


  15. jannatwrites / Apr 28 2015 5:07 am

    They were both quite successful! I like how Bess became a business partner and was quite involved… I don’t know if that kind of thing was so common in the early 1900s. Cool story 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 28 2015 2:54 pm

      Probably research might show resourceful, capable women were fairly common in midwest/west/frontier. How else could they survive – many times after husband died or was away for long periods of time. The smart ones just did it quietly and went on their own way? Maybe more of their stories will surface and be recognized in the future. Bess sounds like quite a person. Thanks for paddling by to chat


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