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Evinrude Girl: 1913

Evinrude Girl: 1913

1913. "Young woman posed with an Evinrude outboard motor." Able to outrun any lad with a Johnson. R.R. Johnstone photo studio, Milwaukee. View full size.


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Even Rude

It would not be proper to show a lady in such a primitive motor would be even rude.

About the water

In response to davidk's query, there isn't any real water in the image. It's all painted in, complete with motor-caused foam, after the fact. In the studio, the boat would have been mounted on a bench or sawhorses. A water tank would have produced unnatural looking depth and reflections, and a working motor on a stationary boat would have caused spray everywhere - not to mention make for a safety risk to model and photographer. So, photoshopping was the best answer, even long before the computer.

She must be

The 1913 version of sex sells.

Make believe

I'm trying to figure out where real things end and artifice begins. I see real boat, real motor, real woman. Then I see fake-o trees in the backdrop. But I can't get a proper read on the water. What kind of studio setting are we in?

She's the 1913 equivalent

Of the Makita Tool Girl.

Just guessing

The Evinrude in the picture might be still running somewhere.

They made the silliest noises

All the boys wanted to motorboat with the Evinrude girl.


I've been perusing the site for only about three years, so I can't be sure, but that might be the best caption on Shorpy ever.

The things we do for love

Ole Evinrude is the guy generally credited with ‘inventing’ the outboard motor, based on his patent of 1911 for a “Marine Propulsion System.” The story goes that he was inspired to create the device when ice cream he went after for his true love, Bess Cary, melted while rowing a boat to their picnic sight. After manufacturing of the motors began, Bess, by then his wife, was put in charge of publicity. Her early copy included, “Don't Row! Throw the Oars Away!" (The Shorpy image is likely an indirect result of her work.) Bess characterized the early motors as looking like “coffee grinders.” Brooks Stevens took care of that issue in 1936 for the merged interests that had formed the Outboard Marine Corporation in 1929, by designing pleasant looking covers for the engines.

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