The Timeline of Lawn-Boy 1904: On a hot and humid Wisconsin summer afternoon Ole Evinrude was determined to present his future wife, Bess Cary, with an ice cream cone. His only obstacle was Wisconsin's Okauchee Lake, and of course, the blazing sun. Nevertheless, Ole rowed his boat across the lake to purchase the ice cream- only to deliver it to Bess in the form of creamy soup. Embarrassed, Ole vowed it would not happen again. It was this promise that led first to the birth of Evinrude Motors, later to the Outboard Marine Corporation, and subsequently to Lawn-Boy. 1907: Ole Evinrude completed the design of his outboard motor, which is still the standard today. The design consisted of a horizontal cylinder, a vertical crankshaft, and a driveshaft with direction-changing gears housed in a submerged lower unit. 1908: Like Evinrude, the Johnson brothers, Lou, Harry and Clarence from Terre Haute, Indiana built their first marine engine. The brothers later went on to form the Johnson Motor Wheel Company in 1917. 1921: Ole Evinrude produced a smaller, lightweight motor called the Evinrude Light Twin Outboard, or the ELTO. 1926: The original Evinrude Motor Company was sold to Briggs and Stratton in Milwaukee, a pioneer firm in the field of small gasoline engines founded by Stephen F. Briggs and Harry Stratton. 1926: Briggs and Stratton Directors voted against continuing in the outboard motor field. Briggs, however, decided to remain in the field and formed a syndicate with Ole Evinrude, merging ELTO, Evinrude, and the Lockwood-Ash Motor Company into the Outboard Motors Corporation. Evinrude took the role of President and Briggs was the Chairman of the Board. 1934 Ole Evinrude passed away and his son, Ralph, inherited the presidency. The original Lawn-Boy was manufactured by the Evinrude Company and became the first one-handed reel power mower introduced to the American public. 1935: Briggs and Evinrude purchased Johnson Motor Wheel Company from a New York stock brokerage firm. 1936: Briggs, Evinrude, and Johnson Motors merged with Outboard Motors Corporation to form Outboard Marine and Manufacturing Company. Products such as the Evinrude Lawn-Boy lawnmower and the Shop King combination home workshop were manufactured until the start of the Second World War. World War II (1939-1945): During the War, OMMC manufactured outboards for military use, while the production of lawn mowers was temporarily put on hold. 1946: Joel G. (Jack) Doyle built the first rotary lawnmower for the Rotary Power Mower Company of Kansas City, Missouri. Doyle accumulated large orders for these mowers from Sears Roebuck, Gambles, Spiegel, and other businesses. Evidently, the demand for this machine was thriving. 1952: OMMC purchased Rotary Power Mower Company, located in Lamar, Missouri. OMMC then changed the brand of that mower to one that they already owned Lawn-Boy. The RPM facility was converted to production line manufacturing in order to meet the large orders demanded by retailers such as Sears Roebuck and Spiegel. This style of production was the first of its kind for walk power mowers. 1956: The corporate name changed to Outboard Marine Corporation. Lawn-Boy took the lead in the production and marketing of walk power mowers through independent retailers. 1958: The new Lawn-Boy QUIETFLITE® was introduced; its engines were sealed and insulated in order to reduce sound, hence the name of the mower. 1960's: The 1960's was a period of research and development for OMC, as the company continued to expand in America, and overseas as well. Lawn-Boy snowthrowers, roto tillers, and ride-on products were developed and placed in the market. 1963: Lawn-Boy headquarters and manufacturing facilities were moved from Lamar, MO to Galesburg, IL (Gale Products Facility). 1970: Lawn-Boy lawnmowers were revered for the all new 2-cycle engine that produced 20 to 30 percent more power with less weight, fewer parts, and easier servicing. 1973: As Lawn-Boy engineered the 2-cycle "F" engine, it simultaneously developed the first cordless mower, key electric starting, and CD ignition system. 1978: Production of the "F" engine begins. 1983: This year was a major milestone for Lawn-Boy as the production of CPSC compliant lawnmowers, featuring 3 blade-stopping systems, began. The blade stopping systems included zone, electric start and BBC (blade brake clutch) systems. Two new manufacturing plants were established in the mid-South (Mississippi and Tennessee). Sales/Marketing and Engineering relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. 1988: To expand the product line, Lawn-Boy purchased Gilson Brothers, thereby inheriting a line of garden tractors, single and 2-stage snow throwers, roto tillers, and space heaters. Lawn-Boy headquarters was moved from Memphis, Tennessee to Plymouth, Wisconsin. 1989: Lawn-Boy's most formidable competitor, The Toro Company, acquired it from Outboard Marine Corporation. 1991: The Toro Company selectively expanded Lawn-Boy distribution to the mass retailer market segments, namely Sears and Montgomery Ward. Lawn-Boy distribution channels were extended to include homecenters, hardware co-ops, and other select mass retailers. 1992: Lawn-Boy was consolidated into the Toro Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington, MN. 1993: Lawn-Boy released its Series line, categorizing its walk power mowers into the Gold and Silver Series. 1996: Lawn-Boy secured the lead in the market for walk power mower repurchase rates. 58% of Lawn-Boy users were previous Lawn-Boy owners. 1998: Lawn-Boy's DuraForce® 2-cycle engine was released. This mower's engine not only meets small engine emission requirements, but produces an unprecedented 6.5 hp in a 2-cycle walk behind engine. 2005: Lawn-Boy launches a brand new lineup of walk-behind mowers and an entirely new category of Zero Radius Turning Mowers that are specially engineered to fit each user. mjodrey, Oct 10, 2010 #1 caseguy likes this.