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Mercury Outboard Motors
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
E.C. (Carl) Kiekhaefer bought the Cedarburg Manufacturing Company in 1939. This company produced the Thor outboard motor. Renamed the Kiekhaefer Corporation, he produced outboard motors for Montgomery Wards and Western Auto and his own line of Mercury outboards, Quicksilver Accessories, and Ride-Guide Steering. Mercury was known for their styling and they won the Fashion Academy Gold Medal in 1956 for the Mercury Mark 25. Kiekhaefer stayed on as President when the company was purchased by the Brunswick Corporation in September 1961. At this time, Mercury outboards were distributed through more than 3,500 dealers worldwide with operations in Fond du Lac, Cedarburg, Oshkosh, and Beaver Dam, Wisconsin; St. Cloud, Florida, and Toronto, Canada. For 1962, Mercury introduced the MerCruiser sterndrive with 110, 140, 225, 310 HP gas and 35 and 100 HP diesel pairings (Brunswick Corporation 1961 Annual Report). Baker-Johnson & Dickinson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin handled advertising for Kiekhaefer Corp. including print advertisements and brochures.
Discount Marine has a detailed history of Mercury Marine.
For many years, Mercury scientifically tested the performance of their outboard motors on the wide variety of recreational boats available to the buying public. This information was a valuable sales aid to their dealer network who could use this information to advise potential buyers of the likely performance of a Mercury outboard motor on their boat. Thus, Mercury published and distributed the Boat House Bulletin series of single-sheet flyers which listed the results of a controlled performance test of a certain boat and motor combination under different loads. A listing of known Mercury Boat House Bulletins by year and number is available at the main Boat House Bulletin page.
1961 Information Brochure thanks to Andrew Gott