I am sure the idea for inventing the outboard boat motor came from someone who was rowing a boat one hot steamy day and thought to himself, there had to be a better way to move that boat. But Information on the origin of the outboard motor is a little obscure at best. Historians seem to concentrate on writing about more important things that the masses would be interested in reading about. What we understand of what might have been the first outboard motor ever was probably a steam engine model from Europe dating back to the 1880’s. There is some proof that an outboard motor exsisted in Germay around 1900.
The first known gasoline powered outboard boat motor made here in the U.S. was the “American” and was first produced in 1896 by the American Motor Company, Long Island, New York. Amazingly enough it had a variable pitch boat propeller on it similar the boat props used today. It was an air cooled four cycle motor that turned between four hundred and six hundred RPM’s and could use either kerosine or gasoline. It had a one or two Horsepower rating. And another amazing thing about this motor was it also had a remote gas tank with a flexible hose connected to the motor and the carburetor was on the gas tank. Suction created from the engine would draw the vaporized gas from the carb thru the flexible tube into the motor. No fuel pump was needed. About 25 of these motors were made.