This is where the History of Toy outboards began, long
before K&O and Fleetline were ever thought up. I'm still amazed at how
well made and inventive some of the designs were. The Orkin Craft
Outboard, a windup motor, is especially well made and looks great. The
ingenious design of the LePage using electric coils becomes the first battery
operated toy outboard motor in history.
Click on an image to enlarge.
1. 1920s Orkin Craft windup (side)
1920s Orkin Craft windup (rear)
This is a great motor! It looks like a 1920s Johnson and is a great
motor to have. It's also very large. I'm looking for the Orkin Craft
outboard boat it went on. It's a windup that came with a giant
key. It will run something like three minutes long when wound up. Caution:
if you get one of these don't run them out of the water, they need the water
for resistance or the spring will break!
2. 1920s Orkin Craft Outboarder
Reproduction boat scratch built by
1920s Orkin Craft outboard motor on reproduction boat.
There is a all metal boat like this one that I would love to own. If you
find one please let me know. It may come with a little driver like this
3. 1920s Johnson
Sea Horse windup toy outboard:
1920s Johnson windup is
Another great windup outboard motor from the 1920s. These motors were
made by a company called Benoliels, Inc., from Chicago, Illinois. The
box claims that the motor was made under an exclusive contract with Johnson
Motors Company. The motor says
"Johnson Sea Horse" on the back and the decal looks just like the
one on a real motor. These were sold with a wooden boat called the Sea
Puppy. Came in a great box for it's time.
1920s Evinrude windup (rear)
Another great motor. Extremely bulky and heavy the neat feature to this
somewhat ugly motor is the small wooden "knuckle buster" handle used
to wind the motor up! The handle on the top that sticks out is the
stopper so that you can wind the motor up without it running. You then
release the handle which allows the spring to unwinde and the motor to
The pictures here are with the motor on it's original boat.
1920s Seaworthy Boats windup.
This is the same motor as the Evinrude windup above except without the
Evinrude name on it.
1920s Lindstrom windup
1920s Lindstrom windup (rear)
Lindstrom was a company from Connecticut that made many toys including toy
boats and motors. They are not rare but neat to have.
1920s Lindstrom boat with outboard An example of a Lindstom on a toy Lindstrom boat.
8. 1920s LePage (side). The first battery powered toy outboard!
ingenious method of door bell coils that pulled in a camshaft!
Incredible. Unfortunately, the boat is extremely ugly, metal and heavy
but it's still a piece of toy outboard history. Not that rare, believe it
or not. The outboard was also manufactured with four coils which is
harder to find. The gears are exposed in the lower unit.
1920s LePage (top) View of flywheel and
1920s LePage on original boat. The boat has a blue metal battery box in the
9. 1920s LePage 4 coil battery operated motor.
Much rarer than the LePage two coil above. It used the same principal of
using a coil to move the drive shaft. Great design for the times!
1920s windup (Lindstrom?)
1920s windup on original wooden boat. A piece of toy outboard history.
I'm not positive who made it. The boat is small with very little detail.
11. 1940s Irwin windup
1940s Irwin windup on original boat
12. 1920s Pull Cord Windup. This is a
really neat motor. I'm not sure who made it. If anyone knows
please email me the information. The cool part about this motor is that
there's a pull cord (the red knob) that when you pull it you wind the
13. 1920s Boucher steam powered
Definitely one of the coolest toy outboard motors
ever made this motor came on the Boucher Polly Wog boat. Inside the boat
was a steam boiler that sent hot steam through a pipe to the outboard motor to
make it work. Awesome!
14. Boucher Steam Outboard motor VIDEO!Watch the steam
outboard actually run! This is being run on compressed air instead of
steam but it's still a cool demonstration of a very old toy outboard
1949-1952(?) Johnson toy windup: Believed
to have been made in Italy. Very interesting and very
rare motor. I've only seen two of these in all the years I've been
collecting. The motor is wound up through a hole in the top of the cowl by the
small key shown in the first picture. Great gear driven system in the lower unit and just a neat
looking motor. The first picture shows a complete mint motor. The
other pictures show one bought off Ebay that has the lower unit casing missing
and is not mint.
Thanks to Blaise Vezie and Denny Cole for the great pictures.