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Where did the stern drive begin? At my house in my youth!-gctid805990

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    Where did the stern drive begin? At my house in my youth!-gctid805990

    As some know here, my dad is a Naval Architect and had a steller career in the field. I thought boat history buffs might like to see the original stern drive. It was called a "Hinged Marine Drive Unit" when it was invented and has had several trade names over the years. My dad invented it and obtained the patent years ago. He is 90 now, and I like to talk to him about inventions, etc. Enjoy if you like this kind of thing. Attached are the orginal drawings and patent document.








    David
    http://www.cambridgeadvertising.org
    http://www.davidladewig.com

    #2
    Really cool. Great keep sake of your Dad's work. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment


      #3
      "Gtown" post=806109 wrote:
      Really cool. Great keep sake of your Dad's work. Thanks for sharing.
      Thank you. The history of pleasure boating is not a smooth progression. It has been up and down for decades. A lot of my dad's work was creation and he had a ton of design patents, but those only last 3 or so years. On the other hand, designing new products for the Navy and Army wasn't always easy either.
      David
      http://www.cambridgeadvertising.org
      http://www.davidladewig.com

      Comment


        #4
        This is really cool. It looks like the shifting is done by a conventional transmission, like those use on inboard boats. Konrad heavy duty stern drives are this way.
        1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
        2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
        Anacortes, WA
        Isla Verde, PR

        Comment


          #5
          David, is it possible that several people were experimenting with this idea during the same erra?

          Here's an interesting read regarding a similar patent.

          Just curious..... is your father one of these people?

          http://www.rbbi.com/folders/pat/isd.htm
          Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
          2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
          Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
          Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
          Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

          Comment


            #6
            "2850Bounty" post=806323 wrote:
            David, is it possible that several people were experimenting with this idea during the same erra?

            Here's an interesting read regarding a similar patent.

            Just curious..... is your father one of these people?

            http://www.rbbi.com/folders/pat/isd.htm
            "In the spring of 1958, Jim Wynne left Kiekhaefer Mercury and in less than 90 days, "invented" the stern drive." This is the nail in the coffin of the story. Yes, several were working on a stern drive, but my dad was the chief naval architect at Whitehouse Boats during that time. Although the "in the garage" thing makes for a good story, it didn't happen and the engineering on the drive is significantly more complex than the tinker types could muster. This patent was filed for on July 15, 1957 way ahead of anyone else but it took until 1961 for the approval after all comers had their chance, so to speak. The 1958 claim is BS. It was already invented and tested by then.

            Now, who was Whitehouse Boat Company...in a word...King Kong in the industry. Not only did the company make their boats, they made them for Sears and a ton of others. The designs became popular and took the company from $1.2 Million in sales to over $5 Million in 3 years. My dad left Whitehouse over a disagreement with Ben Whitehouse and went directly to Correct Craft in Florida. Ben Whitehouse went bankrupt over that disagreement after dad left. Glastron opened in Texas and copied the Whitehouse line quite well. Aristocraft did it too.

            At Correct Craft, my dad was hired to find out why the boats they were building for the military were cracking under stress. As the story goes, he figured it out in a week. The molds were twisted and when new molds were made...problem solved except that the military cancelled the contract with Correct Craft because Meeolon wouldn't take back the bad boats and only offered to make repairs. Bad move on W C's part. For you history buffs....the plot thickened. Correct Craft was making pleasure boats up to 50 feet from wood. Along comes a ski instructor from south Florida with a new boat called the Ski Nautique. It wasn't really new, but a modification of an old Hillcraft boat. He offered the design, rights, and everything else for $10K or so in 57 or 58. W C Meelon said no way after his problems with the government. Benz went home and they built a dozen of these boats for ski competition at his ski school. Benz hired my dad as a consultant to redraw the parts of the boat that didn't work well and he did.

            By this time, we had moved to Atlanta and dad's consulting company (marine and manufacturing) was doing well. I believe that in 1961 Benz came back to Correct Craft and make another offer. Benz wanted out of the boat building business and Correct Craft got the design for a song. The Meelon sons made that decision and the wood boat products were discontinued.

            I was very young when all this was going on but the stories have been told for decades and still are being told at gatherings. I've been collecting all these documents to pass on later. Small things that family members do may inspire others and should be shared.

            PS: The article you sent is a great example of the fighting for design that went on at that time. The biggest problem boating had in the day was Automotive. You had to go to them for everything from steering wheels to engines and that held back a lot of progress for years. I will see my dad next week and I'll ask him about Charlie Strang and Jim Wynne. All these birds are from the same era nest.

            I do remember a comment my dad made about Bayliner years ago. We were at one of the big boat shows and he looked at a few and said if they ever put stainless cleats on these things they could sell more. Interesting perspective.

            My dad has been a boat guy since he was a kid. He won the national boat design contest for Motor Yaching Magazine at age 16. He owned REL Boats in Grand Rapids at age 21. The made steel hydroplane racing boats. He also worked for the war department in DC designing boats or parts of boats (that is the Correct Craft connection).
            David
            http://www.cambridgeadvertising.org
            http://www.davidladewig.com

            Comment


              #7
              I've submitted a handful of invention disclosures (patent cases) and can tell ya it's more than conceivable that more than one conflicting patent description exists. Things like tilting tilting the outdrive, shifting in the outdrive, V-Drives, titling the motor and drive,

              It's very cool having your name on something that will outlive ya and especially in the case of innovation like an I/O, that's awesome! You should be very proud of him and his ingenuity.
              Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

              iBoatNW

              1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

              Comment


                #8
                "SomeSailor" post=806446 wrote:
                I've submitted a handful of invention disclosures (patent cases) and can tell ya it's more than conceivable that more than one conflicting patent description exists. Things like tilting tilting the outdrive, shifting in the outdrive, V-Drives, titling the motor and drive,

                It's very cool having your name on something that will outlive ya and especially in the case of innovation like an I/O, that's awesome! You should be very proud of him and his ingenuity.
                I am sure you are right. I called my dad tonight and asked if he remembered all the competitors back then. He said there weren't that many at that point in time, but there was competition in the boat business even though small. He said that his group got all the pieces in working order ahead of everyone. He also said, another 6 months and someone else would have filed. He sold that outdrive patent in the 60's to a large manufacturer. That was good for me. I went to college on some of it.
                David
                http://www.cambridgeadvertising.org
                http://www.davidladewig.com

                Comment


                  #9
                  I've been looking at that drawing for quite some time, I think your dad left out the gimbal bearing.... :silly:

                  Seriously, a parts list would be cool to see. Looks like it pivots at the top but trying to figure out where or how the shafts pivot, or maybe they don't.

                  Thanks for sharing that's super cool.
                  Dave
                  Edmonds, WA
                  "THE FIX"
                  '93 2556
                  Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P

                  The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
                  Misc. projects thread
                  https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

                  Comment


                    #10
                    "builderdude" post=806474 wrote:
                    I've been looking at that drawing for quite some time, I think your dad left out the gimbal bearing.... :silly:

                    Seriously, a parts list would be cool to see. Looks like it pivots at the top but trying to figure out where or how the shafts pivot, or maybe they don't.

                    Thanks for sharing that's super cool.
                    I've been around new products and inventions all my life. I am always in a constant state of confusion over some of this. B)
                    David
                    http://www.cambridgeadvertising.org
                    http://www.davidladewig.com

                    Comment


                      #11
                      David, that was interesting to read. Thank you.

                      Since I don't know what you and your father's last name is, I was more so interested to learn if your father was one of the men mentioned in that write-up.

                      I can also understand what you said about the time lines and delays in patent approvals, etc, and what Mike H had to say re; conflicts etc. I'm sure that it was not easy!

                      There is pride in knowing that your father contributed to the history of this, and pride in being able to tell a family story like that.

                      You are also lucky to have a father who is still around at 90 years old.

                      Rick E.
                      Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                      2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                      Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                      Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                      Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                      Comment


                        #12
                        "builderdude" post=806474 wrote:
                        I've been looking at that drawing for quite some time, I think your dad left out the gimbal bearing.... :silly:
                        [color]#000088 wrote:
                        Dave, that's because the Gimbal Bearing was my invention! [/color] :P
                        Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                        2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                        Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                        Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                        Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                        Comment


                          #13
                          "2850Bounty" post=806499 wrote:
                          David, that was interesting to read. Thank you.

                          Since I don't know what you and your father's last name is, I was more so interested to learn if your father was one of the men mentioned in that write-up.

                          I can also understand what you said about the time lines and delays in patent approvals, etc, and what Mike H had to say re; conflicts etc. I'm sure that it was not easy!

                          There is pride in knowing that your father contributed to the history of this, and pride in being able to tell a family story like that.

                          You are also lucky to have a father who is still around at 90 years old.

                          Rick E.
                          My Dad's name is Roland E. Ladewig. You'll see his name listed as "Inventor" on the bottom of plate 1 and 2 and at the top left on the patent award on plate 3.

                          Rick, have I told you the story about my Aunt, Marion Ladewig? Although she has passed away, her PBA Bowling Records are pretty good. :lol:
                          David
                          http://www.cambridgeadvertising.org
                          http://www.davidladewig.com

                          Comment


                            #14
                            "2850Bounty" post=806500 wrote:
                            "builderdude" post=806474 wrote:
                            I've been looking at that drawing for quite some time, I think your dad left out the gimbal bearing.... :silly:
                            [color]#000088 wrote:
                            Dave, that's because the Gimbal Bearing was my invention! [/color] :P
                            And here I thought you were only a VP guy :lol:
                            Dave
                            Edmonds, WA
                            "THE FIX"
                            '93 2556
                            Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P

                            The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
                            Misc. projects thread
                            https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

                            Comment


                              #15
                              "Four Pyrates" post=806462 wrote:
                              ...He sold that outdrive patent in the 60's to a large manufacturer. That was good for me. I went to college on some of it.
                              When I worked at McDonnell Douglas they had an awesome benefit regarding patents. If an employee invented something that got patented they would get their name on the patent and would get a good number of company shares as a bonus. This is fairly common in corporations. What was different from other companies was what would happen if the invention was licensed to a third party. In that case the employee would get a small percentage of the royalties. I knew a couple of engineers that were making more than their salaries in royalties sharing. I also knew an engineer that invented a device that was used by virtually every large airplane manufacturer. Because the device enhanced airplane safety, the company decided to make the patent available free of charge; so he ended up getting nothing.
                              1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                              2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                              Anacortes, WA
                              Isla Verde, PR

                              Comment

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