American Motor Company
Long Island City, New York

This is the first internal combustion outboard for which there is documentation! 1896

I believe Albert T. Otto is the designer of the American. His patents match up and he was the president of the company. He was an engineer but not a promoter of his outboard as the company reportedly made only 20 or 25 detachable rowboat motors.

Look at the material here and decide for yourself.

For more information and history right now:

  • Check Arlan Carter's book that is specifically on rowboat motors.
  • Check out Peter Hunn's book.
Most all of the screen shots were taken from Horseless Age, Nov. 1895.
CLICK page below for full size article from 1895. Albert T. Otto patent - CLICK to see PDF
Patent US645044
In an article it is mentioned that just take the motor off the cast stand and use the transom clamp to turn it into a portable boat motor.

below: Dec. 1895

Below: Motor Sportsman magazine from 1897

This little snippet from Boy's Life, 1957, was interestong! Where is Mr. Hodge and his research now?
Doesn't take long, does it?! This from 1896.