Tuesday, January 21, 2014

1-22-13 merc celebrates 75th anniversary

Fond du Lac’s biggest employer is celebrating a major milestone this week.  Mercury Marine is celebrating its 75th anniversary today.  Merc spokesman Steve Fleming says the company was founded by Carl Kiekhaefer in 1939 when he purchased a bankrupt engine manufacturing plant in Cedarburg.  "With it came about 300 engines that weren't broke, they were just poorly built and poorly designed.  He took those engines, redesigned them, rebuilt them and then sold them and they were so popular and sold quickly,"  Fleming said.  Fleming said Kiekhaefer had planned to start a magnetic separator dairy farm, but  "suddenly he was an outboard engine producer and it took off from there."  Kiekhaefer moved the facility to Fond du Lac in 1946.  Fleming says Mercury’s year-long celebration plans include events in various locations throughout the world.  A Mercury Marine museum will open on Scott Street near Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac this spring.   Fleming says Merc employs 31 hundred people in Fond du lac and continues to grow.

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