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Idealog—in the ideas business

Innovation of the day: The outboard motor

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Who: Cameron Waterman

Innovation: Outboard motor

What does it do?

It's a propulsion system for boats. It's got an engine, a gearbox and a propellor. 

What problem does it solve?

Having to row your boat.

A success?

Waterman was an engineering student at Yale. He created the outboard motor over two years, between 1903 and 1905, when he got a patent. There are plenty of big-name brands making outboard motors, including Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha.

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