Nearly 16 years after initiating the policy of “consolidated competition”, OMC produced the first standardized common-line product. The Evinrude 25 and the Johnson 25 were essentially the same motor, just styled differently for each division. Even their parts were interchangeable. To further integrate the two divisions, OMC pared both the Johnson and Evinrude lines down to four models each. Diversification came just a year later when OMC Canada converted an out-dated washing machine motor into a lawn mower motor and branched into the rotary lawn mower business. The new mower was called the Lawn-Boy. In 1952, OMC acquired RPM Manufacturing Co. of Lamar, MO, a manufacturer of rotary lawn mowers that had recently gone into receivership. The Lawn-Boy proved to be very successful and later led OMC to look at other small-engine related products.
Around this same time, the Korean War began. President Harry S. Truman declared a state of emergency in the US and called for a large scale production effort from major manufacturers. The National Production Authority (NPA), formerly called the War Production Board, decided once again that aluminum could not be used in the production of recreational items. The proposed ban on production would divert 90% of aluminum to defense purposes, leaving on 10% to be used to build outboard motors. Joseph G. Rayniak, who had been named general manager of OMC in 1949, went to Washington to fight the ban. In his pamphlet, Outboards at Work, Rayniak showed the NPA that outboard motors were being used domestically for important commercial purposes such as logging, fishing, water taxi services, disaster relief and conservation. Rayniak painted a picture for the NPA that seemed to imply that Johnson and Evinrude motors were the only ones being used for such purposes. Much to their surprise, the NPA cancelled the ban on production for OMC and even offered to assist the company in securing more aluminum. With this remarkable turn of events, OMC had only to supply 10% of its production capacity to the war effort.
The one millionth Johnson motor rolled off the assembly line in November 1952, marking the first time in history that an outboard motor company had reached this goal. Amidst expansion of their facilities, OMC continued to produce revolutionary new products. The 5 ½ hp Johnson Sea Horse featured a carburetor intake silencer and an exhaust relief silencer, making it the quietest motor available. Sales of the quiet Sea Horse skyrocketed, setting the highest single year sales records for any one product in the history of the company. The Sea Horse also featured a gear shift, an up-and-off motor hood, and a spring release shock absorber drive.
By 1955, the Johnson and Evinrude lines were identical to one another in the 3-hp and 25-hp models and the Evinrude 7 ½ hp and 15-hp motors were the same as the Johnson 5-hp and 10-hp lower end units. Johnson added suspension drive to their 10-hp and 25-hp motors. Gale added a 22-hp and a 25-hp twin to its 1955 line up. Both models were available with either manual or electric starting.