Lawrence Johnson Machine Works, Inc. has been serving the boating industry for over 60 years. Larry Johnson, Sr. started the business in 1946. He and a fellow employee, Fred Wilson, designed and patented a revolutionary skewed blade propeller called the "Hurricane." Over the years it was used on everything from Navy PT boats and mine sweepers to cruisers built by Owens.
The first Johnson factory, including a foundry, was a group of old sheds and barns. In 1952, he built a new factory and foundry at its present location. During the Korean War he employed twenty-five people, and was awarded numerous Navy and Coast Guard contracts. Many of the contracts were for propellers and marine hardware for the landing crafts and PT boats, and some included sixty-inch propellers for the Navy’s minesweepers.
As his business grew, so did all the problems. After much consideration, he decided to gear (deal) strictly to (with) the pleasure boat industry, which was expanding at an arithmetic progression.
He made hardware for such pioneer boats as Garwood, Verity Skiffs, Erlwein Skiffs, and numerous small boat manufacturers. Guy Lombardo was a good customer and friend of his during Guy’s boating heyday. Today Lawrence Johnson Machine Works, Inc. maintains one of the largest Michigan Wheel inventories in the nation – distributing, repairing and selling props to propeller shops and boat yards throughout the Northeast.
Larry Johnson, Jr. is a charter member of the National Marine Propeller Association, the New York Marine Trades Association, and the New Jersey Trades Associations. He is also an Associative Member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. They are the first prop shop certified by the NMPA in the entire Northeast United States