In 1916, Cornelis Kramer (1891-1985) gained his first experiences with marine engines at the factory ‘De Industrie’ in Alphen a/d Rijn. Experience and talent soon turned into craftsmanship, allowing him to climb to the job of chief engineer at a young age. However, Kramer’s distinct vision often clashed with the board. Therefore, in 1919, he decided to return to the Zaanstreek, where he set up his own enterprise: “Kramer’s Engine Repair Workshop”.

He bought the remnants of an old mill on the peninsula ‘de Hemmes’ in Zaandam and converted it to an engineering workshop and house. From here, Kramer visited his first customers – initially by motorcycle.

During the early 20s many skippers switched from sail to motor propulsion, and the clientele grew. Engines from brands like Kromhout, De Industrie, Brons and Rennes were installed in barges traveling for large companies of the Zaan area. Kramer also installed engines in mills, allowing for the operation of the mill mechanism using driving belts even in the case of calm wind.

Cornelis Kramer’s critical view on the limitations of existing marine engines inspired him to design and fabricate one by himself. Together with his mechanical engineer Klaas Beekhoven, he developed the ‘Kramer Engine’ in 1930: a marine engine with a remarkably high efficiency compared to other contemporaneous marine brands. Please click here for more information about the Kramer Engine.