Robert Gettelman founded the Wisconsin Marine company in Pewaukee in 1952.They manufactured steel piers,boat hoists and underwater salvage equipment. The company moved to Lake Mills in 1958 where Gettelman got out of the marine buisness and began to manufacture snow throwers after he developed and patented his own machine. He actually lived on the second floor of the Lake Mills plant.Annual sales climbed to $685,000 in 1971 and because of declining health he sold the company of 3 full time and 10 part time employees on Jan 1 1972 to Dane T Scag a professional engineer. A nation wide recession and several winters of little snow created doubt the plant could survive.He designed and started a line of commercial lawn mowers in 1973-1974 in partnership with Rowland Lehman . November 21 1974 a fire gutted the plant in the new paint area for lawn mowers. The 14 dedicated employees repaired the damaged equipment and got back into production.Sales doubled each year from 1975 to 1981.Total sales in 1979 were $11.8 million and projected sales in 1982 were $26 million.Frank Stratton of Briggs and Stratton helped by filling a rush order of 4,000 engines when production picked up after the fire.