The Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum opens a new Larson Boatworks exhibit in mid-May of 2010. The exhibit, which is underwritten by the Virginia and Earl Geiger Family, explores the history of this innovative Little Falls, Minnesota boat builder.
The display begins with Paul Larson’s first boat building effort at age 11 in 1905, and continues through the company’s wood boat era, and his design of the fabulous Falls Flyer. The exhibit explores the introduction of fiberglass boat manufacturing in the earlier 1950s.
In 1957 Paul Larson sold a 50% interest in Larson Boatworks to Earl Geiger. Geiger was instrumental in moving the company’s fiberglass boat production forward. He implemented the use of the Rand Gun, which allowed for the even application of fiberglass into the molds. The Rand Gun revolutionized fiberglass boat manufacturing, and Larson had a jump-start on their competitors, producing high-quality boats that the dealers and public loved. This was a critical element in helping the company move into the national market. A 17-minute interview of Earl Geiger recounts Larson’s innovation in fiberglass manufacturing, and how this positioned the Little Falls company to become a major player in the recreational boat market.
The MLMM was granted access to an extensive collection of catalogs, artwork and memorabilia owned by Lee Wangstad, Paul Mikkelson (The Mikkelson Collection, Inc.), John Monahan, and the Morrison County Historical Society.
The MLMM would like to thank the Virginia and Earl Geiger Family for underwriting this exhibit, which is a permanent part of the museum. The Larson Boats Exhibit opens to the public in mid-May, when the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum begins the 2010 season.