History of Snowmobiles
Forerunners of the snowmobile existed as early as the 1800s, and versions of the snowmobile have been around since as early as 1910. Here are some notable dates in the history of the snowmobile.
- Carl Eliason patented the feature of his motorized toboggan which defined the first workable, single-track, one-passenger snowmobile.
- J. Armand Bombardier patented a tracked vehicle for traveling over snow.
- An “iron dog” machine went into production. Larger, slower, and clumsier than modern snowmobiles, it was used primarily by hunters, trappers, and power company service crews.
- J. Armand Bombardier, who had spent decades patenting and perfecting features, launched the Ski-Doo® snowmobile. The lighter, more maneuverable machine was a huge success with the public; and numerous other companies soon rushed their versions into production, giving rise to the sport of snowmobiling.
Snowmobiles have increased the popularity of outdoor winter recreation. More than three million people in the United States and Canada snowmobile each winter, enjoying more than 230,000 miles of groomed public trails.
(Vintage machine photos courtesty of Linda Aksomitis: www.snowridermag.com)