National Treasure #56: Snowmobile

The origin of the snowmobile, or sled, as they are often referred to, is not the work of any one inventor but more a process of advances in engines for the propulsion of vehicles and supporting devices over snow. It parallels the development of the automobile and later aviation, often inventors using the same components for a different use. . . . It was only in 1960, when engines became lighter and smaller than before, that Joseph-Armand Bombardier invented what we now know as the modern snowmobile in its open-cockpit one- or two-person form, and started selling it under the brand name Ski-Doo. – Wikipedia

So, OK, no one person invented the snowmobile, although opinions vary, even (especially?) on Wikipedia.

Joseph-Armand Bombardier (April 16, 1907 ““ February 18, 1964) was a French-Canadian inventor and businessman, and was the founder of Bombardier. His most famous invention was the snowmobile.

And this, from the Canadian Encyclopedia.

Joseph-Armand Bombardier, engineer, entrepreneur, inventor of the snowmobile and Ski-Doo (born 16 April 1907 in Valcourt, QC; died 18 February 1964 in Sherbrooke, QC).

Certainly Joseph-Armand patented the Ski-Doo, although the name was meant to be Ski-Dog. A typo in the first brochure changed history.

However we attribute innovation, what could be more quintessentially Canadian than a vehicle designed for transportation and recreation on snow and ice?

Snowmobiler on Yellowknife street.



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4 Responses to National Treasure #56: Snowmobile

  1. JimTaylor says:

    A serious reply this time. I think the snowmobile was a marvellous invention for people living in remote areas, where they needed it for health, safely, and hunting. I think it is an abomination when it gets hot-rodded so that overly testosteroned young people can go too far, too high, too fast.
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – I take your point, but it applies equally to all vehicles, no? For sleds, there’s a vast middle ground of recreational use that gets people outside during the cold, dark days of winter.

  2. Vince says:

    Go Big Guy, GO!

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