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The History of Snow Blowers

Snow Blower mounted on a train

Take a guess... In what country was the snow blower invented?

Hint: They're our neighbors to the North.

In parts of the country where snow is on the ground almost 9 months of the year, it was in Canada where the snow blower revolution began.

Let's blow back to the late 1800's when snow blower history first took off.

Locomotive Power

It was time to hang up the reins. The days of horse drawn snow plows were coming to a close. With faster and farther-reaching alternatives to traveling, trains emerged as the new powerful snow removal machines.

You've probably seen the wedge-shaped plows on the face of a train. However, if the snow was too deep, the plow could derail the train off the tracks. A new method was needed to remove snow, without simply plowing it out of the way.

The dawn of the snow blowers began. The idea of a machine that would throw or blow snow was tossed around in the late 1800’s by some inventors. In 1884, Orange Jull from Orangeville, Ontario, put these ideas to work. With the help of the Leslie Brothers, a rotary snow blower was built for the locomotives.

The rotary snow blower consisted of large rotating blades that would churn through the snow down the tracks, expelling it out of a chute on the side.

Horses, trains, what’s next?

Automotive Power

Sicard Snow Blower Sicard Snow Blower

With the rise of the automobile in the 20th century, snow removal became a vital part of winter maintenance, especially in the city.

As cities grew during the industrial revolution, so did the inconvenience of snow removal. A heavy snowfall would leave streets clogged with snow, disrupting traffic and breaking the backs of those trying to shovel out their new Model T's.

In Montreal, a snow blower hero constructed a snow removal machine, based on the concept of grain threshers that were used on farms to gather grain. His name was Arthur Sicard. Sicard is credited with inventing the first self-propelled rotary snow blower in 1925.

People watched in amazement as a four wheel drive truck, outfitted with a snow blower front end and chutes, cleared the streets for travel.

Two motors powered this old-time snow blower, one for the truck and one to power the snow blowing system itself. It had the ability to throw snow up to ninety feet.

The next step in snow blower history was to hand over the power of blowing snow to consumers like you.

Snow Blowers for Everyone

After Sicard's invention in the mid 1920's, the focus shifted to designing a quality consumer snow blower for all to operate. Bring on the walk-behind snow blowers.

Toro became the front runner in 1952 when it released the Snow Hound snow blower. The development of a walk-behind snow blower gave each homeowner the personal power to remove snow in their driveway and sidewalks without using the strenuous shovel. In 1962, Toro came out with a lightweight consumer snow blower, the "Snow Pup."

Ariens broke into the snow blowing industry in 1952 by providing an attachment snow blower option for its Yardster series. Then in 1960, Ariens launched their Sno-Thro series, which continues to this day.

In 1962, Simplicity joined the snow blowing craze with their Snow-Away model. Other power equipment manufactures were right behind them, all wanting a piece of the snow blowing action

Today's Snow Blowers

Snow Blowers Today Today's Snow Blowers

Technology has enhanced today's snow blowers, to provide exceptional reliability, durability and performance.

They are more powerful, efficient, and are outfitted with more convenient features to make operating theses snow removing beasts much easier.

Take your pick among tires, tracks, hand warmers, headlights, drift cutters, power steering, and more.

Some say that snow blowing is the most fun they’ve ever had in the snow.

Take Part in Snow Blower History

This invention has moved from the front of a train to your own front door. Its use and popularity is continuing to grow.

Be a part of snow blower history, still in the making. View our selection of Snow Blowers.

Wonder what the future holds for snow blowers? Maybe your snow blower will be able to make phone calls or play music with your iPod.

What would you want your futuristic snow blower to do? If you have any ideas, share them with us at [email protected]