Does Anyone Know - What is the Earliest Record of a Ford-Powered Motorised Snow Sleigh (Snow Mobile)?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: Does Anyone Know - What is the Earliest Record of a Ford-Powered Motorised Snow Sleigh (Snow Mobile)?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 03:21 pm:

I am busy finalising (finally!) the book of Ford's early years in New Zealand (loosely the Model T era) and, if possible, I need to find some evidence to clarify when Ford first discussed or produced a Snowmobile (also referred to as a motorised sleigh).

The likely places to look are the Ford Times and Ford News, but I've found nothing in those I have access to here. Whilst it is definitely of relevance to the New Zealand story, the NZ aspect is immaterial in this question. I need to see when Ford of Canada, and/or Ford - US first discussed, did something with or publicised the Snowmobile.

As always, your help is appreciated.

John Stokes
New Zealand


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Saylor on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 03:59 pm:

John,
I'm not exactly sure what snowmobile you are referring to, but in 1917 a Ford dealer in New Hampshire named Virgil D. White received a patent for an attachment designed to convert a Model T into a 'Snowmobile,' a name coined and copyrighted by White. White had built his first snowmobile attachment 1913. In the winter of 1922, he began selling his conversion kits through Ford dealerships. You can find out more about these kits, which are still being produced today, over at http://www.modeltfordsnowmobile.com/LCmainBriefHistory.htm. Hope this helps!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 11:10 pm:

Hi John,

Thank you for the reply and link to the Snowmobile Club. It is most interesting.

As an aside, name association always amuses me - of course it had to be a Mr White who is credited with the first Snowmobile! I also note that there's a photo of Mr Waters using his on ice! But I digress.

The site may answer the line of enquiry I was taking - Virgil White, who built his first Model T Snowmobile in 1913, is on record as having produced a version, using a Buick, as early as 1906.

Of course, the Ford Motor Company did not build these vehicles as an option, but they will have shown them in publications such as Ford News and the Ford Times. I would be intrigued to see what such as article might say.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob McDonald-Federal Way, Wa. on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 11:58 pm:

John
Mr Whites use of the 1906 Buick was his first
experiment with the "Automobile Snow Attachment"
this was the name he first used. He also became a Ford dealer in 1913. After his perfecting his Idea
his plan was to sell them through Authorized ford Dealer. After he was able to get financial backing around 1920 the name was changed to The Snowmobile Co. There is no record that I've Found that there was any connection with the Ford Motor Co. There were two other Co. that made units also for The Model T (Snow Bird & Snow Flyer). The Arps Corp. ended up owning all three Co.in 1931-32. But all three started with The Model T.
There could have been some units shipped to your area but most of there records have lost or been destroyed.

Bob


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