Learn about how the very first snowmobile was invented and how it happened. Invented by Joseph-Armand Bombardier during a time when Canadian roads were unpaved and unplowed, he was determined to create a vehicle that could get snowbound people to church or school or to the hospital during winter. See firsthand how Bombardier got the idea and developed this new machine.
In 1922, when Joseph-Armand Bombardier was fifteen years old he built his first snow vehicle. He had always loved to tinker with motors and make things go, and he dreamed of building a vehicle that could go over snow. His first attempt, using a Model T Ford engine and a wooden propeller, worked well. To Joseph-Armand’s mind, anyhow. Not so much his father, who made him take the contraption apart. Over the years, Joseph-Armand dreamed of becoming a great mechanic and inventing machines. But when his young son died of a fever because it was impossible to get to the hospital over the snow-covered roads, Joseph-Armand applied his single-minded determination to building a vehicle that could go over snow. It took years, but he accomplished his goal. His invention changed the way people in snow country lived. Inaccessible roads could now be travelled, taking patients to hospitals, doctors and priests to the needy, children to school, and even mail to residents.
When Jules Older isn't skiing or snowmobiling, he's writing children's books. His books include PIG, COW and ICE CREAM. He lives in San Francisco, California.
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