The Quest To Conquer Winter
"The first snowmobile race was held the day they made
the second snowmobile." Anonymous
America's great era of motorized transportation
was underway. Orville and Wilbur Wright proved man could fly. Henry Ford
revolutionized the automotive industry, building interchangeable parts and
mass-producing his cars on a unique assembly line.
But there was still winter with which to contend. There were heavy snows and
unpassable drifts which rendered wheeled vehicles useless. The need to conquer
traveling despite the snow generated a continuing wave of creations for that
In 1913, Virgil D. White, a Ford automobile dealer in West Ossipee, New
Hampshire, invented a caterpillar-type tracked unit which could be mounted to
the rear axle of a Ford car, along with a set of skis for the front end,
complete with independent suspension arms.
There were others similar to it, before and after, but White applied for a
patent on his particular invention and was granted a copyright on the name he
He named it the "Snowmobile."
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to conquer winter