Ever wondered who invented the snowblower? It is hard to imagine winters up north without one and we have Arthur Sicard to thank for that.
Since the first snow blower design, the modern snow blower has come a long way.
Read on and find out the history of this snow removal tool, it’ll give you something to run through your mind the next time you are clearing snow in the driveway.
Who Invented The First Snow Blower?
However, although the Canadian inventor made initial designs as early as 1884, he didn’t release his first prototype until 1925. For this reason, some argue that the railway screw snow excavator invented by Robert Carr Harris in 1870 came earlier.
By 1927 Sicard started his company, Sicard Industries, and was selling snow blowers commercially.
One of his first biggest clients was the town of Outremont, Montreal, which used his machines to clear the streets in winter.
Many manufacturers followed after, most notably the Toro company and the Ariens company in the 1930s. This was well after the industrial revolution but only the start of the snowblowers industry.
Arthur Sicard & The First Practical Snow Blower
The Sicard Snow Remover Snowblower was a very simple design, nothing like the powerful machines we use in our front yards today. In fact, it was more of a snow plow as it actually looks like a modified truck.
This design featured a four-wheel-drive truck chassis with a snow scooper at the front. With a motor that moved the chassis forward and picked up snow. After which it was shot out from the 2 chutes situated at the front of the machine.
Most of the two-stage snow blowers in use these days will throw snow about 60 feet away. Whereas, Sicard’s discharge chute was capable of throwing snow as far as 90 feet.
The History Of Ariens Snow Blowers
To this day, Ariens snow blowers are considered among the best snow blowing tools. Perhaps their long history in commercial snow blowers plays a role in that.
Henry Ariens’ company, Brillion Iron Works, went bankrupt during the Great Depression but that misfortune was only the start of something much bigger. In a new company that he began with his four sons, he created and sold the first rotary tiller.
Up until the 1950s, a snowstorm meant shoveling snow by hand, but the Ariens family changed that. The Sno-Thro evolved from the rotary tiller. It was first released as the Yardster, a yard machine that could plow, mow, spade, and spray, and of course clear snow.
By 1960 they released the Sno-Thro as a separate machine used solely for blowing snow. It was a 2-stage machine with 2 speeds and was capable of throwing snow up to 25 feet away. As you can see, the design improved significantly!
The History Of Craftsman Snow Blowers
The Craftsman Company also started in the 1920s but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the company actually began developing yard tools. They started with lawn mowers but it is unclear when they first released a snow blower.
This is because the Craftsman Company was bought by the Sears company early on since which there have been many name changes in their products. Perhaps one way to recognize their designs is through the Briggs & Stratton OHV engines.
The First Toro Snow Blower
Toro’s history starts with building farm tractor engines in 1914. They later evolve into lawnmowers and become the dominant brand for golf lawn maintenance for several decades.
In 1951, Toro introduces an industrial-grade snow blower called the Snow Boy along with a smaller version called the Snow Hound. The Snow Hound is considered the first snowblower design that allows homeowners to safely walk behind the snow thrower.
Although it did not have power steering yet, it marked an important step in snow thrower designs.
Today’s Snow Blower Features & Capabilities
In comparison, today’s single-stage and two-stage snow blower models are luxurious. They are designed to make clearing snow as comfortable and easy as possible.
Examples of features that make the workload lighter include power steering, heavy-duty tracks, heated handle grips, and built-in LED lighting. For regions with heavy snow, there are three-stage impeller models with a chute that throws snow further than any of the historic models.
Another important advancement in the snow blowing industry is the electric snow blower. There are both corded and cordless designs that are great for light snow and better for the environment, too.
More recently, there are even electric two-stage designs.
I think Arthur Sicard who invented the snow blower would be extremely impressed how far his original design has come.
Having a snow blower is a god-send for families living in regions with heavy snowfall. Although still a chore, snow removal has become more comfortable and an easier task to tackle.
As technology continues to advance, we are sure to expect even more environmentally friendly and efficient ways to blow snow right away from our driveways.
More Interesting Facts About Outdoor Power Tools
Snowblowers are not the only important household power tool that has helped shape how we perform household chores. Here are a few more fun facts you might want to know.
What was the first-ever power tool?
Although the first-ever power tool was actually a lathe built by the Ancient Egyptians. After the invention of the electric motor in the 1880s was to speed up the revolution of the power tool. With Black & Decker developing the first cordless power tool, a zero-impact wrench, for NASA in 1961.
When were lawnmowers invented?
The first mechanical lawn mower was invented by Edwin Bear Budding, from England, and patented in 1830. Reel lawnmowers became popular in the 1870s and the first push models were developed in the UK in the 1910s.
Who invented the first chainsaw?
The first chainsaw was invented by Bernard Heine, a German bone specialist, in 1830 as a surgical tool called the Osteotome. The first gas-powered chainsaws were developed in the 1920s by companies such as Stihl and Dolmar.