Who invented the snow blower?
The history of the snowblower is a long one and dates back to the year 1884 where Canadian inventor, Arthur Sicard, made the initial designs of the first snowblower. However, it was not until 1925 where he released the first prototype—the “la déneigeuse et souffleuse à neige Sicard,” or the “Sicard Snow Remover Snow Blower.”
Sicard’s invention featured a scooper with an auger-like device and fan attached to the front of a truck. This device could blow snow about 27 m out of the storage box without having to get off the driver’s seat of whatever vehicle it was connected to.
Since this design proved effective compared to its predecessors, the product was an instant success in 1927. So much that the first Sicard Snow Removal Snow Blower was used by the City of Montreal to clear snow from its streets and sidewalks.
What was Sicard’s Motivation?
Arthur Sicard’s motivation was to provide farmers with a practical alternative to shovels and horse-drawn plows. The idea must have been fairly obvious. A blizzard was going on outside, and the cows were getting hungry. Sicard is said to have watched a grain thresher in operation and had a flash of inspiration. He could adapt the machine to move snow instead of wheat. And so began his work on what would be dubbed the “Sicard Snow Remover Snow Blower”.
Arthur tried to invent a machine that would clear snow off the farm so that cows could continue grazing during snowy weather. He started building his first snowblower in 1896 but needed 31 years to perfect the designs. It was not until 1925 that he unveiled his invention in Montreal, and started taking orders.
Arthur’s snowblower was originally intended for farm use only. But after the invention of gas engines became more commonplace in the 1920s, he quickly adapted his design to work with motorized power.
The use of trucks instead of trains made the snow remover popular, but the cost of using meant that only large cities could afford them. In fact, Sicard’s invention never really took off in Canada — there were only about 100 units sold between 1927 and 1930.
At this point, it’s unclear why so few were sold: perhaps it was because few people lived in areas that required sidewalk snow removal back then. Whatever the reason, Sicard never saw much financial success from his invention.
It took a few decades for U.S. companies to discover the commercial potential of Sicard’s snowblower once they had the technology to create consumer versions of the machine that sold for less than $200.
Who Patented the First Snow Blower?
The first actual patent for a snow-clearing machine was issued to Canadian Arthur Sicard in 1925. The patent described a snow scooper attached to the front of a truck to plow out snow.
Although there were earlier snow clearing machines available, this model is considered the first machine and was patented as the Sicard Snow Remover Snow Blower.
What Were The First Snow Blower’s Predecessors?
The first person to imagine a mechanical solution to snow removal was J.W. Elliott, a dentist from Toronto. In 1869 he created an elaborate system that involved a rotary snowplow intended for use on trains. Unfortunately, the system only plowed snow from rail tracks and was never practical enough for everyday use.
Although a working model of Robert Carr Harris’s “Railway Screw Snow Excavator” has never been found, the patent for his invention was granted in 1870 in Dalhousie, New Brunswick.
In 1884, Orange Jull patented an improved rotary snowplow snow-clearing device featuring two rotating fan blades for churning through and expelling snow (It was later simplified to a single blade). Years later, Dufferin County brothers Edward and John S. Leslie bought the patent for snowplow from Jull. This machine was available commercially almost a decade later.
It was not until 1927 that Arthur Sicard commercialized the first real snowblower, which allowed for the operation of snow clearing equipment at greater distances from the power source. Sicard Industries remains one of the leading manufacturers of snow removal equipment today.
Person Powered Snow Blowers
The first person-powered snow blower was invented by high school student William P. Murphy Jr., of Boston, in the early 1900s. Murphy’s innovation led to a smaller version of a train-based rotary snowplow but he later sold his design to a lawnmower company for $1,500. However, this product was never a widespread commercial product.
The first commercially successful snowblower was the “Snowhound,” introduced by Toro in 1952. Snowhound resembled a lawnmower and was available for purchase for a decade before becoming an attachment for lawnmowers.
Since then, the snowblower has evolved into what it is today: an essential tool for homeowners and businesses alike. The main reason for this is its ease of use, as it can be operated almost effortlessly.
Today’s models are much more refined than those of yesteryear, which required a team of workers to help clear pathways. Even so, there is still room for improvement because of environmental concerns about using gasoline and carbon emissions from older models.
How has society improved from its invention?
In the 1920s, snow was a big problem. People were stuck inside, and cars were stuck in the snow. So, people started looking at ways to get rid of the snow. Snowblowers came onto the market in 1925 and since then they have significantly improved society. Snowblowers allowed people to clear snow off their driveway and sidewalks and get on with their business. By being able to clear the snow easily, it also helped out with car production.
Since cars were no longer stuck in snow or unable to drive on snowy roads, they could be made faster and more efficiently. People were able to get where they needed to go easier and safer than before, which allowed for better work productivity.
Snowblowers also improve health in numerous ways. No longer do people who suffer from heart conditions or back problems need to exert themselves during the winter months. People can now clear snow with little effort and without putting strain on their bodies.
To this day, the snowblower remains one of the best inventions known to man because it has made life easier for millions of people all over the world. Snowblowers have improved the quality of life significantly and made things easier in general during the snowy months.
The Bottom Line
The invention of the snowblower has been a godsend for many communities in areas that see their fair share of snow each year. With these machines, homes can be cleared much faster of snow than if they relied on shoveling the sidewalks and driveways themselves. It’s no wonder, then, that the first snowblower sold for more than $400 in 1925.
While we don’t expect prices to drop quite that low any time soon, the invention of this device has proven to be one that has saved countless people from having to become professional snow shovellers.