Bombardier and the Snowmobile
Joseph-Armand Bombardier was born in Valcourt, Quebec. He wanted to develop a machine that would end the isolation of winter. In the winter of 1922, at the age of 15 he made the first snow machine with a car engine from a car his father bought him. In 1934 Bombardier's
TN_0841_04.JPG
Joseph-Armand Bombardier
son died because the family could not reach the hospital in time, because of a raging storm.The next year he traveled on his snowmobile throughout Quebec. Everywhere he went he became front page news.

In 1937, he was granted a patent for the snowmobile called the “B7”, the B for Bombardier and the 7 for the amount of people it could hold. Each snowmobile cost $7500. The first buyers of the B7 were country doctors and ambulance drivers but quickly expanded to retail businesses, transportation companies, mail carriers, and more.

TN_0526_50.jpg
First snowmobile (courtesy Bombardier Inc).
In 1942 he produced the B12, which could hold 12 passengers comfortably and had many improvements. At the start of WWII, the Canadian Armed Forces showed interest in Bombardier's B12, but wanted a more powerful model adapted to moving troops and military equipment in winter. War operations were developed around them.

The winters of 1947 and 1948 had little snow which caused sales to plummet. In addition, t
alert_b12.jpg
The B12
he government was now clearing snow from country roads, which swiftly made the snowmobile seem obsolete. Bombardier had to leave the snow market for a while and developed new industrial vehicles, including several vehicles for oil exploration. In 1953 he produced the Muskeg, which was able to travel anywhere.

In 1959 he introduced a 2 passenger snowmobile called the ski-doo which was smaller and lighter than the B12. The ski-doo could cross snow, and soft and muddy terrains.His company has continued to flourish even after his death. It has now sold over 2 million snowmobiles, and specializes in manufacturing airplanes and trains throughout the world.

Significance
The snowmobile was a means of transportation over snow. It ended the isolation of people living in remote areas during the winter.It allowed for the movement of Canadian Armed Forces in snow covered areas.