Snowmobile History
The Early Days of the "Snow Vehicle, Snow Machine or Sled"
by Gina Harman

Snowmobiling history dates back to the year 1917 where the winter season in the northern mid-west could be very challenging. Snowmobiles were more of a functional tool in the early days verses a recreational sport that it has become today. The northern winters posed numerous challenges to the hard working men and women of those days. The history of snowmobiling tells a tale of hard work, creativity, experimenting, and overcoming challenges.

Some of the early snowmobiles had some similarities to our modern snowmobiles. Many prototypes had skis, tracks, an open chasis, and a common goal. They were built to move accross snow, frozen lakes and ice. Some of the designs could carry more than one person and move through very deep snow. Older versions of the sled had rubber tracks which area now made of strong synthetic fibers called Kevlar. This products is now often used in body armer, tires, etc...

It is really hard to find evidence of the 1st sled machine ever created. There are reports of inventors experimenting in Wisconsin with snow vehicles before 1900. There is great documentation and stories about Carl Eliason of Sayner, WI. He was an inventive man who spent 31 yrs perfecting what he termed the “Motor Tobaggan”.  Please visit our page: The History of the 1st Snowmobile to learn more.
When visiting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we invite you to stop by the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum to view their Vintage Sleds on Display, learn more about snowmobiling history and browse their numerous items for sale.