February 16, 2024
[starbox] Here in the Midwest we are going through a nasty winter. Between the relentless snow and bone-numbing cold, it has been a challenge keeping sidewalks and roadways clear for safe travel. Today I’d like to thank the people who made it possible for the average homeowner to have a snowblower. Before 1951 snowblowers and snowthrowers were only found in railroad yards and highway departments. Everyone else was stuck moving snow with a plow or a shovel. Then Toro introduced the Snowhound in 1951 and the snowblower became a suburban necessity. The transition from JW Elliot’s 1869 locomotive mounted machine to Arthur Sicard’s 1925 truck mounted model was tough enough, but the breakthroughs needed to make a walk-behind model required lots of clever engineering. Many of those clever engineers were in the gear trade. Every time I operate my self-propelled MTD, I marvel at the 6 forward speed/2 reverse speed transmission being cost effective. Not to mention the neat crossed helical gearbox that drives the blade itself. Coming from a world of large industrial gears, I couldn’t believe they could be made and sold so inexpensively the first time I saw one being made at Peerless Gear in 1978. So from a guy who clears his own driveway, I salute my fellow gear people for their inventiveness and diligence. Without that snowblower, I would be moving south as soon as possible.