The History of Snow Blowers: What Came First? Snow or Snow Blowers?


Our great-grandparents always said, “we shoveled snow every morning before school for 2 hours! Then we walked uphill, both ways to get to class. We’re Montana tough! Even if they had snow blowers, we wouldn’t have used them.”

All kidding aside, snow has been around a lot longer than snow blowers! A relatively recent invention, we’re sure previous generations would have loved owning a snow blower. Taking the back-breaking task of shoveling snow and turning it into a fast, easy chore with a snow blower forever changed the way humans viewed winter.

A snow blower works by clearing snow from a surface, collecting it, and “throwing” it to another location. Typically, snow blowers use a corkscrew-shaped blade made of metal, rubber or plastic called an auger. The auger collects and distributes the snow.

Personal snow blowers are used to clear streets, sidewalks and driveways. But did you know there are powerful snow blowers made with jet engines that clear airport runways and train tracks? Imagine if you had a jet engine snow blower for your driveway! You better have a pretty big driveway.

History of Snow Blowers, Man shoveling snow

What Year Was the First Snow Blower Invented?

There have been three main revisions of what we’ve now come to think of as the modern snow blower. Robert Carr Harris from New Brunswick patented the “Railway Screw Snow Excavator” in 1870, and Orange Jull improved upon that design in 1884 in Ontario, Canada. His machine became commercially available in the 1890s.

Arthur Sicard, the son of a dairy farmer, was looking to make delivering milk easier in the winter. From 1894 to 1925, Sicard worked on the “Sicard Snow Remover Snow Blower.” In 1927 he sold his design that proved to be incredibly effective to the Canadian cities of Outrement and Montreal. Sicard’s timing was perfect; as the general population’s ownership of automobiles grew, more effective snow clearing methods were in demand.

The third revision of the snow blower was designed by William P. Murphy Jr., a high school student from Boston. Murphy’s design was different than the previous models because it was the first person-powered snow blower. (Sicard’s device was attached to the front of a truck.)

History of Snow Blowers - Truck Plow

Toro Snow Blowers

Toro snow blowers have been there from the beginning. An American lawn care company, Toro, started selling personal snow blowers in 1952. They are still the industry leader in snow blowers, offering outstanding durability with advanced technology making personal snow throwing easy, fast, reliable and safe.

The Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE was ranked by the New York Times as the best snow blower of 2021. It was the fastest snow blower they tested with a high-capacity auger and a powerful drive system that can keep up with your walking pace. A Toro is a perfect snow blower for Bozeman, Montana.

Honda Snow Blowers

The famously reliable, easy-starting engine you know and trust are what powers Honda snow blowers! With 14 single-stage and two-stage models to choose from, you’re sure to find a Honda Snow Blower that fits your winter needs.

Single stage snow blowers offer homeowners a powerful and efficient way to clear snow off smooth cement and asphalt surfaces. Homeowners that have a long, gravel driveway will appreciate a two stage snow blower. Two stage snow blowers leave only a thin layer of snow on the ground and toss snow up to 25 feet further than a single stage snow blower.

History of Snow Blowers, Toro and Honda Snow Blowers

EGO Battery-Operated Snow Blowers

For the second year, we are proud to offer EGO Battery-Operated Snow Blowers at Ace! EGO Battery-Operated Snow Blowers rival even the strongest gas-powered snow blowers without gas engines’ noise, fuss, or fumes. Plus, you’ll be able to clear your driveway and sidewalk on a single charge.

All EGO snow blowers offer Peak Power technology, LED headlights, quick folding for compact storage and 35 – 50 feet of snow throwing. EGO provides the industry’s first cordless snow blower with the power and performance of gas-powered throwers.

Owenhouse Ace Parts and Repair Shop

Keeping up with snow blower maintenance and repair is easy with help from our Owenhouse Ace Parts & Repair Shop! With Bozeman, Montana averaging 73.1 inches of snowfall a year, keeping your snow blower in good shape is important! Ensure your Toro Snow Blower or Honda Snow Blower is up to the challenge with a Single Stage Snow Blower Tune-Up or Two Stage Snow Blower Tune-Up.

Our tune-ups include:

  • Clean snow blower
  • Change spark plug and engine oil
  • Check/replace fuel and check the fuel filter
  • Check cables and adjust belts
  • Check the paddles and scraper (Single Stage)
  • Check auger, scraper and adjust the skids (Two Stage)
  • Check the shear bolts (Two Stage)
  • Inspect and lube auger gearbox (Two Stage)
  • Lube the chute ring and gear (Two Stage)
  • Check tire pressure (if applicable)
  • Check electric start function (if applicable)
  • Check and tighten fasteners
  • Check electric start function (if applicable)
  • Check engine RPM and adjust as needed
  • Check all operator safety features
  • Overall operation check
  • Additional parts and installation are extra.

Call our Repair Shop at 406-587-5495 to schedule your appointment today!

Shop Snow Blowers at Owenhouse Ace in Bozeman

Whether you’re searching “snow blower near me” from your couch or browsing in-person for a snow blower for sale at Owenhouse Ace, now you know the history behind your new purchase! We can thank the inventors that came before us for help making our Bozeman winters easier to handle. At least, easier to get to school and work on time! If you’re ready to give your back a break this winter and invest in a snow blower, our team of experts will help you find the right snow blower for your needs.

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