The Fordson Snow Machine: Tractors Are Good At Everything

Did you know that someone once fitted a Fordson tractor with a set of snow-cone treads? Did you know that YouTube has silent film of it? Did you know that silent-movie people could do donuts on a tractor? Us neither.

At some point in the late 1920s, the Armstead Snow Motors Company attached screw-drive cylinders to a Fordson tractor. Each cylinder was connected to the engine by a separate clutch, and each clutch was engaged or disengaged relative to the position of the steering gear, allowing the tractor to turn. The idea never caught on, but a promotional film was made, and that film found its way to YouTube. All hail the pre-war donut and the spooked horse.


Side note: Does anyone else find the Yoda-speak/Silence of the Lambs title cards both spooky and charming at the same time? (It puts the "snow track" on the . . . back forty . . . or else it gets the hose again? Plow, or plow not! There is no try!)

(Hat tip to Josh!)

Share This Story