Quebec invention – the world-famous Ski-Doo was named because of a typing error

Photo: Snowmobile protype - J. Armand Bombarier Museum

Photo: Snowmobile protype – J. Armand Bombarier Museum

Valcourt, Eastern Townships, Quebec – It was supposed to be the ‘Ski-Dog’ because it was designed to replace the dogsled, but a brochure typo resulted in the world-famous brand ‘Ski-Doo’. This all started with mechanically-gifted Joseph-Armand Bombardier (historica video), who was born in rural Valcourt, Quebec in 1907. By 15 he created his first prototype snow machine from an Model T Ford, the frame of a sleigh and a wooden airplane propeller. In 1934 he lost his two-year-old son to an appendicitis attack when he couldn’t get him to a hospital during a snow storm. That tragedy added to his motivation, and the first snowmobiles came out of his auto repair shop by 1937. By 1959 the heavy, multi-passenger vehicles were replaced by his lighter two-man Ski-Doo, which launched a new ‘sport’. By 1994, 2 million Ski-Doo’s were built. Valcourt, east of Montreal, is home to the Musée J.-Armand Bombardier. Quebec now has more than 33,650 km (20,900 mi.) of snowmobiling trails.


Musée J Armand Bombardier, 1001 Avenue J A Bombardier Valcourt, Eastern Townships, Quebec


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