| November/December 1971

  • Motorbob
    Courtesy of Roy F. Brown, 769 Main St., Conneaut, Ohio 44030.
    Roy F. Brown
  • Mud Hen Pump
    Courtesy of Joe Fahnestock, Union City, Indiana 47390.
    Joe Fahnestock

  • Motorbob
  • Mud Hen Pump

5733 Jefferson Ave, Ashtabula, Ohio 44004.

Two brothers Roy F. and Hiram C. Brown may have built the first gasoline-powered snowmobile around the turn of the century.

The sled-like vehicle which they called a 'motorbob' was powered by a 3 horsepower Ferrell marine gasoline engine.

The Browns removed the engine, which was manufactured prior to 1900, Iron an old boat that they had bought from a farmer and mounted the old one lunger on their homemade 'motorbob.'

A heavy-duty bicycle wheel wrapped with chain functioned as the drive wheel for the sled. The drive line from the engine to the wheel was made from gears that the Browns had removed from an old hand-cranked washing machine.

Roy Brown remembers putting down Main Street in Painesville, Ohio one winter day without a muffler and stirring up horses that were hitched along the street.