By Staff
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Courtesy of Roy F. Brown, 769 Main St., Conneaut, Ohio 44030.
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Courtesy of Joe Fahnestock, Union City, Indiana 47390.

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

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.

Roy Brown on his ‘motorbob’.

Unusual ‘Mud Hen’ Pump made by C. H. & E. Mfg. Co.,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1928. Powered by a 2? HP. Fuller and
Johnson Engine, the unit weights 760 pounds and has a capacity of
6,000 gallons per hour. Owned and operated by Carl Seechi.

He says that he got about half-way down the street when Pat
Appleton, the police chief, stopped him and really bawled him

Hiram, the older brother, is a retired master plumber who
currently lives in Boco Raton, Florida.

The younger brother Roy is a retired Norfolk and Western
Railroad roundhouse foreman who has made lifelong hobbies out of
turning wood, grinding grain and working with oxen.

His stone grist mill is powered by a 1928 International
Harvester 3 horsepower gasoline engine. Other equipment in his
backyard is powered by an upright 1904 Nova 3 horsepower gasoline
engine. Both engines, which he maintains, work fine.

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