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Snowcat History, Articles, Manuals, Brochures & Recollections Forum Publications, specifications, production information for snow cats

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  #41  
Old 09-01-2017, 12:59 PM
sledhaus sledhaus is offline
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Default Re: Snow Motor

Aside from the single track version of which only two are believed built (not including original prototype), historical accounts show likely only two of this two-man cab version built. This is likely one of the two shown in the photo at Camp Hale Trials. Army opted for four-man cab version. Four of them are known to exist. This version was tested at Presque Ise, ME and Aberdeen Proving grounds. Too heavy and too large a turning radius cited. Iron Fireman factory burned near end of WWII and all records were lost. Military records state only 36 produced and referred to both Two-man and 4 -man can versions as the T36. I saw this machine on John's shelf ten years ago and noted the data plate. My guess it was re-branded for sale to Forest Service as T36 was military contract designation and may have been built for USDA and used for Army evaluation but not delivered as a T36. Original Iron Fireman promo photo identifies this exact machine as a T36. Lots of unanswered questions.
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  #42  
Old 09-02-2017, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

the first photo is of one of the early style with the single track, photographed at Timberline, Mt Hood, Oregon.

the last photo is of a 1941 snow motor with a ford, flathead 6 cylinder, USFS was first owner and was used on Mt Hood, Oregon, Timberline to be exact, it is in original condition with it's original rubber tracks.

Iron Fireman Company was located in Portland, Oregon, on harbor drive.

I believe there were somewhere around 125 or so, of snow motors built, Union Pacific/Sun Valley, owned one of the first machines, it is now at a museum out of Salt Lake City, Utah
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  #43  
Old 09-02-2017, 01:31 AM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

QUOTE][I believe there were somewhere around 125 or so, of snow motors built, Union Pacific/Sun Valley, owned one of the first machines, it is now at a museum out of Salt Lake City, Utah/QUOTE]

I've seen the single track in Cedar City, UT and I tried to make a deal with John on the twin track 10 years ago. I researched these machines quite a bit and have photos of all four 4-man cab machines known to exist. I found no evidence of more than 36 being produced which is from Army procurement records. That in addition to two or possibly three Forest Service machines and the original prototype. I am very curious where the 125 figure comes from. The 1941 would have come with a Chrysler flathead as did its predecessors and the machines that followed. The previous owner before John swapped it out with the Ford engine so I was told by his son.
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  #44  
Old 09-02-2017, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by sledhaus View Post
QUOTE][I believe there were somewhere around 125 or so, of snow motors built, Union Pacific/Sun Valley, owned one of the first machines, it is now at a museum out of Salt Lake City, Utah/QUOTE]

I've seen the single track in Cedar City, UT and I tried to make a deal with John on the twin track 10 years ago. I researched these machines quite a bit and have photos of all four 4-man cab machines known to exist. I found no evidence of more than 36 being produced which is from Army procurement records. That in addition to two or possibly three Forest Service machines and the original prototype. I am very curious where the 125 figure comes from. The 1941 would have come with a Chrysler flathead as did its predecessors and the machines that followed. The previous owner before John swapped it out with the Ford engine so I was told by his son.
the Ford engine in the snow motor is Original to the machine and has not been changed out, everything about the engine install shows that it has never been out of the machine, only takes a couple of minutes to see it is original and untouched.

the first early ones did have chrysler 6's and later ones were offered with both Ford and Chrysler engines, one good source for info is the "two track rigid machine" web site, and it shows other sources for additional info. and if you are up for a challenge, will pay $1,000.0 if you can prove the engine has been changed from the Chrysler to Ford engine, fyi, sources show these machines were built up to 1950, for a total of 16 years.

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  #45  
Old 09-02-2017, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

I'm just telling you what a former owner's son told me. That his dad swapped the Chrysler engine with the Ford. I guess he must have lied to me. If the assumption that production went to 1950 is based on the photo on the Unusual Locomotion website I think that is a stretch. The photo caption likely means it was taken in 1950 while the machine was still in service with the Forest Service. The single track machine in Utah was owned by the family who had the concession contract at Sun Valley and when retired it went to their ranch by Cedar City and hauled hay to starving cattle after the 1948 blizzard. So machines built in the early 40s were still being operated in the 50s. I have video of that machine operating. I have Crismon's book and because it contains other inconsistencies I consider it a very good reference but not a stone tablet. I found no evidence that production continued after the Portland factory burned down in 1944. A year ago you were asking me for Tucker Patents and information on these machines. Now information gathered over ten years that I was offering to share is dismissed. I mistakenly thought it might be helpful or appreciated. Signing off on this one.
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  #46  
Old 09-02-2017, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/vi...60&context=etd

Page 112 in PDF (105 in actual doc). More lies we must assume.
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:05 AM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

thank you for your info, the ford engine is original to the machine and it was built in '41 and happy to share the info on the machines i have,

we were told the same story and could find no support for the claim that it was changed out. it is so common for these verbal histories to get away from the facts, no one lied, just retold a story without the facts to support it, and i agree that many times a date of a photo is used to say that something was built much later than it was really constructed.

thanks again for the info

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Old 09-03-2017, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by sledhaus View Post
http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/vi...60&context=etd

Page 112 in PDF (105 in actual doc). More lies we must assume.
i have a copy of this one, and found it to be somewhat bias, given, Utah State was directly involved with the Frandee, no lies, just bias

there are numerous omissions and simple mistakes, though it is an good source of info if you use some common sense.

you should read the soil conservation review of the 1950 snow cat tests that was conducted in sun valley, it has a much different view of the machines than what the 1955 Utah State paper has, all very interesting to read.

all the period information is good to see and read, it expands our understanding of the history and stories of these machines

thanks again
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  #49  
Old 09-03-2017, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

http://locomotion102.rssing.com/chan...29/all_p1.html


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  #50  
Old 09-04-2017, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

looks like the Iron Fireman co. of Portland, Oregon, had 2 locations in Portland, one was on Harbor Drive, river front of downtown and another out on SE 17 th Ave, looks like the company was in business through 1955 and could very have built Snow Motors in 1950, I do several other sources of info I need to do further research.

Last edited by Pontoon Princess; 09-04-2017 at 07:49 PM.
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  #51  
Old 09-08-2017, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

Name:  Iron Fireman T36110.jpg
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The attached Iron Fireman Co. promotional photo supplied to the US Department of Ordinance does support the Ford engine installation as the spark plug spacing and wiring conduit are clearly Ford as opposed to Dodge.

The Iron Fireman Co. was in business from 1923 until 2011 manufacturing all types of coal-fired boilers and later oil-fired heating equipment. They started in Portland but also built factories in Cleveland and Toronto and during World War 2 built Liberty Ship Engines among many other wartime items. Two of the Portland factories burned down in 1944 and 1945 so manufacturing operations were moved to Cleveland. Practically anyone who had manufactured an over-snow vehicle by 1943 presented it to the Army for testing at Camp Hale, Colorado. Photos show two Iron Fireman twin track, two man cab machines there. Some references say there were three at the Camp Hale Trials. The Army wanted to carry more troops so the three-man cab T36 was developed and procurement records state 36 were ordered. But the Weasel was chosen as the primary Army over-snow vehicle and reportedly over 15,000 Weasels eventually were produced. I know of no evidence that indicates production after 1945 and all records were lost in the fires. Forest Service archives may be the only source for early production information, since they did hold the patent for the two-man cab machine.

Although some publications have referred to the T36 as a Snow Motor, that is erroneous. As the promo photo shows the machine was called the "Snow Cruiser" by the manufacturer.

Just as it is erroneous to call the Armstead Snow Motor kit for the F Model Fordson a "Snow Devil". The machine used in Truckee, CA that now resides in the Hendrick Ag Museum is said to have been called that by locals of the time. No where else in history was it ever called that until the Internet arrived. Just like claims that it is Henry Ford himself driving it in the 1926 promotional film. Ford Motor Co. had nothing to do with the conversion other than to manufacture the tractors they were used on. Even the three machines sent to Alaska to support the Wilkes/Eielson flight over the North Pole were not sponsored by Ford Motor Co..
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  #52  
Old 09-08-2017, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Snow Motor

great photo, so much more to learn about this company thanks
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