By Lawrence Powell
Retired local teacher and historian Paul Joudrey saved an old 1926 Snowmobile for many years before George Bruce of Tupperville acquired it with plans to put it back together. He and a bunch of friends rebuilt it from the ground up.
It’s quite a piece of work and when it’s travelling across a snow-covered open field it’s a sight to behold.
The machine was built on a Model T Ford body and was used by Bridgetown Electric to patrol their power lines in the wintertime. The machine came as a kit to modify the Model T Ford truck and consists of skis on the front and an extra pair of wheels on the back with a track – much like on a tank – turned by the wheels.
“The Bridgetown Electric Company had this vehicle as a service vehicle in the wintertime and it was built on a 1926 Model T Ford. It’s a Snowmobile kit made by a company in West Ossipee, New Hampshire,” said Bruce. “The electric company here used it as their service vehicle up after the Second World War even. It’s been here in the Bridgetown area all of its life.”
Over the past eight years the machine has been restored in Tupperville by Bruce and a host of friends. Parts for the machine were bought, borrowed, and rebuilt and on Saturday they took it out for spin. Those involved and passersby got to go for rides through untouched snow on Bruce’s back 40, proving that the machine would have been effective for its original use.
“A man name of Paul Joudrey had saved it and it was in his collection and eventually I was able to get it from him and we began to piece it back together, as it had been disassembled for a long period of time. Some help from some people in the eastern US and quite a few local craftsmen here we were able to get it back together and that’s what you see today.”
While Bruce can store it in his own facilities, he would like the 1926 Snowmobile on display somewhere in the area where it was originally used.
“The Snowmobile needs to be on display for people to see it,” said Bruce. “But I don’t want it to leave this geographical area because it always was here and it’s where its usage was. I don’t know how or where a suitable display place is, and I can’t give it to somebody. But I would like to put it on a loan where it would be secured and displayed for others to see.”
George Bruce of Tupperville in his 1926 Snowmobile.