Emmitt M. Tucker Invents Snow-Cat Tracked Vehicle
One of 13 children, Emmitt M.Tucker Sr. was born in 1892 in a log cabin on Jumpoff Joe Creek near Grants Pass, Ore. He spent his early childhood near Trail in a stone house built by his father. As a young boy walking to school in deep snow, Tucker began thinking about machines that might make traveling over snow easier.
By the 1920s his ideas began to take shape as he realized that he would have to come up with a completely new system if he were to build a machine that would travel over deep soft snow with a minimum amount of mechanical trouble and expense.
He continued his quest in California, where he came up with a design based on steel tracks rotating around a vehicle’s steel pontoons. Returning to the Rogue Valley, he continued improving on his design that resulted in the Tucker Sno-Cat. In 1958 English explorer Sir Vivian Fuchs used four of Tucker’s Sno-Cats in the first overland crossing of Antarctica.
Today the family-owned Tucker Corporation in Medford is recognized as the oldest successful manufacturer of snow machines in the world.
Sources: Battistella, Edwin. "Tucker Sno-Cat." Oregon Encyclopedia. Oregon Historical Society, 2015. Web. 6 Feb. 2015.