Feature of the Week – March 11th, 2022

This week’s “Museum Feature of the Week”, is a FWD Truck and its Snogo Blower. This equipment was first owned by the State of Iowa and used until after World War II. Earl Bishop, Sr., purchased it as a backup when meeting the terms of his snow removal contracts with LaGrange, Bradford, and Milo. It was pressed into service only during extreme conditions when snow drifted too deeply or packed too firmly for snowplows to handle.

The truck comes with an 82 horsepower Waukesha engine and was manufactured by F.W.D. Clintonville, Wisconsin, in 1931. The initials represent “Four Wheel Drive,” and this company was at that time a primary manufacturer of all-wheel-drive trucks. The blower powered by a 150 horsepower Climax engine was manufactured by Klauer Manufacturing Co., Dubuque, Iowa in 1937. They furnished a complete parts book for this blower. The engine used to power the blower was nearly twice as powerful as the engine that powered the truck itself.

The children of Earl Bishop, Sr. gave it to Coles Express: Albert, Earl, Jr., John and Josephine Ricker. Coles Express shop employees salvaged it from a building in LaGrange that had collapsed under a snow burden, prepared it for display and donated it to the Museum in 1989 to add to the history of snow removal in Maine.