Carl Eliason

DATE OF INDUCTION: January 17, 1991
CAREER SPAN: 1921-1965

One of the great innovators in snowmobiling, Carl Eliason as decades ahead of his time in 1921 as he dreamed of a vehicle capable of travel over the snow. In 1924, when he test his first working prototype in the woods around Sayner, Wisconsin, the very first tracks were made in the trail that leads to the winter sport we know today.

Just 24 years old when the first Motor Toboggan made its trial run, Carl Eliason pursued the design and development of the snowmobile with a fervor that resulted in the longest continuous production of any brand of snow machine even after 70 years of snowmobiling history. The introduction of forward-mounted 2-stroke engines, the centrifugal clutch, belt drive and ski steering can be traced to the Eliason Motor toboggan.

Eliason built Motor Toboggans to order in his shop in Sayner from 1924 until the early 1940’s. When orders for wartime machines exceeded his production capacity, he negotiated a deal to have Eliason machines built by FWD in Clintonville, Wisconsin. Over 150 Clintonville Eliason machines were built to satisfy military and forest industry orders until 1947, when production was moved to Kitchener, Ontario. Eliason Motor Toboggans remained in production until about 1965.