Polaris is credited as the first maker of production snowmobiles. Edgar Hetteen and Allan Hetteen were partners in Hetteen Hoist and Derrick Shop in Roseau, Minnesota. David Johnson partnered with Allan and Edgar Hetteen, to create a vehicle that could travel through snow. These vehicles’ primary use was to make hunting locations more accessible. The employees worked overtime to finish their concept model. After creating it using a grain silo conveyor belt as a track and an old chevy bumper for skis, they had the first snowmachine. They sold it to “Silver Pete”, the lumber yard owner, for $465. A second model was created, called the Polaris Sno Traveler. The first machines rolled off the assembly line in Minnesotain 1956. The original models weighed close to 1000 lbs. and moved at a speed of about 20 mph. They came in a two-tone paintjob (white below blue with a strip or chrome trim dividing them). Polaris is also the top selling brand for automatic quads.
Edgar left the company in June 1960 and started a competing company called Polar Manufacturing in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The company name later changed to Arctic Enterprises. That company continues on as Arctic Cat.