Rotary Snow Plow

The Rotary Steam Snow Shovel, for Railroad use, was a True “Canadian Invention”

aka: Rotary Snow Shovel
aka: Rotary Snow Plough
aka: Elliot-Jull Snow Plow

The failure with all the Rotary Plows, wasn't moving the straight snow, no matter how deep it was, but hitting rocks and sticks, if the snow blocking the tracks was from an avalanche. Same as a home snowblower today, rocks or any other item in a driveway, can cause major damage to the impellors. The knives or curved metal on these huge machines would be torn to shreds by one rock.
On the prairies these machines would work 100%, but in the mountains, all would be good until the rocks and trees showed up.
The wing style machines worked good in lower height of snow, and could handle a few smaller stones etc, and could quickly clear a line, but heavier deeper snow they just couldn't push it out of the way, before it would pile up in front, and stall the machines. Plus the packed snow on the side would then sometimes fall back in onto the track, and could block the retreat of the plow. The extended wing styles, or flanges on the side of some, stopped that action a bit
That is why today all this is done with bulldozers, and huge loaders in the mountainous areas.
Even a loader and bulldozer can push only a certain amount of snow, dirt, or whatever.
But the loader can pick it up and move it, a big benefit in clearing an avalanche.
1997 Canada Stamp
1997 Rotary Snow Plow, Canada Stamp, courtesy Grant Walker

Leslie Brothers Manufacturing Company, Rotary Snow Plow, No2, Southern Pacific
Postcard Courtesy Grant Walker, CA

Now reading 99.9% of the history books from this time period, old newspaper articles, engineering manuals, Patent info, etc, you will get one story, but one little article written by an old CPR engineer, has cast some doubts on that recorded history. Also a note from an old boyhood friend of Edward “Ned” Leslie, tells the story of deceit and theft of his idea to build this machine. There was thousands of dollars involved, big money for this time period, so who knows. I will try and relate each thing as I found it. Let the experts sort it out. But as I have found out before, sometimes old history books are not correct. I would love to ask Mr. Edward Leslie's family if there were any old drawings dated before 1884 to prove his story. But as he abandoned them a year before he died, I doubt if they kept anything.
Like today, Invention ideas are stolen, and patents applied for by the wrong person. Even patented ideas are stolen, and remade in a slightly different format in another country, and nothing seems to be done about it. this would not be the first time for this to happen, sad to say.
But as an historian, I have to print what little tidbits I find, and attempt to get the story right.

Leslie Brother's Rotary Plow

First plow per Edward Holloway was what he called the “Fitzgerald” Rotary Plow.
Fitzgerald's first plow had problems, and building the 2nd prototype, he went broke.
He sold the patent to Edward Leslie, of Orangeville ON, who turned them out for the CPR
Canadian Patent # 438008 (no?), Oct 7, 1890? shown in Edward Leslie's name
US Patent- #380809 patented Apr 10, 1888, E. Leslie, Rotary Excavator for removing snow
Application filed August 31, 1887. Serial No. 248,367. (No model.)
Some Info above from a 1924 newspaper article from an interview of Mr. Holloway.
Sad to say have not found anything on this Mr. Fitzgerald.

Now other sources on the net say a Toronto Surgeon Dentist John W. Elliott in 1869, invented the rotary plow (see bio below)
In 1869 (1871 in one source), a Canadian patent #399 for the “Compound Revolving Snow Shovel” was issued to Elliot, and 20 years later this became the rotary steam snow plow.
Canadian Patent #399 Documents say it was issued May 4, 1870, so both dates above are wrong?
Name on patent John Wheeler Elliott, Dentist in Toronto ON

His invention supposedly resembled a dental burr in some descriptions I have read.
I don't see that in the drawings in link above, but it was a rotary design, with blades turned by a steam boiler. Unlike the bigger machines later on 8 wheels it was on 4 wheels only. A lot smaller set up.
His claim was written and signed Apr 14, 1870 in Toronto

His invention led to a first prototype in 1883-84 when the patent was taken over by the Leslie Brothers.
Since they were associated with Orange Jull, the device was called the “Elliott-Jull Snow Plow
Elliot then sold the rights to Orange Jull of Orangeville ON (see bio below)
In 1884 Orange Jull, a Canadian Machinist, took out Canadian Patent #18506 for a Snow Plough.
who then sold out to the Leslie Brothers, Edward Leslie and John Leslie, (see bios below)
and they formed the Rotary Steam Shovel Manufacturing Co in Paterson NJ, USA
The 1884 article below says he worked on it for 7 years perfecting the design.

Another newspaper article from 1907 says the first guy to build the rotary plow was Ned Leslie, from Orangeville, ON, who was a machinist in the railroad yards. Ned was a boyhood friend of the author of the article, Harry Conniff, who was Manager of the Hotel Majestic, Minneapolis MN,
Now Ned Leslie's plans were allegedly unscrupulously taken, and used by another individual, and that fellow claimed the invention as his own, and the “Jull” Rotary Plow was born.
Ned Leslie supposedly never recovered from this, and died in a mental home as the result.
Turns out this Ned was Major Edward Leslie, one of the Leslie Brothers, but died at a friend's home, where he boarded.

Note- I found no “Ned” Leslie doing their tree, so obviously it was a nickname for one of them.
Then I found the clue I needed
Mar 27, 1896- newspaper article says “Suicide of an Inventor” “Major Edward Leslie, Inventor of the Leslie Rotary Steam Railroad Plow, Committed Suicide. Groans could be heard coming from the room he occupied, and when the door was forced open, he was found lying on the bed in great pain. On a table by his side stood a bottle partially with whiskey, an empty laudanum bottle (Which was a Tincture of Opium), and some morphine powders. Physicians were unable to save his life.”
Then the clincher came in an Indianapolis newspaper article, Mar 26, 1896- saying “his wife and family were in Toronto Canada, and a suit growing out of infringement of patent, was recently decided against Leslie, and this made him melancholy.”
A New York paper added “He had become despondent at the loss of control of his patents, his quarrel with his brother, and separation from his family.”
So now we know his nickname was Ned, and I would think he was the real inventor of the snow plow, if he was willing to take his life.
Then a New York newspaper elaborated on his life.
“When sucess came to his invention, his brother John S. Leslie was taken into partnership. the brothers quarralled over improvements to the plough and agreed to submit their differences to arbitration. Major Leslie appealed from the decision, which contemplated his retirement from the business, declaring that his mind conceived the plough, and it was his own.”
“Litigation for 4 years followed. In this time Edward visited Russia, and somehow lost his foreign patents, after arranging with the Russian Government to build ploughs for their railroad system. He returned despondent, but was cheered up with a decision the arbitrators had exceeded their powers. His stock was returned, but in the meantime he lost the Vice-President of the company title, and had no control over its decisions. The Supreme Court ruled the election of the New Directors valid.”
“All his available cash had been spent fighting these cases. He commented to his friend Ben Carley where he was staying, he would end it all.”
“Although he drew $32,000 from the company between 1886 and 1889 and handled large sums of money, he died in debt. He owed Carley for 2 years board, and his family received nothing for a year before.”

Then one more claim came in 1885, when Jull was demonstrating his centrifugal Plow in Omaha. This man Dr. John W. Haughawout from Ohaha (eventually Fort Dodge, Iowa), claimed he held a patent, Issued Aug 9, 1881 in the US, and was mad that the Canadian Jull had stole his Invention.
He claimed he gave his papers, and power of attorney, to a Mr. N. T. Smith, as well as his models of his plow. Mr. Smith was to form a Stock Company to build a working plow. Mr. Smith disappeared with his models and papers. He claimed he still had his paptent papers in his office in Omaha.
Now his patent did not beat Mr. Elliot's as the first. But did beat Leslie and Jull's patent.
In 1906 the Iowa papers claimed the Fort Dodge Dentist Dr. Haughawout invented the First Rotary Plow. In this article he claimed he took his model to the Leslie Brothers in Paterson NJ, and demonstrated how his design was better than Lelsie's, Julls, and the Cyclone. He then claimed the Leslie Company began making his plow under his direction. He then took the plow to Denver for a trial in front of railway officials.
He made several other inventions of lesser magnitude. One a Steam heating boiler, many target practice items for guns, and more
US Patent- US245296A, Snow Plow, Patented Aug 9, 1881, Inventor- John W. Haughawout of Traer, Tamaand Co., Iowa, His Application was filed Apr 25, 1881
and then this one which shows the Leslie connection.
Patent- ROTARY SNOW PLOW Patent #446,773. Patented Feb. 17, 1891. John W. Haughawout, of Omaha Nebraska, ASSIGNOR TO THE LESLIE BROTHERS MANUFACTURING COMPANY, of Paterson, New Jersey. Application filed May 21, 1890. Serial No 352.605. (No model.)
so we know the article above was 100% true.
Patent- SNOW PLOW. No. 403,665. Patented May 21, 1889, another version of his plow

Dr. John Woolsey Haughawout
b- Feb 22, 1841 in Ripley, Brown Co., Ohio
d- July 18, 1909 in Fort Dodge, Iowa, age 68
buried in Oakland Cemetery, Fort Dodge, Webster Co., Iowa
Served in the Civil War.
one of 12 children
He was married 2 times.
1st- Louisa A. Beebee in 1861, Lafayette Co., WI
b- May 12, 1844 in WI
They had 7 children
married 2- Etta “Ettie” Hine Apr 6, 1889 at Logan

father- Joshua Davis Haughawout (1805-1885)
mother- Amelia C. Steese (1812-1899)

Now what is with Dentists inventing these machines??

Which source is right?

Mr Holloway, a 43 year Railroad man, claimed he was the First Man to operate the Rotary Plow, I tend to believe his story.
Edward Holloway operated one of these plows in the East, and later transferred to the West.

In the fall of 1883, and during the following winter, the Leslie Brothers built a working model at the Polson Iron Works in Toronto (see ext link below) and tested it on the tracks of the CPR.
This jives with a couple newspaper articles, that say the Leslie Brothers made their first rotary plow, and tested it in the Parkdale yards of the CPR in 1884.
Sept 10, 1884 it was reported a rotary machine with a 9ft screw, was tested on a Canadian railroad earlier that year.

In June 1884 John S. Leslie went to New York City and organized the Rotary Steam Shovel Manufacturing Company to promote the rotary plow in the US.
John S. Leslie was elected the First President of the Company, which he held until Jan 1900,
In 1884 George Cox was Secretary of the Company
The name also shown for this company in some articles, The Rotary Snow Plow Company, located in Paterson NJ
When the The Leslie Brothers Manufacturing Company of Paterson NJ was incorporated under the laws of the US, They purchased the business of the former company.
John S. Leslie was elected President and General Manager of the Leslie Brothers Manufacturing Company, and held that position until 1896.
Edward Leslie was Vice-President, Matthew Sweetnam (see below) was Secretary and Treasurer, in 1890
May 16, 1892, John S. Leslie, Matthew Sweetnam and John Berwick were elected Directors of the Leslie Bros Mfg Co.
Mr. John S. Cooke became the President and GM. after that. He was already the President of the Cooke Locomotive and Machine Company.
From 1896 to 1905 John S. Leslie carried on in his own name and various railroad and marine specialties.
In 1905 John S. Leslie incorporated in NJ, his own business, The Leslie Company, Founders and Manufacturers at Lyndhurst, NJ
He was elected President and GM of this new company.
They bought acerage and built a large plant at Lakehurst, where they manufactured Leslie Preasure Regulators, for one main item.
It had a foundry, machine shop and a small office at Lyndhurst.
This company operated for many years and was headed by John S. Leslie's son, Samuel Inglis Leslie first, after John S. Leslie, then his grandson, John S. Leslie took over the family business
Samuel Inglis Leslie lived in Wyckoff, Bergen Co., NJ, in 1939
The Grandson John Samuel Leslie, shown as President in 1966, Shown as Chairman in 1975. Age 65 in 1978.
The company was moved in 1968 from Lyndhurst New Jersey, to Parsippany, New Jersey
Their headquarters were moved to Tampa Bay, Florida, and eventually in 1990 Watts Industries Inc, bought the company, which was called Leslie Controls Inc. at that time

Mar 1885- Mr. Edward Leslie tested his new machine in the yards of the Buffalo & Southwestern Division of the Erie at Buffal Creek Junction
This first test machine only had 4 knives on the front rotating drum.
The knives, plus the back and side of the drum, were made from 1/2” boiler plate steel.

Dec 1885- newspaper article claimed Orange Jull had the idea for the first snow plow. He lived near a curve in the railroad, and was tired of hearing the screeching of the trains pushing the snow off the line.
He then gave permission of use for his patent to the Leslie Brothers to build it.
The Major investors were a Mr. S. C. Donaldson, (actually Samuel G. Donaldson) who owned a dry goods business in Chicago, who became a Director of the Company.
Mr. George Henry Hobart and Mr. George Ramsay, 2 other active members of the company raised money to build the first machine at the Cooke Locomotive Works in the states.

1888 article describes Mr. Leslie's new invention
It went thru the hardest snow at a rate of 6-8 miles per hour.
It would throw the snow over 200 ft from the tracks
Leslie's plow consisted of an immense boiler, made of the finest 7/16“ steel, and 52” diameter,
And machinery built low on double tracks, all covered, with a 10 ft square front.
It was 45 ft in length, about the same height as a regular freight car.
Into which a large wrought iron frame is mounted a wheel or disc covering the surface.
the steel drum was 9ft 6“ in diam.
Except for the 4 corners, which were shaped like the fan of a windmill.
Which when at work revolves at right angles to the line of movement, with tremendous velocity,
which then sifted the snow back into the body of the square frame,
Onto a heavy steel fan revolving with equal force.
It is thrown from here out a shoot.
This disc fan and spout,can be turned to work on either side, according to the direction of the wind.
There is an engine on either side of the boiler, each with 200 HP, wholly to run the disc and fan.
Steam is supplied to 2 cylinders, 17” diam. and 22“ stroke, placed forw3ard of the boiler in a horizontal position.
From them 2 piston rods, attached to cranks, some 10 ft further forward, drive the fly wheels,
Which by cross gearing operate the main shaft running out thru the centre of the front of the car.
End of the shaft was octagonal in shape.
It projected in the shape of a pyramid about a foot from the face of the drum.
Set into the drum are 12 long and 6 short steel bars.
To the long bars are hindged 12 knives 2ft long, and to the short bars, six small knives 15 in long
These knives would cut the snow.
In addition to this there is a flanger, located at the bottom, that takes up the snow between the rails, leaving the track perfectly clear.
They had a steel bar sharpened to a keen edge that broke any ice on the rails out front.
The tender carried 4,000 gals of water, and from 12-14 tons of coal, enough to last a week.
Machine required 2 locomotives to push it forward.
The cab on the machine would house an operator who would signal the engineers in the locomotives pushing it forward.
Mr. Leslie claimed it was still being improved on for the past 5 years.
The trip Feb 27, 1888 was the first he accompanied the machine on.
He explained he had trouble teaching engineers the machine had to be run steadily, approaching a snow bank steadily and go thru it at an even pressure.
The old “bucking process” was a thing of the past. This was used with the original wedge plows.
with his plow no more backing up of the locomotives.
The old method would “burn” the rails, and require the rails to be replaced at great cost.
It would also ruin and damage locomotives.
11 of his machines as of Feb 1888, were in use on the following companies- Union Pacific (3), Colorado Midland (1), Central Pacific (1), Oregon Railway & Navigation Company (1), Northern Pacific (4), and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul (1)

Some of the steam shovels were built at Paterson NJ, at Cooke's Locomotive Works, Company established in 1852, by John Cooke who died in 1882.
They weighed 50 tons each
They cost $15,000 each.
Cooke's Locomotive Works employed 700 men, and turned out one machine every 45 days.
Eventually Cooke bought the rights, and produced these machines under their name, which later became American Locomotive Company or “Alco”
Some of the Rotary Plows were built at various Locomotive machine shops other than Cooke's. Grant Locomotive Works which was also located at Paterson NJ, Brooks Locomotive Works at Dunkirk NY, Portland Company at Portland Maine, and Schenectady Locomotive Works at Schenectady NY, were some.

May 1888 it was reported the Canadian Pacific bought the rights for the Leslie Patent, and were going to build these plows in their own shops.

C.P.R. (Canadian Pacific Railway) Rotary Snow Plow, Revelstoke, B.C., [c. 1928]. No. 400811
Library and Archives Canada

May 23, 1890 Jull's Centrifugal Excavator Plow, made by the Jull Manufacturing Co., that he did develop for sure, and a machine called a Cyclone, were put to test against the Rotary Plow from the Leslie Brothers Manufcturing Co, and from what I can make out, it seemed the Rotary proved to be superior.

1891 the Leslie Brothers Manufacturing Company were negotiating with the Russian Government to sell them their rotary plow.

Sept 1, 1893 at the Columbian Exposition the Leslie Brothers Manufacturing Company displayed their Rotary Plow

Mechanical Superintendent-

Major Edward “Ned” Leslie
b- Oct 20, 1842 in Ireland (numerous newpspaper articles say he was born in Orangeville? which I believe were wrong, as family immigrated in 1843)
d- Mar 26, 1896 at the house of Benjamin “Ben” Carley on Fair St., in Paterson, Passaic, NJ, USA, age 55, by suicide
2 specialist doctors performed an autopsy, and it was decided it was not poison that killed him, but a disease of the brain as the official cause of death.
Buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Orangeville, Dufferin, ON
1861 shown as Clerk of Court Division same as his father in Wellington Canada West
1871 and 1874- shown as Bailiff in Orangeville ON
1881- Became Post Master at Orangeville, took over from his father, Edward now living with his wife and children
1891- shown as an Inventor, living with his family in Orangeville ON
Jan 16, 1893 Canadian Patent 41633 issued to Edward Leslie for an “Improvement to a Rotary Snow Plow”, originally patented in NY US, May 19, 1891
I have not found evidence where he served to achieve his “Major” title.
Before his legal troubles, he was Vice_President of the Leslie Brothers Manufacturing Company
married Marion Ramsey Sept 23, 1872 at father Guy Leslie's residence, in Orangeville, Upper Canada, by Rev J. Sixsmith
Marion was the daughter of the late William Ramsey, Esq, Mountoiellick (Mountuiellick?), Queens County, and Mary Ann Reid
b- June 3, 1853 in Ireland
d- Aug 24, 1937 in York, ON, age 84
Aug 26, 1937, buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, ON

6 children:

1. Francis George “Guy” Leslie
b- Aug 17, 1874, in Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington Co., ON
d- Nov 27, 1915 in Local Hospital at Butte, Silver Bow, Montana, US, age 41, from Pneumonia
Nov 28, his body was shipped from the Sherman & Reed Undertaking Parlours in Butte, to Toronto ON, for internment
Attended Upper Canada College, 1888-1893
At one point Branch Manager of Hegeman & Co Drugs in New York
Age 26 He applied for US Naturalization petitioning May 22, 1901, shown arriving Aug 10, 1894 in NY
Occupation- Druggist when he applied
Clerk at Drug store in Butte, Paxton & Rockefeller, lived at 805 W Granite in Butte in 1914.
Connected with their photographic department, and was a Renowned Amateur Photographer

2. Amy Charlotte Leslie
b- July 13, 1876, in Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington Co., ON
d- Aug 26, 1966, Lakeshore General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, age 90 (age 91 per obit)
buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Orangeville, ON
married James Clarence Henry, Aug 25, 1896 in York, ON
son of James and Esther Henry
He died before her
One daughter living in 1966

3. George Lionel Leslie
b- Mar 3, 1878, in Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington Co., ON
d- Feb 15, 1937 in Toronto, York, ON, age 58
Buried in Mt Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto
occupation- Salesman
Enlisted in WWI Reg #141004
married- Lucy Tanner, Sept 3, 1911, Hamilton, Wentworth, ON
daughter of Henry John “Harry” Tanner and Isabella Dennis
they had a son Guy Leslie

4. Edward Gillespie Thalberz Leslie
b- July 26, 1880 (9 mo in 1881) in Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington Co., ON
d- ? no sign of this man after 1921
shown as single in 1921, a miner, in Timmins ON, living with a Haddon family
Married Jean Pearce

5. Margaret “Maggie” Reid Leslie
b- Aug 19, 1882 in Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington Co., ON
d- 1977 in Lindsay ON
married William Claude Sloan May 28, 1902, York, ON
2 sons, 3 daughters

6. Rosalind Marion Leslie
b- June 7, 1891 in Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington Co., ON
d- ? (possibly Montreal Quebec)
married Arthur Starling Davies June 27, 1917 in York, ON
3 daughters, 1 son
living in Minneapolis MN in 1952


John Samuel Leslie
b- July 18, 1851 in Garafraxa, Dufferin Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario
d- Jan 10, 1939 a his home 599 14th ave, Paterson, NJ, after a year illness. age 87
buried in Eastside Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Paterson, NJ, (obit says Cedar lawn Cemetery
Railroad clerk when he married in 1877
Attended public school, and Institute of Technology in Toronto.
From 1871 to 1884 he was supposedly involved with the Post Office Dept.
Immigrated to US in 1884
Naturalized in US in 1908
John Samuel Leslie (1851-1939) was President and General Manager of the Leslie Brothers Manufacturing Company
1905 founded the Leslie Company, of which he was President until 1926 when he retired.
The plant made valves for United States Battleships.
He was one of the Founders of the Manufacturer's Association of New Jersey in 1926
His obituary boldly claimed “he was the inventor of the rotary snow plow.”
married Marianne “Marie” N. Inglis, Nov 7, 1877, Derby Township, ON
b- Jan 1855
d- June 3, 1921, at her home at 599 14th Ave. Paterson, NJ, age 67
Buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery
daughter of Peter and Ann Inglis

5 children:
#1-Samuel “Inglis” Leslie
b- May 22, 1880 in Toronto, ON, Canada
d- June 1967, Ridgewood, Bergen Co., NJ
buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, Passaic, NJ
Inherited 1/4 of his father's estate.
He purchased the business from his father in 1926.
Samuel “Inglis Leslie (1880-1967) Shown as President of the Leslie Company in 1942, lived at 201 Abbott Rd, in Radburn, Bergen Co, NJ
married Beulah Thomson Lockwood in 1910 in NJ.
b- Feb 27, 1883 Paterson, Passaic, NJ
d- July 1980, Van Dyk Nursing Home, Ridgewood, NJ, age 97
daughter of William James Lockwood and Mary Elizabeth Thomson
They had 3 children-
2 daughters:
i: Elizabeth Leslie
ii: Margaret Leslie
Margaret married Charles Milton Hall

and a son:
iii:- John Samuel Leslie
b- May 7, 1914 in Paterson, Passaic Co, NJ
d- July 29, 2004 Hanover, Grafton, New Hampshire
John Samuel Leslie (1914-2004) became President of the Company in 1946, and age 62 shown as Chairman of the Company, after his grandfather and father.
In 1976 it was shown still as a family controlled business, Approx 70% of the shares held by an employee profit sharing and retirement fund.
Sales in 1976 were $18 million.

#2- Mary Anne “Isabel” Leslie)(alt- Marianne “Isabel” Leslie) (alt- Mary Anne “Isabelle” Leslie)
b- Mar 23, 1882 in Toronto, ON
d- 1970
married Passaic County Engineer, Garwood Ferguson, he died in New Jersey, in 1943 age 69
she was executrix of her dad's will, and inherited half of his estate.
Shown as Isabelle Ferguson in 1930 census
3 sons, 3 daughters, all born in NJ

#3- Albert Sweetnam Leslie
b- 1889 in Canada
d- Mar 16, 1890 in Paterson, Passaic, NJ, 1 yr, 4mo old

#4- Helen Washington Leslie
b- Feb 2, 1893 in Paterson, Passiac, NJ, USA
d- Feb 19, 1921
1917 shown as a teacher in Paterson NJ
she married Avery C. Turner Oct 16, 1917, in New York City
He was from Montreal Quebec.
son of James Turner, Cowanville, Quebec

#5- William George Leslie

Father- George “Guy” Leslie Esq, J.P.
b- Aug 14, 1814 Arklow, Newcastle, County Wicklow Ireland
d- Dec 12, 1887 Orangeville, Dufferin County, Ontario, Canada
Buried in Greenwood Cemetery
Immigrated in 1843 with his wife and son Edward.
Settled first in Reading, Garafraxa Township, as a farmer
ca 1858 he moved to Orangeville.
He became Orangeville's first Treasurer when the village incorporated ca 1863
shown as Clerk of Court Division in 1861
1861- family living in Garafraxa, Wellington, Canada West (ON)
1864 appointed 3rd Post Master in Orangeville, ON
son of Edward Leslie, (1790-?) and Margaret Price (1790-?)

Mother- Mary Legate
b- Jan 11, 1820, age 32 in 1851 census, in Blacklion, County Carlow, Ireland
d- Apr 7, 1870 in Garafraxa, Dufferin, Wellington Co., Ontario

Siblings of Edward and John:

James Taylor Leslie
b- Par 23, 1840
d- May 11, 1845

Mary Leslie
b- Aug 19, 1844 in Garafraxa, Dufferin Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada
d- July 16, 1928 in Winnipeg, MB
married Thomas G. Poyntz

Margaret Leslie
b- May 25, 1846 in Garafraxa, Dufferin Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada
d- Dec 21, 1911 Kings, NY, age 66
Buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, NJ
married George Cox (see bio below)

Charlotte Leslie
b- May 1847 in Garafraxa, Dufferin Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada
d- 1930 in NJ, USA
married Ralph Cresswell (1832-1915)

Sarah Ann Leslie
b- Aug 9, 1849 in Garafraxa, Dufferin Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada
d- Apr 27, 1893 Paterson, Pasaic, NJ
married John Berwick, (see Bio below)
4 sons, 3 daughters

Guy Fletcher Leslie
b- Sept 3, 1854 in Garafraxa, Dufferin Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada
d- 1855 in Garafraxa, Dufferin Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada

Elizabeth “Eliza” Jane Leslie
b- Sept 1856 in Garafraxa, Dufferin Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada
d- Mar 4, 1929 Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY
buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
she married George Ramsay, (see Bio below)

Jane (“Jennie”?) Leslie
b- ca 1858 age 13 in 1871, in ON

Anna Bella “Matilda” Leslie
b- 1860 in Garafraxa, Dufferin Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canadat
d- 1929
married John Bertram (Bayfield?) Humphreys June 30, 1878 Wellington, ON
4 sons, 2 daughters

Isabella “Bella” Leslie
b- 1861, age 10, in 1871 in ON
d- Dec 27, 1893 Paterson NJ, age 32

Left- Rotary Plow in action 1912, Right- Rotary Plow at work, White Pass & Yukon Route
Note in the right photo, the men that were required to shovel the high banks down so the rotary could clear the route, without the banks falling back in.
Imagine standing there with that blade going by??
When the snowbanks were higher than the front opening, men had to go in front, after machine backed up, and shovel the high snow into the opening just cleared.
They would continue that, sometimes at 3” per push from the locomotives. Imagine the distance covered at that speed!
This would all happen under blizzard conditions. Tough men back then
more photos from Library and Archives Canada

John Wheeler Elliott

The Toronto ON. Dentist who is considered to have invented the Rotary Snow Plow for Railroads

John Wheeler Elliott
b- Sept 7, 1822 in Leicester, MA, USA
d- June 28, 1906 Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, ON, age 85
Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, ON
Immigrated to Canada in 1856 in one record
Came to Canada in 1858 per old history book of York (Toronto) ON.
Learned Dentistry at an early age, and worked in various places in the US before coming to Canada
Lineal descendant of John Elliott who composed one of that now historical body, the “Pilgrim Fathers”
Held various Patents:
Canadian Patent #4707 - “Improvements in Stoves” Apr 30, 1875.
Canadian Patent #984- Machine for condensing gold for filling teeth, 1869
Canadian Patent #1071- Compund Plugger and root extractor for dentists, 1871
Canadian Patent- #17860- Dentist's Flask, 1883
Canadian Patent #399- patented in 1871, Improvement on a machine for removing snow from Railroad Tracks

Father- Joseph Elliott (Jr)
b- Aug 20, 1776 Sutton, MA, USA
d- Jan 3, 1860, Grafton, MA
He was a wool and cotton card manufacturer
One of the earliest cotton Manufacturers in the land.
He owned and worked in a cotton mill in Oxford MA
He resided at different times at Oakham, Oxford and Leicester, MA
Shown as a dentist when he married in 1850
son of Major Joseph Elliott and Anna Dwight
Mother- Mary “Polly” Wheeler
b- June 17, 1787
d- June 8, 1859, Grafton, MA
daughter of Jonathon Wheeler, b- Apr 2, 1743, Grafton MA, and Mercy Rawson

married- Sophia S. Graves of Wilbraham MA, USA, Nov 27, 1850, Palmer, Hampden, MA
b- Dec 6, 1825 in US
daughter of Henry Graves
They had 2 children:
Joseph Elliott
John Elliott

siblings of John Wheeler Elliott:
-Joseph Dwight Elliott,
-Jonathan Wheeler Elliott,
-Elizabeth Ann Elliott,
-Catherine Bulkley Elliott
-George Lewis Elliott
-William Harvey Elliott,
His brother, Dr. William Harvey Elliott was also an inventor, mostly in the firearm industry. He had more than 90 patents.
1855 John and Sophia were living in Palmer, Hampden, MA, John shown age 33 a Dentist.

Orange Jull

Then we have the man that acquired the patent for this machine, and sold it to Edward Leslie.
He supposedly modifed John Elliot's Elementary design.
This became the “Jull Rotary Plow” which was taken up by the Leslie Brothers
Patent 297408, Apr 22, 1884
Canadian Patent #18506 Inventor, Orange Jull, Jan 22, 1884

I then found a Canadian Patent #24429 patented July 5, 1886
This patent was Owned by Orange Jull, but Invented by Edward Leslie, all the documents are signed by Leslie, but Orange Jull owns it?

Mar 1899 he was showing the operation of his new invention, the Jull Centrifugal Snow Excavator which for sure I think he did invent

It had what looked like a large conical screw, placed on an angle in the front, not sticking straight out as the Cyclone below.
US patent 393240, Nov 20, 1888
Canadian Patent #31679 Inventor- Orange Jull, June 26, 1889

Orange Jull
b- Sept 24, 1845 in Trafalgar Township, Gore, ON
d- Mar 14, 1920 York, ON, age 74
buried in Prospect Cemetery, Toronto, ON
1871 Census, shown as a Fumbler?
1881 Census, shown as a Sawmill owner
1891 Census, shown as an Inventor
1901 Census shows an an Inventor
1901 shown he had a patent approved for continuously vertical Paddle Wheels
Held Canadian Patent- Snow Plough, #18506, Jan 22, 1884
Father- Thomas Jull
b- age 57 in 1871, in England,
1861 shown as a Miller in Garafraxa, Wellington, Canada West, shown as a millwright in 1871 in Orangeville ON
Mother- Mary Lawrence
b- ca 1820, age 51 in 1871 in ON
d- ?
daughter of Orange Lawrence and his wife Sarah Anjelica House

Thomas Jull and John Walker Reid built a mill in 1857, corner of Mill St and Armstrong St.
They were both sons in laws of Orange Lawrence, who Orangeville ON was named after.
married Margaret McKeown Oct 13, 1870 in Wellington Co, ON
b- Oct 7, 1848 in ON

3 children
Eva Gertrude Jull
b- Nov 8, 1876 in ON

Florence Jull
b- Jan 1881 in ON

Kate “Katie” A. Jull
June 3, 1882 in ON

Irene Jull
b- Aug 9, 1885 in ON

Bennett Jull, b- age 26 in 1871 in ON, shown as a merchant in Orangeville in 1871
Cyrus Jull, b- age 23 in 1871 in ON , shown as a law student in Orangeville in 1871
Sarah Jull, b- ?

Misc Bios from Above

John Berwick
b- 1834 on headstone, 1838 in marriage record, age 53 in 1891 canada census, in Ireland
d- Jan 1898 Paterson NJ
buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, NJ
A Retail Grocer in Toronto ON in 1881 and in 1891 census. Shown as a clerk in 1871
Member of the Imperial Federation League, Toronto Branch, living at 139 King st. West in June 1888
son of Edward Berwick, and Elizabeth Berwick
married Sarah Ann Leslie, Feb 17, 1874, in Orangeville, ON
Daughter of Guy Leslie (see above)
A daughter Sarah Elizabeth “Bessie” Berwick b- Nov 6, 1877, in York, ON, was living with George Ramsay (see below) and Eliza Jane Ramsey, nee Lelsie, (see above) in NY in 1900, Shown as a niece
son- Edward Sheldon (Shuldman?) Berwick b- ca 1875 in ON
son- John Wynne Berwick, b- ca 1881 in ON
daughter- Nora Mary Berwick, b- ca 1885 in ON

Matthew Sweetnam (note)
b- Oct 17, 1831 in Toronto ON
d- 1901 in Toronto ON
Note- I am not sure of this man, if he is the right Matthew Sweetnam. This man was a long term Post Office inspector in Toronto.
His son's name was Leslie-Matthew Sweetnam, which gives me a small clue this is him.
Newspaper articles don't show where he was from, but would think he would have had some tie to the Leslie Brothers.
John S. Leslie I know was involved in the Post Office Dept, and he named one of his sons, Albert Sweetnam Leslie, so a close friend
1871 the Leslie Brothers father was post master in 1871 in Orangeville, so he possibly knew this man back then.
Matthew Sweetnam the inspector made $2,600.00 in 1888, so he would have had a few dollars to invest.
father- Matthew Sweetnam (Sr)
Mother- Elizabeth Reilly
both parents from Ireland
married Sophia Caroline McClean, May 14, 1857
Third daughter of Arthur McClean
They had 4 surving children

3 Other Investors in the First Machine built at Cooke Locomotives Works:

Samuel Getty Donaldson
Went by Getty Donaldson in 1871
b- Aug 1852, in Canada
d- Jan 3, 1925 Brightwaters, Suffolk County, New York
buried in Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
Immigrated in 1875 to US
He married 1-Henrietta Louisa Haddock Jan 23, 1878 in NY, NY, she died before 1910
daughter of Isaac Haddock, NY City
son- Frederick E. Donaldson, b- ca 1880, in NY
son Harold H. Donaldson, b- ca 1885 in NY

He married 2- Elizabeth Jane Daig Aug 10, 1912 Manhattan, NY
They had a daughter Dorothy Donaldson, b- Sept 10, 1913, in Brooklyn NY, she married a Mr Strong, Aug 17, 1933 in Islip NY

mother- Lavinia Donaldson,b- age 77 in 1910, Scotland
father- John A. Donaldson, b- age 50 in 1871 in Ireland, shown as an emigrant Agent in 1871
1871 family lived in Toronto ON

Samuel Lived in New York when the Jull Manufacturing Company was incorporated June 13, 1888,
Principal Office was in Moundsville, Marshall Co., West Virginia, USA
He was a holder of 5 shares at $100 ea. in the Jull company
a Joseph Corbett, New York, NY, assigned his snow plow patent 395,548 to George H. Hobart and Samuel G. Donaldson Feb 13, 1888
So we now know these 2 guys had a plow designed by another guy to compete with the Leslie Brothers Company, that they were involved with prior to this.

George Henry Hobart
b- Jan 8, 1837 in New York
d- Feb 11, 1905, Pittsburg PA, age 68
buried Feb 16, 1905, in Calvary Cemetery, and Mausoleum, St Louis, Missouri
Commercial Agent in 1870 in Jersey City
1889 shown as President of the Jull Manufacturing Company was at the Ryan Hotel, St Paul MN, and claimed he invented a new snow plow that he claimed was a “corker”
He held 5 shares at $100 each when the Jull Mfg. company was incorporated.
1880- Dealer in Laces in Jersey City
he is shown in a 1891-92 directory as President of Jull Mfg. Company, 303 Summit Ave, Jersey City, Hudson Co., NJ. competitor to Leslie
Shown as President in 1889, no company name shown
wife- Ellen A. Hobart nee O'Connell
b- ca 1834 in Ireland
d- Apr 27, 1896 St. Louis, MN, age 62

son- George W. Hobart
b- ca 1857, age 48 in 1905 in US
married Annie Litchholt Mar 15, 1875 Jersey City, Hudson Co, NJ
married Minnie Lagrave Jan 15, 1888 in Manhattan, NY, shown in 1905, age 40
daughter Grace Hobart age 16 in 1905

son- William “Willie” Hobart
b- ca 1859 in New York

daughter- Nellie “Nell” Hobart
b- ca 1862 in New York
she never married

daughter- Anna “Annie” Hobart
b- ca 1864 in Ohio
married George Gloor

son- John M. Hobart
b- 1868 in Bergen Co., NJ

daughter- Mary Hobart

1874- Brother- or Father- Charles H. Hobart

George Ramsay
b- abt 1851 in Ireland
d- Apr 26, 1931 Kings, NY, age 80
buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings, NY
son of William Ramsay and Mary Ann Ramsay
retired druggist in 1920 at 900 Ocean Ave, Brooklyn, NY
George married Elizabeth Jane Leslie, May 22, 1878, in Wellington, ON
Daughter of Guy Leslie, sister to Edward and John Leslie.(see above)
Jane Ramsey b- age 29 in 1880, in Canada
They had a son, George Reade Ramsay, b- Oct 31, 1880 in NY
Son Henry Ramsay, b- Dec 1885 in NY
daughter- Margaret Ramsay, b- ca 1870, age 10, in 1880 census, in Canada
1880, George, Jane and Margaret Ramsey, were boarding with George Cox and his family in Paterson NJ

Other Investors involved in the Jull Manufacturing Company when it was incorporated in June 1888 (Note Orange Jull was not listed?):
Charles H. Otis, Brooklyn, Kings Co, NY, 5 shares at $100 ea. He was shown as Treasurer of the Jull Company in 1890
Henry W. Osborn, Brooklyn, Kings Co, NY, 5 shares at $100 ea
George B. Abbott, Brooklyn, Kings Co, NY, 5 shares at $100 ea

When Edward Leslie died, he was living for a couple years at the home of Benjamin Carley

Benjamin “Ben” Carley
b- Oct 27, 1828 in England
d- Oct 29, 1909
buried in Pompton Plains Reformed Church Cemetery
Immigrated in 1835
Occupation in 1900 shown as a Locomotive Engineer
married- Rachel A. Wessel, June 12, 1861 in Pompton NY
daughter of John A. Wessel
b- Sept 8, 1827 in New Jersey, USA
d- Dec 3, 1907
buried in Pompton Plains Reformed Church Cemetery

Canadian National Leslie Model Rotary Snow Plow, #55361, at Railway Museum at Delson Quebec, photo ca 1989
made in 1928 by MLW, Montreal Locomotive Works.
Slide courtesy Grant Walker

Other names of Railroad Snow Removing Equipment:
Cyclone Steam Snow Plow, Snow Excavator, Russell Snow Plow, Russell Wing Elevator Snow Plow, Jull Snow Plow, Jull Compound Revolving Snow Shovel

Snow Excavator

It looked like a paddle wheel in the front of the machine, rather than a wheel like above machines.
It was a revolving fan wheel 9ft in diam. mounted on a horizontal shaft
US Patent Snow Excavator #375,132, filed Feb 16, 1886, patented Dec 20, 1887
Canadian Patent #27,736
Both Patents owned by George Cox, Paterson NJ (Bio Below)
George Cox in Sept 1884, was Secretary of the Rotary Steam Snow Shovel Company, with the Leslie Bros. his brother-in laws, described above
William O. Barnes of Paterson was also involved in the ownership of this machine
W. O. Barnes had his patent #384,602 for a Snow Excavator, patented June 19, 1888

George Cox
b- 1838, (shown age 45 in 1880 census), in Ireland
d- Mar 19, 1900 Paterson, Passaic, NJ
Buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, NJ
family living in Paterson NJ in 1880
George shown as a Lace Manufacturer
wife- Margaret Cox, nee Leslie (see above)
b- May 1845, age 32 in 1880, in Wellington Co., ON, Canada
d- Dec 21, 1911 Kings, NY, age 66
Buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, NJ
son- Frederick “Fred” William Cox
b- 1858, age 21 in 1880, in ON, Canada
d- 1883 age 24
Buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, NJ
1871 census shows Jennie Leslie and Isabella Leslie staying with the George Cox family in St. James Ward, Toronto, ON.
George shown as a merchant there in 1871

William O. Barnes
b- May 16, 1864 in Newburgh, Orange, NY
d- Sept 1939
buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, NJ
1903 he moved to Quebec for business purposes.
son of David A. Barnes and Elsie E. Ackerman
married Grace Herdman May 8, 1888 Caldwell, Essex, NJ
I believe her maiden name was Davis, so 2nd marriage?
b- 1867, Brooklyn NY
d- Jan 1935
buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, NJ
father born in Ohio, mother in NY
They had a son- William O. Barnes Jr
b- Sept 22, 1892 in Paterson, NJ
son- Herdman Barnes
son- Thurlow Weed Barnes
son- Landon Barnes

Cyclone Steam Snow Plow

Now this thing looked like some kind of torture machine. It had a huge conical spriral sticking straight out of the front of it. It looked dangerous!
Made by the Cyclone Steam Snow Plow Company in Minneapolis MN The boiler was made by Baldwin Locomotive Works Company, the machinery by Vulcan Iron Works in Chicago, and the car superstructure by Wells Franch & Co., in Chicago
It was built on the Edward P. Caldwell Patent 405,300, June 18, 1889, and he was General Manager of the Company
It cleared 10 ft 4 in in width.
This company had a big law suit against Vulcan Iron Works that built the machinery.
Cyclone Steam Plow Company was incorporated with $1,000,000.00 capital
Filed Dec 14, 1888
Incorporators: Edward P. Caldwell
Horace A. Towne
A. B. Nettleton
Judson N. Cross
George L. Baker
W. W. Huntington
R. P. Russell
S. R. Nettleton

Edward P. Caldwell
b- June 1844, Medina Co., Ohio (date must be wrong, as he did die at age 79)
d- Feb 4, 1930, at his home, Huntington Indiana, age 79, from a stroke of apoplexy
Buried in Hunttington Indiana
Came to Fox township, Iowa, with parents in 1868
Spent his early life on a farm near Raymond
He was Territorial Judge in South Dakota in his early years.
Lived in Huron, South Dakota in 1887
Made considerable money from his patent of the Snow Plow
Shown as a lawyer and Inventor in 1900 living in Minneapolis, Hennepin Co, MN, USA
He was appointed Police Judge in 1910 in Waterloo Iowa, where he left ca 1913 to Chicago
Prominent Member of the Black Hawk County Bar Association
He was near penniless when he became Police Judge, so what he made, he sometimes lost it all
He held many patents, 3 Compound Rail Patents, Track Jack Patent, and probably more
The Electrical Compound Rail Patent made him very wealthy again per newspaper articles, he made $100,000 in one year
He was Treasurer of the E. P. Caldwell Holding Company at that time
He also had a patent for an Industructable Railroad Crossing at this time
He was described as being a towering and Over Powering man
He sold his rights to the plow invention for $16,000
He was one of the Corporators of the Iowa & Dakota Railway Company July 21, 1884
Treasurer of Patriotic Order of Sons of America, Aug 1890
His youngest brother James DeForest Caldwell, b- May 12, 1853, in Medina Co., Ohio, d- Mar 3, 1937 at his home, Waterloo Iowa, was the administer of Edward's estate
another brother Charles “Winfield” (Winston?) Caldwell, d- Nov 22, 1930 in Waterloo Co, Iowa
his brothers were Sherriff and Deputy Sherriff in Waterloo, Iowa
He had 5 siblings total, 2 other brothers died in childhood, and a sister at the age of 23
Father Charles C. Caldwell, b- in ON, Canada,
Mother- Sarah Parsons, b- in New York

married Jennie Murphy Nov 25, 1880 in Ackley, Franklin, Iowa
b- Aug 1854 in Ohio
d- some years before Edward in 1930
Her parents were both from Ireland
They had a daughter, name? , b- Feb 5, 1886, in Huron SD, who died some years before Edward as well.

Russell Car and Snow-Plow Company

The original company was formed in 1893 J. H. & J. W. Russell until 1902 when Russell Car and Snow-Plow Company was formed.
James Henry Russell and James William Russell (Bios below)
In 1898 J. W. Russell was the Manager of the Russell Car and Snow-Plow Company
located at Room 751, Tremont Building, Boston Mass.

Seems the Russell Snow Plows were built at their plant Russell Car and Snow-Plow Company in Ridgeway, PA, and some at the Ensign Manufacturing Company, Huntington, West Virginia, USA

Russell Wing Elevator Plow
Not a form of Rotary Plow, but more of a Wing Plow Shape in front, and another set of “Elevator” wings behind that.
It was made by Ensign Manufacturing Company, in Huntington, West Virginia
Major Ely Ensign was manager of the company, President in 1896
Ensign was also Director of the Ohio River Railroad Co.
Became Mayor of Huntington
in 1894, 94 of the Russell model plows were in use.
1895 the plant had orders for 23 Russell Plows.
In 1885 the Russell design plow was put into service on the Intercolonial Railway, now part of CNR.
In 1899 this company employed 1500 men in their Huntington plant, making the finest and largest railway freight cars in the world
Dec 1895 the M.C.R. bought a Russell plow for $3500 made in this plant. It was the first of its kind introduced in Canada
The frame is 42 ft wide, and the plow weighs 6,700 pounds.
It could run at 35 miles per hour with the wings extended, and 40 mph with wings closed.
They made the Russell Single-Track Plow and the Russell Double-Track Plow as well.
3 types, 3 sizes each type.
The Elevator model had a white oak timber running from the rear to the front, so any pressure from the pushing engine would go direct to the front.

Example of a Russell Plow can be seen here, in Prince George's Railway Museum
Prince George Railway Museum

James Henry Russell was the father
Father- James Henry Russell
b- Sept 6, 1823 Vassalboro, Kennebec, Maine USA
d- Apr 21, 1903 St John, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, age 83
US Patent- #300,016- James Henry Russell, St. John NB, Snow Plow, filed Mar 27, 1884, Patented June 10, 1884
US Patent- #420,467- James Henry Russell, St. John NB, Elevator Wing, Snow Plow, filed July 25, 1888, Patented Feb 4, 1890
Canadian Patent- #28,556, February 24, 1888
Canadian Patent #19,997- Snow Plough, Aug 15, 1884
son of James Russell (1789-1843) and Hannah Pishon (1797-1874)
James H. Russell married Ann Merrill Blanchard Dec 9, 1855 Houlton, Aroostook, Maine
b- Oct 7, 1834 at North Abbington, Madison, Somerset, Maine USA
d- Feb 19, 1914 at St John, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, age 80
They both lived at 239 Princess St in St John when they died
Dates of death from Death Certs

James H. and Ann Blanchard had 4 daughters and 2 sons
Alice Blanchard Russell- 1857–
James William Russell- 1861–1921 (see below)
Eunice Weston Russell- 1864–
Bertha Dean Russell- 1866–1919
Merrill Blanchard Russell- 1872–1908
Mary Frances Russell- 1876–

James William Russell the son
b- Jan 27, 1861, in Canterbury NB, Canada
d- Apr 21, 1921 (still no location where he died, or is buried)
Came to Boston Mar 12, 1879
Petition for US Naturalization Sept 3, 1884, shown as a salesman in Boston
1906 marriage record lists him as an Inventor
In a passport application 1907 he claimed he was born in NB when his parents had a temporary residence there.
James W. Russell married Minnie A. Edgerly, Nov 11, 1906 in Boston MA, USA
b- Aug 22, 1868, (1867 in Death Cert), Auroro, Kane, Ill, USA
d- July 19, 1954, at Nettleton Home, Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri, USA
buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Kansas City
daughter of Samuel Haven Edgerly (1823-1895)and his 1st wife- Rosannah “Rose” Haskell
Samuel was also an inventor, and Director of the Michigan Central Railroad, Member of the Masonic order.
Apr 1908 James and Minnie took a trip to Naples Italy
1930, Minnie was living with her sister Amy Lake, also a widow, in Prairie, Jackson, Missouri
James and Minnie both lived at 14 Arlington St. when married
Mr. J. W. Russell from Boston, in 1894, was advance agent of the Russell snow plows. He was the son of the Inventor (James Henry Russell)
Inventor- James William Russell 58 State St., Boston MA, original assignee Russell Car and Snow-Plow Company Ridgeway, PA
Eventually he built them with the Ensign Company as well
Patent- No 721,241- Snow Plow- Filed Sept 11, 1900, patented Feb 24, 1903
Patent- No 717,283- Snow Plow- Filed May 15, 1900, patented Dec 30, 1902


When I thought I was done, then this bit of trivia I found in a newspaper-
Sept 5, 1870, Robert Carr Harris See Bio Below) of the town of Dalhousie, Ristigouch Co., New Brunswick, Canada, a Civil Engineer, patented the “Railway Screw Snow Excavator” A new and useful machine, for removing snow from Railroad Tracks.
Can't seem to find a photo of this invention, so can't see if it was a rotary design or not. The name implies it is.
The article claimed it was the forerunner of the modern snowblower.

Wikipedia claims Robert E. Cole (see Bio below) in 1923 patented a snowblower design.
His US Patent #1,545,235 was filed Apr 21, 1923, and patented on July 7, 1925 He was from Highland Creek, Toronto, ON, Canada
He called it the Cole Sno-Blo
July 1913 he had a patent for a vehicle wheel, so he did invent other items.
1935 he invented a snow plow that attracted the attention of railways and Highways Departments.
It had 140hp, 2 large engines in the rear, inwardly revolving vertical blades cut a 10ft wide and 7ft high swath
It had 2 blower fans to shoot the snow to the side or into trucks.

But credit for some reason goes to a Arthur Sicard (see Bio below) who made a prototype in 1925, in Montreal Quebec, from a design he had first worked on in 1894.
Arthur Sicard is considered the Inventor of First self propelled rotary snowblower, or the beginning of the modern Snowblower.

Wing Type Equipment was invented much earlier.
Amos Taylor of Compton, (Lower Canada) Yeoman, invented the Snow Excavator, and patented it Sept 26, 1846 in Montreal Quebec. #101

The Canadian Civil Engineer that invented what became the Snowblower in 1870
Robert Carr Harris
b- July 9, 1843 in London, England
d- May 12, 1923 West Bathurst, Gloucester, NB
father- Alexander Harris
mother- Ursula Sarah Carr

married 1- Ellen Jane Filton
she died before 1891
they had 2 daughters and 4 sons

married 2- Hannah “Bertha” Wright June 6, 1896 in Carleton, ON (shown as wife in 1901)
3 more sons were born to them

2 daughters and 7 sons in 1901, living in Bathurst, NB

Credited by some as the Inventor of the First Snowblower.
Robert Edgar Cole
b- April 28, 1874 in Markham, York, ON
d- Feb 20, 1950 Highland Creek, Toronto, ON
buried Highland Creek, Wesleyan Cemetery, Highland Creek, Toronto, ON
Father- Robert Cole
Mother- Mary Ann Tran
Robert, and siblings Alice and John are with James Tran and Mary Ann Tran, grandparents who raised the children.
He married- Elma Elizabeth Hawkins, Aug 16, 1899 Goodwood, ON
daughter of Nelson Hawkins, and Susan Emily Cornell
2 sons and a daughter living with them in 1911
In 1921 they had 4 sons, and 2 daughters living with them
they had a total of 8 children.

Invented the First Auger Type Snowblower
Joseph “Arthur” Sicard
b- Dec 17, 1876 on a dairy farm, in the village of St. Leonard de Port Maurice, Laval, near Montreal, Quebec
d- Sept 13, 1946 in Longue-Pointe, Montreal Quebec, age 70
buried in Sault aux Recolletts Cemetery
He sold the first snowblower to the town of Outremont in 1927
His idea came from a farm threshing machine.
President of Sicard Limited when he died
Sicard Inc, was eventually taken over by SMI Industries,
The descendant of the first snowblower is called the “Snowmaster” son of Paul “Maxime” Sicard (1843-1881) and Justine Pepin (1846-1903)
married Rose Anna LaPierre (1872-1907)
They had 4 children
married Marie “Elma” Vezina
they had one child

More Snow Plough Patents, US and Canada:

US Patent- Benjamin A. Johnson, North Auburn, Maine, a Track Clearer, Patented #37420- Jan 13, 1863, a version of a wing plow by the looks of it

US Patent- Henry Pearson, and George S. Webb, of Springfield, MA, Snow Plow, Patented #595,202- Dec 7, 1897

US Patent- Mederic Perreault, Snow Plow, Patented 1900

US Patent- William Wilder, Railway Snow Plow, Patented 1901

US Patent- Charles Cox, Snow Plow, Patented 1895

Canadian Patent- William Scotsburn Buist Bolton Village, ON, Canada- Snow Plough, Railway, Patented #19,937-

US Patent- W. S. Buist- No. 306,716. Patented Oct. 21, 1884.

Canadian Patent- Edwin Payne- Oxbow, NY- Snow Plough- Patented #28,302- Jan 6, 1888

Canadian Patent- John Doman- Owen Sound ON- Snow Plow- Patented #4706- Apr 30, 1875

Canadian Patent- Levi Brillinger and Rev Laurence H. Kirby, Collingwood, ON- Snow Plough- Patented #28,405 - Jan 21, 1888, a Series of Blades fixed to the nose of the plough.

Canadian Patent- Mathias B. Eaton, Boston MA- Snow Plough- Patented #28,951- Apr 18, 1888
Mar 1889 he assigned a Snow Plough Patent to W. W. Eaton, Hartford Conn.
William Wallace Eaton was a US Senator, relation?
He also patented a house to Store Ice, Sept 1, 1894, #46,935
and also a Ice House and Ice Plant #73,123, Sept 17, 1901, name here is Matthias B. Eaton
Apr 1901 he had a US patent for a lumber joint
Sept 1897 President of the International Ice Co. organized at Portland Maine, He was located in Boston,
Treasurer of the company Arthur Perrin of Brookline
May 24, 1899 shown as Matthias B. Eaton, Boston, assignor to J. O. (or C.?) Cameron, Montreal, track clearer
1909 promoter of the Spruce Land Co in Portland ME.
Matthias B. Eaton
b- ?
d- Jan 1, 1911
buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Cumberland, Maine, US
strange why there is nothing more written about this man.

Canadian Patent- Peter B. Brazel, Cheboygan, Michigan- Snow Plough- Patented #29,281- June 5, 1888
Peter Bradford Brazel
b- 1840, Eaton, Quebec, Canada
d- May 1914 Cheboygan MI
buried in Pine Hill Cemetery, Cheboygan, MI
son of John Brazel and Mary Hammond
Shown as a Patentee in 1901
Married 1- Elizabeth “Eliza” Durham, May 14, 1873 in Barrie, Simcoe, ON
Divorced Oct 8, 1900 in Cheboygan MI
2 sons and a daughter
Married 2- Elizabeth Reinke, June 26, 1901, daughter of John Reinke

Canadian Patent- John Q. Day- Patented #19964- Aug 9, 1884
US Patent- John Q. Day, of Red Cliff, Summit Co., Colorado- Railroad Snow-plow, #282281, Filed Aug 8, 1882, Patented July 31, 1883

Patent- Clarence W. Clark- Ashland WI, Railway Front Wing Plow- #1,665,733, filed Feb 12, 1927, patented Apr 10, 1928
Clarence Walland Clark
b- Dec 2, 1878 in Hamilton Co., Indiana
d- June 18, 1928 in Indiana

Canadian Patent- Thomas Y. Woolford, Augusta, WV- Snow Plough- Patented #30,117- Nov 6, 1888
Thomas Yonley Woolford alt Wolford
b- Nov 16, 1844 in Hampshire County, West Virginia, USA
d- April 21, 1925 in Hampshire County, West Virginia, USA

Canadian Patent- David Brown Knight, farmer from Riceburg, Quebec- Snow Plough- Patented #30,073- Oct 30, 1888
David Brown Knight
b- Dec 20, 1857 in Quebec
d- June 6, 1940 in Quebec
buried in Cimetière Mont-Royal Outremont, Montreal Region, Quebec, Canada
son of Edmund C. Knight and Mary Ann Lee Paige (b- Feb 17, 1822)
grandfather- Ephraim Knight
Great Grandfather- Amos Knight of Shrewsbury VT
Great Grandmother- Philander Beaman, daughter of Sheldon Beaman of Milton VT
David married #1- Editha “Etta” Permilla Rice Dec 17, 1879 at Bedford Methodist Church
b- abt 1859 in Quebec
d- Dec 21, 1900 in Quebec
buried in Stanbridge, Quebec
daughter of Martin Rice and Permilla W. Vincent
Martin Rice was involved in various Iron Works in Canada
Riceburg near Montreal, founded and named after ancestors of this family
David and Editha had 2 daughters and 2 sons
David married #2- Ella Eudora Vail Feb 19, 1902 in Montreal Quebec

Canadian Patent- #93088, Snow Plough, Inventor Samuel H. Dunning, Paterson NJ,
Owner- The Rotary Snow Plow Company, (United States of America) Patented May 16, 1905
Samuel Haddon Dunning
b- May 30, Washingtonville, Orange, New York, USA
d- Nov 3, 1936, Paterson, Passaic, New Jersey, USA
1880 shown as a Travelling Engineer for Cooke Locomotives.
He held US Patent #385700; Regarding rotary snow excavator, 1888
He held numerous other locomotive related patents
married 1- Eliza Ann LaRue Dec 24, 1878 in Paterson, Passaic, NJ
they had 3 daughters, 2 sons
married 2- Kate Leonard

Canadian Patent- James O. Stackhouse- St. John, NB, Snow Plough- Patented #28,721- Mar 17, 1888
James O. Stackhouse
b- June 10, 1870 in NB
d- Aug 19, 1903 Saint John, NB, Canada, age 73
1871 ship master
1901 shown as a ship builder
wife Margaret T. Stackhouse
b- Apr 2, 1833 in NB
daughter Francis M. Stackhouse
b- Jan 20, 1862 in NB
daughter Agnes Stackhouse
b- age 12 in 1871 in NB

Canadian Patent- Asa G. Dailey, Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan- Railway Snow Plough, Patented #23386- Feb 8, 1886
US Patent- Asa G. Dailey, and half assigned to James D. Hawks, both from Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan- Railway Snow Plough, #379938- Snow Plough, Filed Feb 26, 1885
Asa. G. Dailey was Superintendent of Tracks and Bridges, when he retired from Michigan Central Railroad after 53 years service. He was a Captain in the Civil War.
Conductor on the Railroad in 1870
b- Aug 25, 1833 in Pottsdam, New York, d- Feb 5, 1908 at his home 74 Euclid Ave. Detroit, Michigan, age 74
buried in Smallwood Cemetery, Niles, Bergen Co., Michigan
son of Udney Dailey, b- VT, and Clarisa Gilmore, b- VT
left a widow Mary Elinore Dailey, nee Gore, and 3 daughters, Clara M. Dailey, Floy A. Dailey, and Elvie S. Dailey

Ruggles Rotary Snow Plow

Pictures I have seen look very familiar to the early Leslie models, but I believe there were all made for urban electric railways.
George W. Ruggles, Charlotte NY involved in the company
They were built under licence by a company named Peckman Manufacturing Company
Invented by Captain Ruggles
Patented July 4, 1893; Apr 6, 1897; and Jan 9, 1900 writtten on side of one machine
Mr Ruggles was also a boat builder.
Captain George W. Ruggles
b- Nov 24, 1837 in Gaines, Orleans Co., NY
d- May 21, 1910 in Charlotte, NY
buried Hillside Cemetery, Clarendon, Orleans Co., NY
father- Martin Ruggles, (1810-1870) also a native of NY, was a millwright and inventor.
mother- Nancy J. Lane, (1814-1882) a native of Victor, NY,
Captain Ruggles married Ellen S. Bliss (1850-1925) Oct 1866 in NY
b- Sept 28, 1850 Kendall, Orleans, NY
d- Oct 22, 1925 in NY
daughter of Edwin Bliss and Mary A. Seymour

Note- Not my site, links may or may not work in the future
I do not control the content in these links

History of the Polson Iron Works, Toronto

More History of various snow plows

Leslie and Jull show down, plus list of Leslie Rotaries made

After I researched all of the above this link popped up
a very good article from 1920

Sept 6, 1884 article and pictures of the first rotary


  • Last modified: 2019/01/15 18:03
  • by dlgent