The Polaris spirit can be traced back to co-founders Edgar Hetteen, his younger brother Allan and his close friend David Johnson. The hard-working trio started the forerunner of Polaris—Hetteen Hoist & Derrick—in 1945 in tiny Roseau, Minnesota. With World War II raging and metal scarce, their skill at repairing farm machinery quickly earned them loyal customers.
But it was their tinkering with a better way to get remote hunting shacks in deep snow that earned them a place in history: Our co-founders developed an early snowmobile in 1955. To prove the vehicles weren't just frivolous toys, Edgar and three friends embarked on a 1,200-mile journey across the Alaskan wilderness to demonstrate the vehicle's durability. They lugged 900 pounds of provisions on toboggans and endured minus-40 degree temperatures to complete the journey in 21 days.
Their determination paid off. The machines became so popular that Polaris began manufacturing Snowmobiels exclusively, which we did for many years before launching into additional product lines that leveraged our strengths in product development, powertrain, manufacturing, distribution and marketing.