The Polaris spirit can be traced 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 pioneering approach to finding a better way to get to remote hunting shacks in deep snow 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 snowmobiles exclusively.