Man and Snow Machine Become Pals

Date: 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Author: 

Luana (Loffer) Corbin

Episode: 

3 193

Snow removal at Crater Lake in the 1930’s created pals of Harry “Happy” Fuller and a snowplow machine he named Betsy.

Fuller said Betsy consisted of two parts: a plow unit and a truck unit.  She was 23 feet long, 8 feet wide and 10 feet high. The six-cylinder machine could travel 10 different speeds in four-wheel drive.  The plow had a big scoop that fed the snow to a fan that blew it 100 feet to the right and left.  Once a foot of snow had accumulated on the road, Harry and Betsy would begin keeping 25 miles of the two-lane road plowed all winter.

In 1932, the total snow fall reached nearly 66 feet deep. They plowed enough snow to cover an imaginary ski track 3 feet wide, 6 inches deep and long enough to encircle the globe at the equator.  It was not unusual to plow for 36 hours without a break, followed by a fast meal and a few hours of sleep for Fuller before returning to work. 

Fuller developed fond feelings for Betsy the plow, saying there was something binding about facing the snow and freezing temperatures together.

 

Sources:  Fuller, Harry. "Betsy, The Rotary." Nature Notes from Crater Lake, Crater Lake Institute, Apr. 1933, www.craterlakeinstitute.com/./vol6no1-betsy-the-rotary<. Accessed 24 Apr. 2017; LaPlante, Margaret. Images of America Crater Lake National Park. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2013.

 

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