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Welcome to the
Snow-Bird Snowblower Webpage.


This webpage is about Snowbird Snowblowers, which were originally designed and manufactured by the "George Garden Tools" division of Community Industries, in Sullivan, Illinois.

George Garden Tools coined the well known marketing phrase "Let George Do It", and they built the original models of the
Snowbird Snowblower from 1958 to 1967.

Community Industries of Sullivan, Illinois began in 1946, and one of their early products was the 2-wheel "George Garden Tractor".

The years right after World War Two, the late 1940's and into the 1950's, was a huge era of growth for the "suburban homeowner" market. (a market which prior to WWII barely existed) But after WWII Americans began flocking to the new suburbs in huge numbers, buying homes, cars, tv's, and a vast new market was opening up for "lawn and garden machines" for the millions of new suburban lawns, gardens and driveways.  A huge boom in push-lawnmowers, riding mowers, garden tractors, roto-tillers, and snowblowers were all introduced during this era, and competition was fierce, resulting in rapid improvements and new and better models being introduced every year. George Garden Tools and their 
Snowbird Snowblower of 1958 was one of the earlier  snowblowers made for homeowner use. Toro introduced their first snowblower in 1951, Ariens had a snowblower attachment for one of their rototillers in 1952, and by 1960 the modern "walk behind" dedicated snowblower, as we know it today, was well underway.

The Snowbird snowblower of 1958 to 1967 was a leader in the early snowblower market, resulting in a very high-quality line that stood up alongside the best of them, Ariens, Gilson, Toro, Simplicity, and other manufacturers from the "golden era" of classic American-made high-quality yard and garden machines.

This classic era of high-quality US-made machines was essentially the 1950's, 60's and 70's..By the mid to late 1980's, and especially through the 1990's, the downward trend in quality had begun, with the introduction of the big-box stores and the new American desire for things being as cheap (low cost) as possible.(cheap in cost usually equals cheap in quality as well.) If you are reading these words, you probably already know all about that.


For the purposes of this webpage, I am going to divide up the entire Snowbird line into three "generations", that correspond with ownership of the Snowbird brand name, and also roughly correspond to the different generations of the machines themselves:

Generation 1:

The Snowbird snowblower line was first designed and built by George Garden Tools from 1958 to 1967. These are the "original" machines, and generally the ones people think of when they imagine a Snowbird snowblower. Most of the models in Generation 1 have the classic Snowbird "shrouds" or "cowls" over the engine, protecting the engine from the elements, but also adding a distinctive style and unique sense of industrial design to these snowblowers, which was very unusual for snowblowers of any era! Making Snowbird's the most "stylish" of all snowblowers! Most Gen-1 Snowbirds have these covers and shrouds to various degrees, except for the first three models, the 20-inch "Snow Chicks" and the very *last* Gen-1 models! (the last two models in Gen-1, the 228 and the 265-2 from 1966/67, no longer had the coverings, probably due to simple economics.)

Generation 2:

In 1967 The George Power Tools division was bought by the Yard-Man company, (which was still a quality name at that time) And Yard-Man continued to produce
Snowbird snowblowers mostly unchanged for several years. "Yard-Man Snow-Birds" were produced from 1967 to 1975. At first the Yard-Man Snow Birds were generally unchanged from the last of the original "George" designs, (the un-shrouded 228 and 265-2) and were basically those same machines, but which now also said "Yard-Man" in addition to "Snowbird" on the name plate. Then gradually the original "George" designs and features were phased out, as Yard-Man snowblowers continued to evolve along with the industry at large.

Generation 3:
Then in 1975 the Snowbird snowblower "brand" was sold a second time, as Yard-Man was bought and folded into the MTD family of brands, where it remains to this day. MTD closed the original Snowbird plant at this time, but they kept the Snowbird name alive for several more years. But this time "MTD-built" Snowbirds became "Snow Birds in name only"..bearing only the old and respected brand name, but the machines themselves contained no original Snowbird DNA whatsoever.

These machines arent necessarily bad! they are most likely perfectly respectable quality from the late 70's (when most snowblowers were still of decent quality) Yes, today MTD is considered a "lower-end" brand name, but that is only since the 1990's really.

But for the "
Snowbird Collector" (what few exist) these machines probably arent terribly interesting or desirable, simply because they arent "real" Snow Birds! They really have nothing to do with the Gen 1 and Gen 2 machines..So these "last of the Snow Birds" are, in my opinion, not even worth collecting..they are simply late 70's and 1980's era MTD's, no different than any other MTD snowblower from that time. In short, these very last Snowbirds are "nothing special"..unlike their ancestors.

MTD made the last "
Snow Bird in name only" about 1983, (exact year is still uncertain) ending 25 total years of the Snow Bird line.

For
Snowbird collectors, in my opinion only the first two generations of Snowbirds are worth collecting and restoring. The Original Snowbirds of course, made by George from 1958 to 1967, and some of the earlier Yard-Man machines, produced 1967 to 1975, which still retained much of the original "Snowbird DNA" and features..The very last Gen-3 machines arent worth considering, unless you are a *very* dedicated snowblower collector and perhaps want to find "one of each!" ;) In that case, the very last MTD-built machines might be interesting, just to round out the personal collection. (I dont know of any collectors that dedicated yet! ;)

All these various generations, phases, models, and manufacturers will be detailed below, and sorting them all out, and learning about all the different models in detail, is actually the primary purpose of this webpage.

For ease of discussion, along with the Gen 1, 2 and 3 designations, it also makes sense to refer to the three generations as "Snowbird", "Yardman-Snowbird" and
"MTD-Yardman-Snowbird".

So, with that brief background, on to the Snow
birds!








Generation 1


These are the "original" Snowbirds, designed and built by the "George Garden Tools" division of Community Industries, in Sullivan, Illinois. These snowblowers were made from 1958 to 1967, and there are Twenty Two models in Generation 1.

These are the "original" machines, and generally the ones people think of when they imagine a Snowbird snowblower. Most of the models in Generation 1 have the classic Snowbird "shrouds" or "cowls" over the engine, protecting the engine from the elements, but also adding a distinctive style and unique sense of industrial design to these snowblowers, which was very unusual for snowblowers of any era! Making Snowbird's the most "stylish" of all snowblowers! Most Gen-1 Snowbirds have these covers and shrouds to various degrees, except for the first three models, the 20-inch "Snow Chicks" and the very *last* Gen-1 models! (the last two models in Gen-1, the 228 and the 265 from 1966/67, no longer had the coverings, probably due to simple economics.)

They are not super rare, and they not very valuable at all. There is no organized "antique snowblower hobby" to speak of, unlike other things such as classic cars or tractors..a few enthusists do look for them, but they are few and far between. For the average homeowner just looking for a practical used snowblower, they are actually a bit undeseriable, because they do have limited speeds, and parts availability can be an issue. I bought a non-running 1961 S-224 for $25, which is about right! ;) and a complete and running 1st Gen snowbird can be in the $100 to $250 range, depending on condition, but no more than that really.

Yes these first-gen Snowbirds are somewhat primitive compared to other snowblowers of the 1960's. Many of them are only single-speed, and a few are 2-speed. But they make up for that in robust quality, unique styling, and a certain indefinable "flair" and "coolness-factor" that many people still love and admire about them to this day.

The following list of models for Generation 1 comes from an actual
Snow-Bird document! dated January 1, 1968, which lists all the original models, plus the first three Yard-Man models. A scan of the actual paper document can be found in the "Snowbird Snowblowers Yahoo Group":
 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SnowBirdSnowblowers


Model names are not related to years, even though they might appear to be at first glance. (For example, for the model 261, the "26" stands for "26-inch scoop"..but the "1" does *not* mean 1961! even though the model 261 did happen to come out in 1961, but that is just a coincidence. The "1" in 261 actually means "the first 26-inch Snowbird made". Then the "2" in model 262 only means "The 2nd 26-inch Snowbird made" etc..The third digit in the model name is not a year! It's simply a consecutive model number..The chart below should help make this clear:





Below is a list of all the Generation 1 models.
This list wont be in exact
consecutive order by year, instead it will be by scoop size. Beginning with the 22-inch models (since they were the first) then the 20-inch models, then 24-inch, and ending with the 26-inch models.



Snow Bird Model FB
Produced 1958
22 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 3HP 80302

The first SnowBird! believed produced one year only.
I dont yet have a photo or a drawing of a model FB, we don't yet know what it looks like! if anyone knows of one, please let me know! :)



Snow Bird Model S
Produced 1958-1959
22 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 3HP 80302

The second Snowbird model.
Here is a drawing from the cover of the owners manual:

Model S drawing


And here are some photos of what is believed to be a Model S.
This is the oldest Snowbird on the internet! and the oldest yet discovered for this webpage. It is believed to be a Model S because it appears identical to the drawing above, from the Model S manual. It does not have yet have any of engine shrouding, and it has the square chute. There are no model markings on the machine itself however, and, we still dont know what a model FB looks like! But this is almost certaintly a
Model S. This machine is owned by Jeff R. of Kingston MA.









Thanks Jeff!



Snow Bird Model SD
Produced 1959 - 1960
22 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 3HP 80302

The third Snowbird model.
I dont yet have a photo of an actual model SD, but here is a drawing from the cover of the owners manual:







Snow Bird Model SB
Produced 1960 - 1961
22 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 3HP 80302


The Fourth Snowbird model.
Here is a drawing from the cover of the owners manual:



(The owners manual that drawing came from says Model "SB-60" rather than simply "Model SB"..
I dont yet know if "Model SB" and "Model SB-60" are one and the same, with perhaps slightly different
naming conventions in different pieces of literature..Or if they might be two slightly different models. I suspect it is more likely that there is only one model SB, and the designation SB-60 might have been an early "expreiment" in different naming conventions..because the naming convention would change with the next model! the model 224. Could SB-60 perhaps stand for 1960? an experiment with using a "model year" as part of the name? which was never formally adopted and never repeated? perhaps..more research is necessary to know for sure what "SB-60" means.)

Notice that the the models before the SB have "traditional" engine placements..where the engine is simply sitting on top of the snowblower body, and open to the elements, except for a "heater box" over the carb..This was standard procedure for the era, and nearly all other snowblower manufacturers did this from the start, and never altered that simple design, which continues to today.

But notice that the model SB is the first Snowbird to have some interesting cowls and covers over the engine! Which are not only practical, keeping snow and water off of the engine, but also add an element of *style* to the snowblower! This deliberate styling would continue, and evolve, for the remainder of the 1st series models up to 1966, (except for the last two Gen-1 models of '67/'68), resulting in Snowbird snowblowers being some of the most interesting *looking* snowblowers ever! with a very cool look of style, flair and classic industrial design not usually seen on such a utilitarian machine as a snowblower.

Here are some photos of a Model SB. This was the first model to have the beginnings of the iconic "Snowbird Styling" and engine shrouding. These photos are of a machine that was for sale on ebay:














Snow Bird Model 224
Produced 1961 - 1962
22 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 3HP 80302


The Fifth Snowbird model.
And the first to use the new 3-digit naming convention, which continued for the remainder of the 1st Generation. This 3-digit model name system is comprised of the bucket width for the first two digits, "22 inch bucket" in this case, then the 3rd digit is a
consecutive model number, "224" is the 4th 22-inch model produced, "225" is the 5th 22-inch model, "226" is the 6th, etc..

(Remember, the third digit does *not* indicate a model year!)

Although! in this case, model 224 is actually the fifth 22-inch model! (and the 5th
Snowbird overall) So why isn't the model 224 actually named the 225? the reason is currently unknown..(hopefully further research will answer these sort of questions) a theory is perhaps that the very first model, the model FB, was sufficiently different from future models that it wasnt considered "one of the series" and instead the counting began with the 2nd model, the "Model S", which would then make the 224 the 4th in the series..But that is just a theory for now..



The model 224 continues the early "styling" of the model SB before it, with some additional refinements. The 224 was the first model to have the elongated chute.

1961 Model 224, owned by Scot L. of Rochester, NY.













For more information on this particular model 224, and its eventual return to operating condition, see this thread: http://www.snowblowerforum.com/1961-snowbird


Videos of the model 224:








Snow Bird Model 225
Produced 1962 - 1963
22 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 4HP 100202


The 224 evolved into the 225, which was produced 1962 - 1963.
The 225 was the first model to use the new "radiator" styling, the most iconic of snowbird shrowding, which was in use for five years, 1962 to 1967. Here is a nice model 225 owned by Jon S.







Thanks Jon!




Snow Bird Model 226
Produced 1963 - 1964 - 1965
22 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 4HP 100202-0274-01


"Ken B. in CT" sent me some photos of his 1964 model S-226.
There are three model years listed for the 226: 1963, '64, and '65.
The only reliable method (that I know of so far) to date a Snowbird is to use the Briggs (or Tecumseh, for later models) serial number. (assuming of course that it's the original engine! but it usually is.)  In this case, Ken sent me the Briggs engine data from the Briggs plate:

Model# 100202
Type# 0169 01
Code# 6406221

The Code number, 6406221, contains a date code. It says the engine was assembled at B&S on June 22, 1964. (the final number 1 is a plant code) So this clearly tells us that the snowblower itself must be a 1964 model, as June was almost certaintly early enough that the engine could have made it onto a 1964 model year snowblower.
Thanks Ken!









And here is another S-226, this one owned by Big Ed S. from NJ.









Thanks Big Ed!



Snow Bird Model 227
Produced 1965 - 1966
22 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 4HP 100202-0274-01


Here is a model 227 owned by Ted K. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Thanks for the pics Ted!

















Snow Bird Model 228
Produced 1966 - 1967
22 inch, single speed
Engine: Lauson 4HP H40-55114F


Snow Bird Model 228s
Produced 1967
22 inch, single speed
Engine: Lauson 4HP H40-55146G





Snow Bird Model 201
Produced 1962 - 1963 - 1964
20 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 3HP 80302


In 1962 Snowbird came out with their third snowblower size, the smallest of the lineup, a 20-inch scoop model. Only three 20-inch models were made in "Generation 1" the 201, 202, and 203, and they were only made in five model years, 1962 to 1966.

According to a Snowbird document from 1968, the first 20-inch model, the 201, might have been called the "Smart Way", while the 202 and the 203 were called "Snow Chick" models..(a "chick" being a baby bird of course.)



Snow Bird Model 202
Produced 1964 - 1965
20 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 3HP 80302


Here we have a 1964 "Snow Chick" model 202, owned by Mike L. of Phildelphia, PA. Mike bought this snowblower in 2013. Thanks for the photos Mike!










And here is a second S-202 Snow Chick, this one owned by
Bob D. of Jamestown RI.




With the front engine cover on:


With the front engine cover off:




The Briggs date code is interesting on this one. Both Briggs and Tecumseh used date codes, with different numbering conventions and different ways to "read" them. The code on Bob's machine: 6410303 says the engine was assembled at Briggs on:
1964, October 30. and the final 3 is a plant code that tells which plant the engine was made at. Usually the engine date can give an accurate idea of when the snowblower itself was made, but this one is an exception! Because October 30th is *really* late in the "snowblower building season", this particular engine date code does not reliably tell us the model year of the snowblower! It could be a 1964 or a 1965 snowblower.

It is commonly believed that most snowblowers are built in the spring and summer, so they are ready to be sold that autumn. And most lawnmowers are built in the autumn and winter, so they are ready to be sold in the spring. However it is not known with any certainty which manufacturers followed this pattern, what years they followed it, or if they even followed it at all! In this case, October 30th seems "too late" for this engine to have made it onto a 1964 model year Snowbird that was sold in the winter of 64/65..but we can't know that for a fact. It seems more likely this engine probably waited around for a few months, into the spring or summer of 1965, and then was placed on a 1965 model year snowbird that was sold in the autumn of '65, but again, we cant know for sure. If this engine had been assembled in April of '64 rather than October, we could be 90% certain that the snowblower was a 1964 model year snowblower. But because of the October build date for the engine, its much more ambigious, and we dont know if the snowblower is a '64 or a '65.


Thanks for the photo Bob!


Snow Bird Model 203
Produced 1965 - 1966
20 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 3HP 80302-0357-01


Snow Bird Model 241
Produced 1964 - 1965
24 inch, two speed
Engine: B&S 4HP 100202-0274-01


Snowbird's fourth (and last in Gen1) bucket size was introduced in 1964, the 24" bucket. For three years, 1964, '65 and '66, Snowbird had four sizes in the catalog, 20", 22", 24" and 26".


Snow Bird Model 242
Produced 1965 - 1966
24 inch, two speed
Engine: B&S 4HP 100202-0274-01


Here are some photos of a very nice operating model 242.
This machine is owned by Tim P. of Cheektowaga, NY, and is still used on Buffalo NY snow! 50 years of use in 2015, and counting..







thanks Tim!



Some notes on the 26" models.

The 26" models were the largest of the Gen1 and Gen2 Snowbirds. In Gen1 there were three main 26" snowbird "styles", The 261 and 262 shared similar styling, while the 263 and 264 had different shrowding. Then the last of the Gen1's, the 265-2 of 1966/'67, went back to the early (lack of) styling, having the shrowding removed, exposing the engine again. While this was a "step back" in terms of styling, it did make for easier maintenance and servicing. The 265-2 was also one of the first Snowbirds to have a Tecumseh engine, as opposed to the Briggs which was found on all the earlier models. These changed features of the 265-2 carried over in the "Gen2" yardman-snowbird models. The following notes are from the yahoo groups snowbird forum:

There are seven Gen1 26" models:

261      single speed
262 
     single speed
262-2   2 speed
263 
     single speed
263-2   2 speed
264      2 speed
265-2   2 speed

The "dash-2" models are two speeds forward, one speed reverse. While the "non dash-2's" are single speed forward and single speed reverse. except! the 264 is 2-speed! Why it was not called the 264-2 in that case is a mystery. And then they went on to have a 265-2
two speed, (given the dash-2 designiation while the 264 two speed was not.)  but no 265 single speed!

The 261 and 262 have different chute controls than the 263 and 264.

The 262 has an extra knob on the chute rotator handle that allows you to rotate the head of the chute seperate from the chute itself. The 263 does not have this feature. This could arguably make the 262 the most "advanced" of the Gen1 snowbirds.





Snow Bird Model 261
Produced 1961 - 1962
26 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 6HP 143302


In 1961 Snowbird introduced its 2nd size, a 26" wide model.
The lineup now included 22" and 26" models.

Snow Bird Model 262
Produced 1962 - 1963
26 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 6HP 143302


The 262 carried on the same styling as the 261 before it, with some changes and updates including:

Here is a nice S-262 owned by Ari P. of Upper Darby, PA.





Thanks Ari! :)


And here is another S-262, this one owned by Damon R. of
Gettysburg, PA









Thanks Damon!


Snow Bird Model 262-2
Produced 1962 - 1963
26 inch, two speed
Engine: B&S 6HP 143302





Snow Bird Model 263
Produced 1963 - 1964
26 inch, single speed
Engine: B&S 6HP 502816


Here is a nice S-263 owned by Alan K. of Rotterdam, NY







Thanks Alan!


And another S-263, this one owned by James B. of Danvers, MA.







thanks James!


Snow Bird Model 263-2
Produced 1964 - 1965
26 inch, two speed
Engine: B&S 6HP 143302



Snow Bird Model 264
Produced 1965 - 1966
26 inch, two speed
Engine: B&S 6HP 146402-0223-01



Snow Bird Model 265-2
Produced 1966 - 1967
2 inch, two speed
Engine: Lauson 6HP H60-75213F

(The first snowbird to use a Lauson/Tecumseh, instead of a Briggs engine)












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Generation 2



The "Generation 2" Snowbird
The "Yardman Snowbird" of 1967 - 1975


In 1967 The George Power Tools division was bought by the Yard-Man company, (which was still a quality name at that time) And Yard-Man continued to produce Snowbird snowblowers mostly unchanged for several years. "Yard-Man Snow-Birds" were produced from 1967 to 1975. At first the Yard-Man Snow Birds were generally unchanged from the last of the original Generation 1 "George" designs, (the un-shrouded models 228 and 265 of 1966/67) and were basically those same machines, but which now also said "Yard-Man" in addition to "Snowbird" on the name plate. Then gradually the original "George" designs and features were phased out, as Yard-Man snowblowers continued to evolve along with the industry at large.

One significant diference between the Gen1 and Gen2 machines is that the Gen2 Yardman-Snowbirds used Tecumseh engines, while all of the Gen-1 Snowbirds, except for the very last models,  used Briggs & Stratton engines.

These "Generation 2" models were made by Yard-Man from 1967 to 1975, and over time, many of the original
Snowbird features gradually disappeared. It is not yet known exactly when, and with which models, the original "Snowbird DNA" finally disappeared..it was probably with the last models of Generation 2. (future research will hopefully clarify these questions)

Known Generation 2 models so far:

(production years listed below are not necessarily the *full* years of production for a specific model, they are only the "known" years.)

Model 7000-0      22" 4hp - known produced 1967 - 1968
Model 7000-1      22" 4hp -
Model 7000-2      22" 4hp -

Model 7010-0      24" 6hp - known produced 1967 - 1968

Model 7020-0      26" 7hp - known produced 1967 - 1968
Model 7020-1      26" 7hp - known produced 1967 - 1968
Model 7020-2      26" 7hp - known produced 1970

Model 7040-0      22" 4hp - known produced 1969

Model 7090         24" 5hp - known produced 1972
Model 7090-1      24" 5hp

Model 7100         26" 7hp - known produced 1972
Model 7100-1      26" 7hp

Model 7160         22" 4hp - known produced 1972

Model 7200

There are some Yardman/Snowbird dealer brochures that say 7090, 7100, and other models, *without* a "dash zero" on them. I suspect when they say "7090" it is actually a model 7090-0, or perhaps even a -1 or -2, and perhaps they only used the "generic" number for the brochure, because customers didnt need to care about the dash-0, dash-1 or dash-2 designations. but I don't yet know that for a fact.

and there are probably more models..stay tuned..



Representative model of the "Generation 2" Snowbird, the "Yard-Man Snow-Bird" of 1967 - 1975. Exact model uncertain, photo from ebay.

Note that Generation 2 machines still retain the original Snow Bird scoop, chute design, gear transmission and chain drive to the rear wheels. The main visual differences between a late Gen1 and an early Gen2 is the addition of the "Yard-Man" name on the dash panel, (but still using the original Snow-Bird logo and name as well), and a Tecumseh engine on the Gen2's.




Yard-Man Snow Bird Model 7020-2
26" 7hp. - built in 1970.
Here is an example of the large end of the Yardman-Snowbird line, a 26" 7hp model. This is a 1970 model 7020-2 owned by Dave B. of Manheim, PA.











(It's interesting to note that Yardman used the older style "button" muffler on Tecumseh engines longer than Ariens. Ariens had stopped using the button mufflers around 1965.)





Thanks Dave!



Yard-Man Snow Bird Model 7040
22" 4hp.
Here we have some photos of a nice "Generation 2" Snow Bird, made by Yard-Man. The exact model year of this machine is uncertain, but it probably around 1970. This machine is owned by Ari P. of Upper Darby, PA. Thanks for the photos Ari!












Thanks Ari!











Generation 3

Generation 3, the "MTD-Yardman-Snowbird"



Representative photos of the "Generation 3" Snowbird, the "MTD-Yardman-Snowbird" Exact models uncertain, photos from ebay.

The third and final generation of Snowbirds are very different from Generation 1 and 2. In 1975 the Snowbird snowblower "brand" was sold a second time, when Yard-Man was bought and folded into the MTD family of brands, where it remains to this day. MTD closed the original Snowbird plant at this time, but they kept the Snowbird name alive for several more years. But this time "MTD-built" Snowbirds became "Snowbirds in name only"..bearing only the old and respected brand name, but the machines themselves contained no original Snowbird DNA whatsoever.

These machines aren't necessarily bad! they are most likely perfectly respectable quality from the late 70's (when most snowblowers were still of decent quality) Yes, today MTD and Yard Man are considered "lower-end" brand names, but that is only since the 1990's really.

But for the "
Snowbird Collector" (what few exist) these machines probably arent terribly interesting or deseriable, simply because they arent "real" Snow Birds! They really have nothing to do with the Gen 1 and Gen 2 machines..So these "last of the Snow Birds" are, in my opinion, not even worth collecting..they are simply late 70's and early 1980's era MTD's, no different than any other MTD snowblower from that time. In short, these very last Snowbirds are "nothing special"..unlike their ancestors.

MTD made the last "
Snow Bird in name only" about 1983, (exact year is still uncertain) ending 25 total years of the Snow Bird line.

For
Snowbird collectors, in my opinion only the first two generations of Snowbirds are worth collecting and restoring. The Original Snowbirds of course, made by George from 1958 to 1967, and some of the earlier Yard-Man machines, produced 1967 to 1975, which still retained much of the original "SnowBird DNA" and features..The very last Gen-3 machines arent worth considering, unless you are a *very* dedicated snowblower collector and perhaps want to find "one of each!" ;) In that case, the very last MTD-built machines might be interesting, just to round out a personal collection. (I dont know of any collectors that dedicated yet! ;)



MTD-Yardman-Snowbird Model 31805L

Here is a nice example of a "Generation 3" Snowbird. MTD stopped using the Gen2 Yardman model name convention, and it is not known how many Gen3 MTD-Yardman-Snowbird models there were.

This is the 3rd snowblower on this page owned by Ari P. of Upper Darby PA, thanks Ari! This machine is likely a 1979 model, based on the engine serial number. It is a "826" model, which means 8hp and 26" bucket. As you can see, all of the original Gen1 and Gen 2 "Snowbird DNA" is gone by this point. None of the original Snowbird features remain in this model, and this is a standard "friction disk" machine of the late 70's era.



















Other "George Manufacturing" Products:

Known products made by the "George Garden Tools" division of Community Industries, in Sullivan Illinois, 1946 to 1967.
(this is probably not a complete list)

George Garden Tractor
Snow-Bird Snowblower
Earth-Bird Rototiller
Lawn-Bird Riding Mower
Work-Bird Power Tractor

The "George Garden Tractor", an early product, first introduced in 1946.







1958 - 1959 Earth Bird Rototiller.







"Work Bird Power Tractor" - no date listed on the owners manual but probably mid 1960's. Unusual design! front wheel drive!

(I have the full .pdf of that WorkBird owners manual! send me an email if you would like a copy.)

I have been looking for photos of an "Lawn Bird" riding mower, made by George before 1967, with no luck so far. Yard-Man inherited all the names after 1967, and they did make a 1970's riding mower/tractor called a "Lawn Bird", but I doubt it is related to the original "George" Lawn Bird.


Snow-Bird Logo evolution:

In addition to their interesting and unique snowblower styling, George also had some cool graphics! Here is a sampling of logos used from the 1950's through the 1970's:

It is believed the Earth Bird rototiller existed before the Snow Bird snowblower:


1958-1959 Earth Bird Logo. (and perhaps earlier)



The first Snow Bird logo, seen on the 1958 and 1959 models.



1960 - 1967 Snow Bird Logo.
The second Snowbird logo.
This was the primary Snow Bird logo seen on most snowblowers, manuals and advertisements from 1960 to 1967.



Mid 1960's to early 1970's Snow Bird Logo.
The third, and final "George Industries" Snowbird logo.
This one is a minor variant on the "second" logo.
The "snowflakes" have been altered a bit, the snow pile has been altered a bit, and the biggest change is the bird's arm has been moved lower, so its no longer covering up part of his beak.
This logo seems have been used on a few snowblowers, and manuals, during the same time the earlier one was also being used. This logo did also transfer over to Yard-Man and can be seen on the early Yard-Man Snowbirds in the 1968 to early 70's timeframe.



Probably mid-1960's (exact date uncertain) Work-Bird logo.




1968 - 1972 (or so) Yard-Man Snowbird nameplate design.
The "Generation two" Snowbird.
In 1968 Yard-Man bought the Snowbird snowblower line, and continuted to make Snowbirds until 1975. Originally the machines were unchanged from the "George" designs, and only a new nameplate with "Yard-Man" was added. The logo is the "third" Snowbird logo, as seen above.

It is believed the original "Snow Bird DNA" died out about 1975, with the last of the Yard-Man snowbirds. In 1975, Yard-Man was taken over by MTD, who also continued to make "Snowbird" snowblowers, but this time they were "Snowbirds in name only"..The original "George" designs were no longer used, and the "MTD snowbirds" were the same machines as the other MTD brands of the era, and were no longer evolutionary desendants of the original George designs.


Post 1975 MTD Snowbird logo.
This is now a "Third Generation" Snowbird, and no longer related to the original Snowbirds, except in name only.



Early 1980's MTD Snowbird logo.
This is perhaps the last Snowbird logo design used. Again a "Generation Three" Snowbird. It is not yet know when the last Snowbirds were made, it was as late as 1983, but probably not much later.











For more information on Snowbird snowblowers, a great source on the web is The Snow Bird Snowblowers yahoo group. click here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SnowBirdSnowblowers/

That group contains a wealth of information! :)
photos, manuals, documents, and an active and helpful community of
SnowBird enthusiasts ready to answer any questions you might have!

Another great snowblower forum is snowblowerforum.com
http://www.snowblowerforum.com/
another excellent discussion forum! This one is dedicated to *all* snowblower brands, not
Snowbirds specifically. (although Snowbird discussion is certaintly welcome there.) and snowblowerforum.com now has a dedicated Snowbird sub-forum.

This
Snowbird webpage is now the third "brand-specific" informational snowblower webpage on the web! :) The first was (and still is) Pete's excellent "Gilson Snowblower Shop" webpage, dedicated to Gilson snowblowers, online since 2006:
http://www.gilsonsnowblowers.com/

Then in 2009 I created the "Ariens 1960's and 1970's Sno-Thro Info Site."
http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/Ariens/



And now this Snowbird page is the 3rd brand-specific snowblower "hobby webpage", which first went "live" in April, 2013.

If you have any snowbird information to share, please do! :)
more photos and snowbird info is always wanted and welcome! and if you own a Snowbird model which doesn't yet have photos on this page, please send some in! :) your fellow snowblower enthusiasts would love to see them! you can reach me here:

sscotsman@yahoo.com



My other "Classic American Iron" pages:
1960's and 70's Ariens Snowblowers.
1964 Wheel Horse tractor.

Return to Scot's main webpage.


I'm looking for a Snowbird model 263 or 264!
If anyone knows of one looking for a new home in Western, NY, please let me know! :)
thanks,
Scot

Scot Lawrence
Page started April 19, 2013.
Last updated
December 16, 2014.


This educational, non-profit site is not affiliated with
 George Garden Tools, Community Industries, Yard-Man or MTD.
It is simply the "hobby webpage" of the owner of a classic 1960's Snow-Bird.