21 February 2012

Bicycle Snowploughs

Bicycle Snowplough 1941
This winter has, so far, been rather uneventful. No arctic deep freeze with snowstorm after snowstorm rolling in like the past two winters and many before that. It's been grey and dull and quite boring, with only The Lakes being frozen over to provide a sense of winter and the opportunity to skate.

Older people - including my dad - will wax lyrical about the three legendary winters back in 1939/40, 40/41 and 41/42. It was in 1941 that the municipality of Frederiksberg - where Copenhagenize Consulting is also based - needed some new ideas about clearing the obscene amounts of snow. Horse-drawn ploughs were in use all over the nation, as well as teams of men with shovels, due to the petrol shortage during those winters.

Frode Nielsen, an engineer at the city's transport department, invented the bicycle snowplough picture above.

It was made from two short john delivery bikes attached together with rods. The plough was made of beech, with a 3 mm steel edge, as well as small skids to keep the blade from catching on uneven surfaces.

You could, of course, operate the snowplough dressed as dapper as you like.


We got sent some films of modern versions. Great stuff!


And this!


Source: Trafik og Veje

11 comments:

Slow Factory said...

Very nice. But they did not just make a bicycle snowplough? "Invented" means either no else came up with the idea before, or came up with this design before.

In any case, keeping children and others safe and bikes moving takes precedence over ego and city-nationalism, yes?

Elovelo said...

I saw modern version as well http://youtu.be/rEQndIkU-PM

Mick Mack said...

Looks like a beautiful response to the problem Mikael. Thank you. Perhaps the British government will bear this idea in mind when next they have another snowflake or two, which brings the country to a standstill. The Scots should already have copied you.

Mikael Colville-Andersen said...

invent (v.) late 15c., "find, discover," a back formation from invention or else from L. inventus, pp. of invenire “to come upon; devise, discover” (see invention). Meaning "make up, think up" is from 1530s, as is that of "produce by original thought." Related: Invented; inventing.

Mikael Colville-Andersen said...

yawn (v.) c.1300, yenen, yonen, from O.E. ginian, gionian "open the mouth wide, gape," from P.Gmc. *gin- (cf. O.N. gina "to yawn," Du. geeuwen, O.H.G. ginen, Ger. gähnen "to yawn"), from PIE *ghai- "to yawn, gape" (cf. O.C.S. zijajo "to gape," Lith. zioju, Czech zivati "to yawn," Gk. khainein, L. hiare "to yawn, gape," Skt. vijihite "to gape, be ajar"). Related: Yawned; yawning. Noun meaning "act of yawning" is recorded from 1690s.

Mikael Colville-Andersen said...

@elovelo thanks for the link to that modern version! very cool.

thanks, mick mack!

Mosen said...

Nice ideas! the modern one needs a hell of a rider though...

Kelly said...

There are various degrees of invention. Of course, the two gentlemen pictured did not invent the snowplow. Nor did they invent the bicycle. But it's quite possible they invented the two-bicycle-driven-snowplow. Which would have advantages over a single-bicycle-driven-snowplow (better stability, more power), less likelihood of tipping over when the wind comes roaring off the Øresund . . .

Anonymous said...

"make" "invented" "built" I'll second that Yawn. I hope the "bike plow" is in a museum somewhere.

kfg said...

Everything has been thought of before, but the problem is to think of it again. -Goethe

Anonymous said...

Actual Interview: (3:10 to 7:30)

http://watch.discoverychannel.ca/#clip619004

and to see his you-tube that details the FLEET try

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ISbnQQA8DY&context=C3c29be7ADOEgsToPDskLOsDA_zJ-4mLWMWveFt7Pl