Farm Industry News took a trip back in time recently reminiscing about the 'good old days' with one of the founders of Polaris still telling stories at 91. David Johnson's perspective, along with that of his son, Mitchell, offers a look at how a group of innovators working in a shop setting innovated their way into a multi-billion industry today.
This gallery offers a glimpse into that past, which also shows that while Polaris may be known for all-terrain vehicles, side-by-side machines and other innovations, it all started with a company that was trying to help customers in the remote North woods area of Minnesota get work done.
Started in Roseau, Minn., the company maintains a large manufacturing presence in the city. It is part of a connected group of major manufacturers in Northern Minnesota - Marvin Windows in Warroad and Digi-Key and Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls - that have everyone up there saying "if you know someone looking for a job send them our way."
David and Mitchell Johnson shared the company history with media on a recent trip - more about what we saw in the way of new machines later this month - with a direct connection to agriculture. Check out the images that follow and read the captions to get a little Polaris history.
The idea of an engine-powered sled for moving through snow country was a new idea in the mid 1950s. Polaris was an early creator of these machines that hauled more than people across the winter snows of Northern Minnesota. When the recreational side of the business took off, so did Polaris Industries.