Inside the mind of inventor Joseph-Armand Bombardier

By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record

Bombardier Inc. is one of the largest transportation companies in the world. Headquartered in Montreal, Bombardier Inc. specializes in developing innovative planes, trains and public transportation services. The name Bombardier may sound familiar to some Townshippers, and well it should. The company had its early beginnings in Valcourt with inventor, entrepreneur, and industrialist Joseph-Armand Bombardier. At the time no one was sure what to expect from Joseph-Armand, who showed promise at a young age. His accomplishments ended up being beyond what anyone imagined. His curiosity and his ability to create anything he put his mind to resulted in something that we all have come to know and love: the Ski-Doo. His story is one of inspiration and it all began here in the Eastern Townships. Joseph-Armand Bombardier was born on April 16, 1907 in Valcourt. As a young child, he was constantly experimenting with mechanics and could easily take things apart and put them back together again. By his early teens, he had already produced various mechanical toys such as boats, tractors, and trains. A natural inventor, spectacular things were to come for Bombardier. With a grand sense of curiosity, Bombardier was always testing and creating new mechanisms or fixing existing ones. He built a steam engine out of parts from an old sewing machine and he was always taking apart his father’s car motor and putting it back together again. While Bombardier possessed these skills, his father wanted him to join the priesthood and at age 14 sent him to study at the Séminaire Saint-Charles-Borromée. However, curiosity and invention continued to ponder his mind. See full story in the Friday, Jan. 17 edition of The Record.

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