What the Heck is That?

PMEDWhat the heck is that? I don’t easily give in to publicity requests about new inventions. Most are patently (get it?) just stupid, uninteresting or both.

But when Journal Times Editor Randolph Brandt dropped this particular news release on my desk, it instantly became one of my favorite pieces of mail for the week.

Behold: The Wovel (rhymes with shovel), a wheeled snow shovel. As you can see here, it looks a bit like something made from an old-time bicycle, when they had that huge front wheel and tiny back one.

Its maker is a company called Structured Solutions II in New Canaan, Conn. There, as in Wisconsin, winter can bring lots of snow. Mark Noonan, designer of the Wovel, and founder of the company, claims that his invention outperforms – and is safer than – a single-stage snow blower.

It’s supposed to move snow three times faster than traditional shovel while also handling slush. It’s 100 percent American made. And it sure appeals to my environmental ethic.

The Wovel, which also won Popular Mechanics magazine’s Best New Product award at this year’s National Hardware Show, sells at a suggested retail price of $120.