My Story

By Art Moore

A touching, funny and detailed memoir of the early firefighting & aerial work platform industry,
from the man who founded Snorkel

In December 2003, these memoirs began as a letter to the chairman and CEO of the Franklin Mint Company… what began as a short history became my memoirs.
- Art Moore, My Story


About the Author


Author, Art Moore, is the founder of Snorkel, a leading global aerial work platform manufacturer. He is also the co-founder of Pitman Manufacturing, and is a World War II Veteran. Art has his pilot’s license and has flown many types of planes, including for the Naval Air Corps in the U.S. Navy.

Art has three children, Arthur D. Moore Jr., Dr. Melissa Moore and Kristyn Sanders, and three grandchildren. Art has been married to wife, Sue, for over 20 years, and they are "Snowbirds". They drive back and forth between their winter home in Pompano Beach, Florida and summer home in Osage Beach, Missouri on the beautiful Lake of the Osarks. Just like the migrating birds.

Art started writing his memoirs in 2003, initially from what was intended to be a letter to the Franklin Mint Company. Over a period of 11 years, the letter grew to become this book, providing a detailed and interesting insight into the founding and workings of a major equipment manufacturing company.

Read about Art's story here

From the book

"It was the third or fourth door he opened when a large, angry armadillo jumped out and took off through the hysterically laughing crowd in downtown Tampa."

"So much for Goats and Boats, I finally realized that they both are an excellent way to get rid of any excess money you might have accumulated."

"I reached down to eject the shell from my rifle there was immediately a Kapow! I looked at the top of my shoe where the barrel had rested and there was a small hole."

"I’m afraid it might have been the second or third martini I had before dinner that was responsible for getting Snorkel into the AWP market."

"Ken and I were completely amazed and appalled that they were actually going to copy another manufacturer’s machine."

Excerpt from Chapter 21

Snorkel Enters the AWP/PMP Market

By 1975, I was becoming pretty bored with running Snorkel and completely fed up with ATO’s method of running a company. I realized Snorkel had grown about as large as it would ever get in the Fire Service market. Also, we were beginning to experience significant competition from Ladder Towers Inc. (LTI) and their Ladder Platforms. I wrote in an earlier chapter that we had built two prototype ladder platforms but were not satisfied with either prototype. Ultimately, Ladder Platforms did replace our Snorkel.

Also, I was getting damned tired of arguing with Harry and his insistence that we stop doing business with Pierce. He wanted all our Fire Service products to be installed on American LaFrance chassis. Harry never understood marketing! It wasn’t what he wanted, it was what our customers wanted, that I was more interested in.

In early 1975, I got a call from Bill Block. He said, "Art, Harry asked me to call and ask you to attend a PMP Meeting here at corporate next week. He suggested you might want to bring Ken Davidson with you." I asked, "What the hell is a PMP meeting Bill?" He replied, "Damned if I know Art, come on back and we’ll both find out. I learned that the meeting was to be conducted by Bud Bauer. He’s the Group V.P. in charge of... Read more here