Thursday, December 31, 2015

Snowy Streets

Today's picture shows a scene of snowy streets in New York City. You can see men shoveling the snow and putting it in wagons to haul it off. The picture was taken in 1896.


  1. That had to be a lot of very hard work - and even without snow - shoveling up horse doo-doo would take its place.

  2. For some reason the picture reminds me of the winter of 1978-79 in Milwaukee, and I'm sure over much of the upper Midwest. We'd set the alarm for 5:00 am to see how much snow filled the driveway and sidewalks. By law, we were required to clear the sidewalk in front of our duplex. By contract, since we lived on the bottom, we were required to clear the driveway for the upper apartment. If there had been no new snow, we could go back to sleep for a couple of hours. That rarely happened, so we'd get dressed very warmly and get to work. The houses were very close together, so it took only a week or so before every shovelful had to be carted to the back yard. By Christmas, the street had gotten so narrow the snowplows couldn't get through to keep two lanes clear. After making lots of newspaper/radio/TV announcements of which streets would be cleared when, cars would be towed to parking lots. In many cases, they were stacked two high, which wasn't good for the cars! I sat in my living room window watching for two hours as a well-coordinated effort cleared the block I lived on. Tow truck cranes put several cars each on flatbed trucks and carted them away. Once the cars were gone from both sides, the snowplows came through, dumping the snow into dump trucks. The dump trucks trundled off to dump their loads off bridges onto frozen rivers all over town. I'm sure there were a few lawsuits over damaged cars, but it was probably the best solution, given the many feet of snow that fell that winter, and the poor planning ahead of time.

  3. That does look very labor intensive. Wonderful historic photo. And yes, I lived through the blizzard of '78. We were off school in MI for many days and the roads in our neighborhood were snowed in for 3 days until a large road grader came through and cleared them. Heaven for us kids!
    -Anne K.


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