Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Clearing the Snow

This is a great picture from 1899 showing how they cleared the streets of snow after a blizzard. They manually loaded it into wagons, and then took it to the river and dumped it in the river. You can see the horses and wagons in line waiting to dump the snow.


  1. Not much different from what we do now, except we use dump trucks. Some cities are using "Snow Dragons" -huge, heated, boxes about the size of a low cut semi - which melt vast amounts of snow and allow it to drain into the sewer systems. A foot of snow equals an inch of rain, so not nearly as much comes out as goes in.

    1. That's really interesting. I hadn't heard of the technique before, but it makes sense.

    2. I remember how the snow would pile up in Iowa when I was a kid. Unfortunately, we didn't have rivers to dump it in. Every March, or even early April, we would have blooming plants and the remnants of those snow piles.

  2. Fascinating photo. Horses sure did a lot of work back then.
    -Anne K.

  3. The winter of 1977-78, I think it was, we had few blizzards in Milwaukee. But the snow was relentless. The major streets got narrower and narrower as the snowplows came through and parked cars were in their way. Finally, the authorities announced which streets would be totally cleared which days. Any parked cars were towed and taken to specific parking lots. I lived on one of those major streets, and watched. It took a couple of hours to clear the long block. I was lucky and had a garage to park in. Very few cars were left to be towed. Then the dump trucks and snow plows came, and the snow went into the dump trucks. Because the Milwaukee River was frozen, and had multiple bridges over it, it was easy to dump the snow off the bridges onto the river. People did worry about flooding come spring. I moved away in March before the thaw in April or May. So I don't know whether there was major flooding or not.


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