It’s late January now, and I bet that many of you are probably tired of the snow. It has started melting a little bit now, but it will be back come next week, if we are to believe the weather forecasts. Fortunately for us, we are not on the east coast where places like West Virginia got somewhere around 42” of snow. Thankfully, we have a lot better ways of clearing snow now than we did in the past. Now we have all our fancy snow blowers, plows, and other devices. However, imagine what it must have been like in the past, without these contraptions! It must have been much more difficult.
Maybe the picture below can help you imagine what that would be like. The picture was taken in February 1961, and as you can see, the vehicle is rather stuck in the snow. According to our catalog, the truck belonged to Gene Hurd. He had been out during the day installing wiring in the town and came home during a blizzard, and his truck was stranded in the lane. Unfortunately, there was no easy way for him to dig it out since snow blowers were not easily available to the public. The first practical snow blower was prototyped in 1925 by Arthur Sicard, and most of these were big, car sized blowers. It was actually just during the beginning of the 1960’s that companies had started to introduce their own, smaller, human powered models. As evidenced by the picture, Gene definitely did not have one of these early snow blowers. In fact, it was not until the next morning that he even got his truck out of the snow and he had the help of Steve, age 12, and Dick, age 8, to accomplish his goal. It looks to have been a tough job too, as it seems like the entire car was covered with snow.
Although this seems like it must have been more difficult, in reality things really have not changed that much. For instance, people in New York and other places hit by the recent storm still have to dig their cars out, as snow blowers are difficult to maneuver around in tight places. It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same!