Ready for action

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow. . .

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “The Snow-Storm

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Ford Motor Co. snow plows, ca. 1910 – 1925, possibly in Washington, D.C., National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

“Most sources seem to agree that the basic street snow plow (not horse-drawn or built for trains) was created in 1913,” according to the blog Landscape Management Network.

“The first street snow plow, however, wasn’t patented until the early 1920s. At the time, a New Yorker by the name of Carl Fink was the leading manufacturer of plows mounted to motorized vehicles. Today, the company is known as Fink-America and its plows are still on the market.”

Current snow reports: here and here.

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6 thoughts on “Ready for action

  1. Those vintage snow plows are interesting! But, snow plows here would be an interesting sight, anyway, since it rarely snows here! (Sorry, had to rub it in a little – hope you’ll forgive me!) 🙂

    1. Well, actually I’m sitting here in warm Rwanda. But I’m trying to share the excitement (and later pain) of those back home. This should be the last storm of the season (should be. . . )

  2. We had almost 9 inches of snow yesterday and today the streets are completely clear! A combination of great plowing/sanding/salting and a warmer day following the storm. I would hate to be waiting for one of those plows pictured to clear my street!

    1. Oh, I know. I wonder if people in places like Madison might have continued to use horse and sleighs into the 20th c. for that reason? I read that the first 19th c. horse-drawn plows were actually meant to keep snow on streets (and maybe smooth or compact it?) to improve the surface for sleighs.

      I think this would make an interesting exhibit for your Wisconsin history museum.

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