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How We Plowed Before Snow Plows Were Invented

A short history of snow removal in America's cities.
Courtesy: Historic National Weather Service Collection
Courtesy: Historic National Weather Service Collection

America's first settlers were not so well-equipped to deal with the New World's snowy winters. During the 1717 storm (four feet of snow dumped, with drifts of up to 25 feet in some places), only a solitary postman was able to make the trip from Boston to New York. His trick? Abandoning his horse for a pair of snow shoes.

Back then, plowing wasn't in the picture. Instead, residents affixed ski-like runners to their carts to move through the icy streets.