When a major snowstorm covered city streets in the 19th century, the only method of getting rid of the snow was by hand. Large groups of men with shovels formed brigades to scoop the snow into wagons or horse drawn skids. From there, it was taken out of the city to be deposited in a field, river or lake. Eventually, some creative inventor came up with a wooden plow that was horse drawn.
If you lived in the country, you were pretty much stuck with snow covered lanes and roads until the thaw. Fortunately, most people had a horse and sleigh.
The early part of the twentieth century wasn’t much better. The old Model T, might be able to chug and grind over the snow banks, but only if you could get it out in the first place.
Inventors were determined to find a way to clear the way, and, by 1920, snow plow innovations were being filed in the U.S. patent office.
In 1911, David Munson came up with a snow plow and a method to attach it to a truck. In 1923, Hans and Even Overaasen from Norway developed a snowplow for the front of cars, which eventually led to the Overaasen Snow Removal Systems. As early as 1920, Carl Frink of Clayton, New York, now Frink-America, began manufacturing automobile mounted snowplows.
Snowplows today, range from the ordinary plow on the front of a truck that we are all familiar with, to the larger snow blower trucks, that can clear a road and shoot the snow away from the edge of the road. These are especially important in the country where snow can easily pile up several feet deep on the sides of the road.
Home snow removal has come a long way too. While shovels are still important, the styles have evolved to include back friendly handle designs and wide, easy to push scoops. Snow blowers are a good way to get rid of snow without the stress and strain of shoveling. These can come in every size from a light weight model that can be lifted to clear steps, to a large, self propelled model for clearing large areas. They can be gasoline powered or electric.
Today, many people have riding mowers, or lawn tractors that may have plow attachments available. These can be handy for clearing long drives. And, truck owners may have plows that are attached during the winter season, for emergency situations.
Thanks to a lot of hard work, innovation, and many creative people, the work of snow removal today is much easier and faster.