It’s been snowing since the beginning of time, but snow plows certainly haven’t been around for that long. Imagine the history of snow removal starting back in the early 1800s when people tried to run businesses during a fierce Chicago blizzard. What did they you do about it? Not much at first according to historians, but as time passed and more urbanization abounded, things had to be done.
At first, people in those times waited out the storm anticipating help from one of the first snow plow machines documented – a weighted down, crudely built snow roller cart pulled by horses or oxen. The roller essentially flattened and smoothed out the snow so that people could trade out their wheels on their horse-drawn carts for skis! Alongside a shovel and some elbow grease, people managed to eke out a living even in the harshest of conditions.
But as time marched on and the industrial revolution spurred on progress, cities grew larger and streets more difficult to maintain. Keeping commerce uninterrupted was of the utmost importance, thus creating the impetus for the first real snow plow in 1862 in our neighboring city of Milwaukee, WI. It only consisted of a horse-drawn cart attached to a large piece of wedge-shaped wood. The wood was eventually replaced with steel, but the horse-drawn plow got the ball rolling on the evolution of snow removal in the United States and it endured for several decades.
Ultimately, progress meant change and cars and trains became the new modes of transportation. This, however, created a new problem – cars needed clear, snow-free roads. In 1913, the first motorized snow plow was invented and shortly thereafter, the first car-mounted snow plow was revealed in the 1920s. These inventions have evolved into what we have today and the rest is history!
If you would like to know more about our snow removal services and the top-of-the line equipment we use at Brancato Snow & Ice Management in Chicago, please contact us and we’d be happy to discuss options tailored to your business.
IMAGE CREDIT: UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT LIBRARIES CENTER FOR DIGITAL INITIATIVES