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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Iced T: 1922

Iced T: 1922

Jan. 28, 1922. "Snow -- Washington, D.C." A frosty Ford Model T during the blizzard of 1922. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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The Southern Railroad moved from F Street to McPherson Square about 1930. Its enormous, somewhat Art Deco building is still there on 15th Street between I and K.

Monster Plows

There were plenty of monster plows back in the good old days. One example of a Winther rotary plow from 1919 is shown below. The second photo is a Cletrac 30 from about 1926.

Other early large plows can be seen here, here, here, and here.

No need to scrape the windows

I owned one of these for many years, and always enjoyed how the upright windows avoided snow buildup in situations like this. The inherent draftiness of the body also prevented windshield fogging. In warm weather, the upright design kept the car cool, even when left parked outside for long periods.

The car performed quite well in snow if equipped with the proper tires, but had only rear wheel "brakes" (actually just a band in the transmission), so speed had to be kept down.

Model T's in the snow

The narrow tires cut through the snow better than wide ones and when stuck one could rock back and forth on the clutch and reverse pedals; no grinding of gears as the gears are always in mesh.

Or the difficulty

in cranking the engine over. There was no multi-viscosity oil back then. So whatever weight oil they were running would have been like syrup. Imagine trying to turn that over with a handcrank.

"Honey, call the boss and tell him I'm sick today".

Hold yer horses!

The 20 horsepower engine of the Model T was actually a selling point at that time. I have a 315 horsepower Mustang with winter tires and it has a whole lot of difficulty moving through a snow blizzard. I wonder how much fun it would have been trying to plow through that snow with a Model T and those old fashioned tires?

1400 Block of F Street NW

This view is looking east on F Street NW, from approximately 15th Street. The Westory Building still stands on the corner of 14th and F, as well as the Sun Building at 1317 F (the Sun Building no longer has the tall spire seen in the image - a better view of it is below).

Popsicle stick

What did they use as antifreeze in those days? Maybe glycerine?

[Methyl alcohol. - Dave]

Iced T

We look at the difficulties dealing with ice and snow now. Imagine no snow tires or big monster plow trucks. Those streets would have been a real joy.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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