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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FOLEY & BURK SHOWS: c. 1940s

Après-Skid: 1940

Après-Skid: 1940

March 1940. "Highway after blizzard. Brattleboro, Vermont." Medium format negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

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Blowing Snow

The definition of a blizzard has more to do with wind speed than with snowfall totals.

DC photographer meets snow

And of course regards any snowfall as a blizzard. This resembles the scene in Brattleboro proper where perhaps a couple of inches have fallen on a pre-existing base. Ms. Walcott seems to equate a minor snowfall with a blizzard, which is where high winds cause a whiteout and very low visibility for hours on end. To a Northerner looking at this photo, you can see the bulk of the snow fell a long time before the scene was captured because the road is clear.

[If only you had been there to guide her! Marion Wolcott was from New Jersey. - Dave]

Car ID

Buick 1927.

The driver

of the car parked by the side of the road I take it is probably Marion Post Wolcott who probably decided to walk up the road a ways to get the shot. Just a guess.

[Incorrect. - Dave]

Yes, I saw that later too on a search for Wolcott in Brattleboro hoping to identify the section of highway. It probably hasn't changed much. An alternate shot but not completely conclusive in and of itself that the car wasn't hers.

[The FSA photographers did their traveling in late-model government-issue cars. Not 1920s Buicks . - Dave]

Ah that's much more convincing and informative than simply "Incorrect." So what do you think is the reason he's stopped? Though we can't see what's immediately around it looks some what desolate. He looks like he's delivered milk and/or retrieving bottles though that doesn't look like anything I've seen resembling a milk truck.

Plenty of snowbank to bounce off of

I live on a quarter-mile private road that looks like this in the winter. The entire family knows how to deal with it when it's icy and the sand guy hasn't shown up yet. Drive dead slow, if you start sliding, head for the side however you can. Those banks work well to slow and/or grab the wheel and rotate the vehicle. Judicious application of brake, snowbank and steering can slow you, even when there is little or no traction due to the ice.

I have done semi-controlled 360s down the hill, by bouncing off the banks as I slide. It's an experience.

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