As the American Northeast suffers through yet another dumping of snow today, The Bowery Boys, a Gotham history blog, has posted what it describes as “the first-ever film of a New York City blizzard.”
That black-and-white footage shows people in Madison Square Park coping with a “horrific blizzard” on February 17, 1902. It’s hard to know whether they’re any more content with their lot than modern Manhattanites might be under similar conditions. They may be much less so, for in 1900, Manhattan’s population stood at 1,850,093, while in 2012, it was estimated at just 1, 619,090. And at the turn of the last century, there were not the same artificial heating resources, underground transportation facilities, and emergency services available to residents today.
So take heart, all my friends in New York. Things could be worse.
READ MORE: “The Origin of Snow Removal for All New Yorkers, Rich and Poor,” by Greg Young (The Bowery Boys).