The Blizzard of 1888

When I was a kid, anytime we had a snowstorm, and I thought it was a big one, my parents would say to me, “This is nothing compared to the blizzard of ’47, now that was a really big snowstorm.” I hated that, I couldn’t go back to 1947 , I couldn’t  see the snow they had, I could only go out and play in the snow that I had now. My parents generation might have had the same problem with their grandparents in hearing about the blizzard of  1888. The blizzard of  ’88 remains legendary. It lasted 3 days, blanketed the entire northeast, had winds of up to 70 mph, dropped 21 inches of snow and fell in New York on a city much less technologically equipped to cope with snow than we can possibly imagine today.

(Photo: March 1888, Madison at 49th Street, looking south. National Weather Service)18881

The estimated death total from the storm was 400. Reports were that coal was scarce, milk was unavailable, and hundreds of people were trapped in the snow. Today we look at snowstorms mainly in terms of when we get our cars out and, perhaps,  power back on. In 1888 nobody had a car, few had power, the concerns were that of getting supplies and staying alive. (NY Sun Headline from March 14th).

18882e telegraph wires all along the the entire northe

18884Snow removal with no cars and little machinery means use of shovels and horses.


Before they were knocked down, New York operators had to send messages to London and request that they be forwarded back to New England and other local places were underground and underwater wires were still intact.


1899, 2 kids playing in 16 inches of snow that had recently fallen They were probably told by everyone, this is nothing compared to what we had in ’88, they look happy anyway.


Leave a comment


  1. Michelle

     /  January 3, 2011

    Just a thought, I haven’t seen one sled, or anybody playing in the snow. Just alot of complaining. Guess people don’t know how to enjoy things anymore.

  2. WHAMMO!

     /  June 17, 2013

    You photo links to Facebook are all dead because of privacy settings. It is also considered bad form to link to content hosted on a website that isn’t yours.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: