Fire and Ice: City Snow Removal Methods Included an Army Flamethrower

March 18, 2016

With forecasts threatening snow (?!) on this fine late March weekend, the idea that an “army flame thrower” was among the historic methods the city used to make piles of the formerly-white stuff disappear is oddly satisfying.

Apparently, the Schenectady Gazette explains, in 1948 following an epic snow dump, as shown in the photo above, “A new wrinkle in the snow fighting is demonstrated by Sgt. Robert G. Evraets as he throws a roaring stream of flame at snow banks on Governors Island, with an army flame thrower. The fire makes short work of cleaning the area of snow.” Short work, definitely being made—as is also shown in this image from the Daily News.

It was suggested that the full roar be reserved for less populated areas, however.


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