As the wind howls through the state this morning, I thought it might be a good time to shovel out a few stories – you can see a photo a snowplow in Bessemer from the Archives of Michigan over on Michigan in Pictures this morning!
Last week mLive reported that the Saginaw County Road Commission became the first road agency in the state (and maybe the country) to use GPS to display where the plow trucks have gone. Road Commission Manager Brian J. Wendling acknowledged ”It’s not a foolproof means of knowing what the road conditions are, but it will at least allow (motorists) the ability to see if a plow has been through the area.” Check it out on the Saginaw County Road Commission web site. It’s a little crude, but on days like today it’s probably useful!
You might also be interested in this article about Michigan road salt and salt mining on Michigan in Pictures. For a look at what plowing was like in the days before modern plows (and when the plow operator had a taste for whiskey), check out Old Harry in the Northern Michigan Journal:
Fifty years ago in Leelanau, so the old timers tell it, the winters were much rougher than what we have today. Whether this is really so or merely the result of memories changing over the course of time is open to debate, but without the modern snow fighting equipment we have now-a-days, it’s for sure that the winters back the must have at least seemed tougher.
Anyway, back then few people had their own snow plows, snow blowers were unheard of, and the primary weapon in the war against Old Man Winter was the shovel. Harry drove plow truck for the county in those days; a great big old Osh Kosh monster that roared and belched black smoke as it pushed the snow off the roads.
Seeking Michigan posted this 16mm demo film of the Armstead Snow Motors Company concept snow vehicle. It was filmed in 1924, and the concept is applied to a Fordson tractor and a Chevrolet automobile. The original film is part of the collections of the Archives of Michigan. In case you’re interested in how this wild machine works, here’s the text of the original patent.