The Blizzard of ’09…1909

Interesting to note the last time we see near this much snow in December was almost exactly 100 years ago. It was Christmas Day, 1909, that the storm began, and it continued snowing for the next 24 hours. It is kind of funny to think that, as we constantly complain about travel delays, that they are nothing new. Numerous trains got stuck in the snow during this storm, with one train traveling from NY to Washington getting stuck on the tracks nearby for 12 hours while they replaced the engine, which had been damaged in the storm. I bet that was fun. I assume there was no way to keep the car warm with the engine off. Think about that the next time you’re whining about the fact your flight got delayed a half hour as you sit in a warm airport bar. Five people in Philly died due to the blizzard. There could have been a lot more deaths after a roof collapsed at a laundry business on 38th and Lancaster, but a miraculously, everyone survived:

Carrying a companion who had fainted from fright when the roof of the building, 3862-66 Lancaster avenue, collapsed under the weight of accumulated snow above the heads of herself and 12 other young women working in the Fairmont Laundry, Bessie Walker, of 3914 Walker street, stumbled down a wooden stairway and out into the street.

The toal accumulation was 21 inches. It was the December record until Saturday, when we received 23.2 inches. Saturday’s blizzard was the second greatest ever, after the Blizzard of ’96, when the city received an absurd 30.7 inches of snow.

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