A Look at Snow Removal Equipment New and Old

With all the snow we have been seeing this winter, there has been many different snow removal equipment in use including shovels, snow blowers, and plows.  This equipment used today has seen a lot of changes over the years.  For example, back in the 1920s, the University of Iowa used horse drawn snow plows as seen in the picture below.  (1)

 	Horses pulling a snow plow in front of Armory

The first motorized snow plow was seen as early as 1913.(2)  By 1944, motorized snow plows were being used more and more as well as improvements to the machines such as the additions of rotating forks and snow blowers as seen in the picture below. (3)

Rotating Forks on Snow Plow

Today, there are patents for some facinating snow removal inventions including the following patent for snow melting heater mats. (4)

snow melting heater mats

Want to learn more?



  1. Horses Pulling a Snow Plow in Front of Armory, The University of Iowa, 1920s. The University of Iowa Libraries Digital Library. http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/ref/collection/ictcs/id/3385
  2. Snow Removal. National Snow & Ice Data Center. http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/removal.html
  3. Hunt, Hal W. Winning the Battle with Snow.  Scientific American. Jan 1944: 19-21.  http://proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/login?url=http://www.nature.com/scientificamerican/journal/v170/n1/pdf/scientificamerican0144-19.pdf
  4. Bayless, Ronald E. and James M. Harvard.  Snow Melting Heater Mats. US4967057.  1990.http://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US37902859