Snow business

A snowfall can create a winter wonderland just beyond your windowsill. But if you have to go outside or get somewhere, you may need some special equipment to deal with it. The cold-weather warriors below will help you stay warm (or get warm) as well as help you put snow and ice in their proper place. Can you guess what these are? (The answers are on the facing page.) 1. This traditional tool has proved its worth by its ability to dependably remove tons of snow from sidewalks and driveways. Its major disadvantage: YOU make it go.

2. It took an inventor from the frozen North - Canadian Arthur Sicard - to come up with this energetic way to clear snow in 1925.

3. Aztecs invented it, but theirs was cold, bitter, and flavored with chili peppers. Thank the Spanish for heating and sweetening it in the 1500s. The English added milk two centuries later.

4. You didn't need this until the late 1800s. But today, when the mercury dips below 40 degrees F., you'll find them stashed in the back of practically every vehicle.

5. As a boy, longtime Monitor columnist John Gould befriended 'Lin,' the man who came up with this design. It's a variation on an item that's probably been around for as long as humans have had cold feet.

7. In the mid-1800s, it was a simple device attached to a cart pulled by horses and used to clear the streets. Before that, giant rollers were often used instead to smooth the way for another form of wintry transportation. (Can you guess what it was?)

8. If you've seen one of these at your local hardware store, the chances are it sometimes needs a sharpened steel head to keep your sidewalks clear.

9. You wouldn't really wear felines on your hands to stay warm, would you? But the French word for 'cat' is the origin of the English word for these.

6. This dynamic duo is the sworn enemy of ice and snow. One of this pair lowers the freezing point of water, thus turning frozen water back into a liquid. The other creates friction on slippery surfaces.


(1) Snow shovel. If you figure a shovel full of a (fairly heavy) snow weighs 5 pounds, and that you remove about one square foot of snow per shovelful, there's one ton of snow on a driveway that's 10 feet by 40 feet. (2) Snow blower. The 'Sicard Snow Remover Snowblower' was built onto a four-wheel-drive truck. It could throw snow 90 feet. (3) Hot chocolate - with (melting) marshmallow. (4) Snow brush for an automobile. Before cars had windshields, drivers wore goggles. (5) Snow boots. These are L.L. Bean Maine Hunting Boots. 'Leon' was Mr. Bean's first name, but everyone called him 'Lin.' (6) Salt and sand. Sugar, alcohol, and other things also lower the freezing point, but salt is cheap and plentiful. Sand aids traction. (7) Snowplow. Before cars, snowy roads were rolled to compact the snow so people could zip along in horse-drawn sleighs. Snow was shoveled onto bare spots. (8) Sidewalk scraper. It looks like a flattened hoe, if you've never seen one. (9) Mittens. From the Old French 'mite' (pronounced 'meet'), for 'cat.'

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