Discover the First Video of a New York City Snowstorm in 1902


Mired in a winter that keeps insisting on snapping back to sub-freezing temperatures and traffic-clogging snow and ice, it warms my frozen heart to see the first film footage of New York City during a monster snowstorm.

oldest extreme weather event videos, oldest us blizzard video, NY city first snowstorm footage in 1902, 1902: first video of blizzard in New York, first video of extremem weather in NY City in 1902, 1902 video of first blizzard in NY city, extreme weather events history, First Video of a New York City Snowstorm in 1902. Photo: The Museum of The City Of New York
First Video of a New York City Snowstorm in 1902. Photo: The Museum of The City Of New York

This great video was filmed for the Edison Manufacturing Co. on February 17, 1902, by Edwin S. Porter, a groundbreaking director who pioneered techniques like dissolves, cross-cutting and close-ups. It records a view of Madison Square, back when Madison Square Garden was actually on Madison Square, buried under massive snowdrifts.

Edison titled the film “New York City in a Blizzard,” but he was being dramatic. The storm didn’t actually rise to the blizzard level. Although this snowstorm produced crazy drifts up to five feet high, on the whole New York City wasn’t actually hit that hard. Winds of 40 miles an hour and deep snow caused traffic, train and shipping delays, but there were no major accidents which is impressive considering you can see the horses struggle to keep their footing in the film. Temperatures hovered around 30 degrees, keeping the snow relatively wet and conditions bearable. The blizzard of March 1888 saw temperatures drop to six degrees below zero, winds of 60 miles an hour and two feet of snowfall. Compared to that, the 1902 storm was a cakewalk. Connecticut and the rest of New England were hit much harder. (Source 1, Source 2)

Follow us: Facebook and Twitter

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.