Friday, August 23, 2013

Flame Throwers - Kicking The Shit Out of Snow Since 1948

Here's a look at the method of snow clearance that comes directly out of the sledgehammer school of walnut freeing...

The first mention we could find of anybody attempting to use flame throwers to clear snow was in January 1948, when during a particularly crappy winter, the Mayor of Boston sent the letter below to MIT's engineers. “I am very desirous that the Institute of Technology have a competent group of engineers make an immediate study as to ways and means of removing the huge accumulation [of snow],” he wrote, “…be it by the use of flame throwers or chemicals or otherwise.”

Nothing came of the Mayor of Boston's epic suggestion, but 13 years later, at the inauguration of the serial slut John F Kennedy, the military were drafted in to use this idea in anger.

Snow into the early morning left 8 inches on the ground. It was sunny but cold the rest of the day. Army flame throwers were used to clear snow from Pennslyvania Avenue. Estimated noon temperature of 22°F.

Just over ten years later and flame guns hit the civilian market, where they were pitched at housewives.
"Even your wife can use it"

You might be thinking at this point, "if housewives were using flame throwers in the seventies, what kind of epic badassery were the blokes up to?" To answer your question here's the ad that was adjacent to the last one on Vintage Ad Browser:

So why haven't these things become as successful as other products of a this era such as snowboards, personal computers or presidential indiscretions? This here video might help explain.


Like the MIT engineers in 1948 discovered, despite so much apparent promise, flame throwers are sadly absolutely useless at clearing snow. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I still stick to using good ol' fashioned napalm.

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