Boston Mayor of 1940s Offers Solution to St. Louis' Ice Problem

Thumbnail image for flame thrower snow.jpg
Boston's mayor appealed for M.I.T. engineers to develop flame throwers to help save the city from record snowfall.
Francis Slay is back in town. The St. Louis mayor arrived home Wednesday via Amtrak after his flight from California was canceled Monday due to Midwest snow storms. 

One of the mayor's first stops upon his return was to visit the city's emergency command center at Soldiers' Memorial. That's where his staff had been holed up for "Snowmaggedon" as they coordinated with street and disaster crews to clear the ice and snow.

Still, much of the region continues to look like the innards of an old freezer in need of a serious defrosting. Two to three inches of ice coats damn near everything, and based on the weather forecast, the ice is likely to be here for a week or longer.

What to do? May we suggest that Mayor Slay take a page out of the playbook of Boston's late, great mayor, James Curley.

The year was 1948 and Boston was sacked by record snowfall. Desperate for a solution, Curley penned a letter to engineers at M.I.T. asking that they consider inventing flamethrowers to melt the snow. 

Sounds somewhat far-fetched, eh? Actually, it wasn't. Today in Minneapolis they use something called the Snow Dragon, to rid the city of excess snow. It's a machine that can melt 30 tons of the white stuff in an hour.

So how 'bout it engineers at Washington University and Saint Louis University? You got any ideas you want to share?

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Actually there are such machines..... used by the railroads.... its actually a standard aircraft jet engine mounted on a self propelled flat car... the jet engine is on a tilted axis andgoes down iced track blasting them it in action........ I have seen onein operation in rockies in colorado.... one mother of a machine.........


How about getting the lazy deadbeats out of the projects off their butts give them shovels, brooms and ice chopper 20 abreast and march up and down the streets..........

Mike N.
Mike N.

"30 tons of the white stuff in an hour"... sounds like a party at Charlie Sheen's house! (har har har har)


Huh. That's interesting, but from the looks of it that gizmo is not extremely efficient.



Are you willing to leave your McMansion to provide those shovels, brooms and ice choppers? No? Are you willing to organize the groups and what streets these armies will work on? Will you feed this army as they work all day for no pay? No?

You fail as a citizen.


I'm picturing a twist on one of those competitive food challenges. Sheen v. Snow Dragon!

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