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Going Polar, 19th century style

Last week, many of us in the U.S. were dealing with record low temps as the result of the dreaded Polar Vortex.  The lows in some parts of the country rivaled temps in Antartica.  Crazy.

For those of you who are making the best of winter’s snow bounty, history is on your side.  Here’s a look at how folks in the 19th century played in the snow!

 

Winter Sports – Coasting in the Country by Granville Perkins, from Harper’s Weekly. February 17,1877

Back in the day, sledding was referred to as “coasting” or “sliding.”  A January 12, 1896 article in The New York Times expounds upon the good “old-fashioned” fun:

 

Gotta love that “manly joy.”  But just in case “blood and vital spirits” weren’t enough to sustain someone after a prolonged day of sledding, there were other remedies they turned to, such as:

Advertisement, Dr. Kilmer’s Indian Cough Cure Consumption Oil. Image via NIH, U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Considering it contained “10 percent pure grain alcohol,” you wouldn’t care if you had a cough anymore.

Happy Sledding!


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