American History

Walkin' in a winter wonderland!


It’s that time of year again. No, not time for giving and goodwill – time to put to use those preparations for the inclement weather that often accompanies tinsel and trees!

Schenectady, N.Y., and Hartford, Conn., both had bright ideas, each using state-of-the-art lighting systems to promote safety and beauty for the 1966 holiday season.

In Schenectady, Route 890’s G.E. 400 watt mercury vapor lamps on aluminum standards ensured holiday travelers got to and from safely, and in Hartford, the urban renewal project saw that the city’s famed Christmas Festival of Light at Constitution Plaza was more dazzling than ever, featuring 140,000 twinkling bulbs.

Hartford also lead the charge that year with its Christmas tree chipper service, which chipped residents’ trees to reduce fire hazards. The program was a huge success, but, as our writers at the time noted, an increase in residents’ purchases of artificial trees also eased the post-Christmas purge.

Elsewhere in the country, Souix City, Iowa, relied on the newest forms of paving, which included the elimination of spalled sections and the application of curing compounds to protect concrete pavements from winter damage. In Reading, Mass., the Public Works Department considered the state of its inclement weather machinery, both purchasing new equipment and ensuring old fleets were in top condition to handle the city’s annual snowfall of 40 to 60 inches.


Please or Register to post comments.

What's American History?

It highlights the development of U.S. local and state government.


Erin Greer

While most journalism graduates would jump at a chance to chase down the latest story, Erin Greer ran, screaming, from the opportunity. A long-time performer and PR professional, Erin was used to...
Blog Archive
We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.