An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Blizzard of 1958 Brings Automobiles to a Halt in Philadelphia

1957 Chevy Driving in the Blizarrd of 1958

Without any warning, over a period of several days, the Blizzard of 1958 dropped as much as five feet of snow in eastern Pennsylvania and surrounding states. The wet and heavy build up caused considerable damage due to tree limbs that broke and fell causing the electricity to be knocked out in many areas.

Gouldsboro, PA, located in the Pocono Mountains received five feet of snow, Morgantown fifty inches, thirty-five inches fell in Stroudsburg, and Allentown received twenty inches. In the Philadelphia area were this pair of news films were shot about a foot and a half built up before it was all over.

Take a few minutes to watch the two videos that contain many 1940s and 1950s vehicles; the first film shows scenes in and around Philadelphia and the second was taken from the inside of a car out on the roads surrounding the City. Tell us what you find of interest out on the streets and roadways.


11 responses to “Blizzard of 1958 Brings Automobiles to a Halt in Philadelphia

  1. David,

    Just a suggestion, more film clips of beaches in Florida or California from the thirties, forties, & fifties please. I have enough depressing winter outside currently.


  2. I was cheering for the Farmal ! Nobody uses there lights in inclement weather and sure enough, the windshield wipers are third rate.

  3. Very cool. (Perhaps “cool” isn’t the right word.) I’m from that part of the world, Ashland, PA. The first film came from WGAL, the NBC affiliate in Lancaster, PA, which is about an hour from Ashland.

    My dad was the Ford dealer in Ashland. I have a memory (I was 4 years old at the time) of a photo of a row of 58 Fords with 3 feet of snow on them. You can barely make out that they are cars.

  4. I grew up in Evanston, IL., just North of Chicago. I remember these days distinctly as my Father was a physician & it was my job to make sure the driveway was clear of snow and if necessary make sure the summer tires/rims were installed with chains mounted so that he could get to the hospital or make home calls as well as getting to his office. There was many a day where he had to roll out in the wee hours of the morning to deliver a baby & I had to work like mad to get all the snow cleared away and his car ready. On several occasions, he would take my 48 Chevrolet which had to sit outside if it was already chained up and ready to go.
    I moved to the Los Angeles area in the early 60’s and never went back. I can see the snow in the San Gabriel mountains and that is enough for me. I have never put chains on since I left the Chicago area & don’t plan on doing it again. Anyway, thanks for the memories.

    • Bob – Evanston Ex-Pat/Californian here. There was a comparable blizzard in Chicago in ’67. I remember pulling a Flexible Flyer down a footpath cut in the middle of a four lane street to get groceries. I took off to live in LA several years later, as soon as I was able to leave home.

  5. I lived in the Philadelphia suburb of West Chester and remember that storm very well. There were many barn roofs that fell in due to the heavy weight of the four plus feet of snow. We were without power for several day and I learned that a bucket packed with snow only melted into a few inches of water.

    There had been a warm spell earlier that March and as an exuberant 20 year old car enthusiast I had removed the top from the TR3 only to put it back on along with the curtains. I then ventured out not realizing how much snow there was and promptly got stuck on the unplowed road. Ah, the wisdom of youth.

  6. I’ve never messaged here before but this post brought back a lot for me. I remember the storm of March 58 in upstate New York. I was 3 and we had to walk down our country road through 3 ft. of drifted snow to the end of the road where it was plowed so we could get to town in Corning and stay with our grandparents. I don’t remember how long we stayed with Grandma but it was several days before our road was plowed. Mom at the time was busy giving birth to my younger sister and when we finally got back home a baby gift from one of the neighbors sat on the dining table addressed to Snowdrift Sue, my baby sister.

    At the time I thought I was going to die trudging in the snow with my little suitcase but now it’s a wonderful memory.

  7. At this time in ’58, this Florida Boy was in Boston and the North for the 1st time in his 18 years.. I was attending B U and have never been so cold in my life; I could barely keep my mind on my studies… Brrr, even now my skin crawls when I remember.

  8. I, too, remember this storm very well. We lived just across the NJ border about 15 miles east of Allentown on a rural gravel road. It took three days to get the road open to our house because of machinery breakdowns. I’ve got a picture or two of my dad’s Nash sitting between piles of snow towering above it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *