Today's Media Monday post is all about extremely cold wintry conditions on the Hudson River in 1934, featuring footage of the Tarrytown (a.k.a. Sleepy Hollow) Lighthouse! This short film from British Pathe/Reuters features aerial footage of New York City and the Lower Hudson. The cold snap was deadly, as outlined below.
On February 9, 1934, the New York Times reported on the record-breaking subzero temperatures, writing "At Tarrytown, powerful government tugs pounded at the ice that had formed in the harbor. They were trying to open a lane for lighters on which several hundred automobiles from the plants of the Chevrolet and Pontiac companies had been loaded for transport to New York. The Cars were destined for shipment to Europe. The ice in the harbor was more than fourteen inches thick and the tugs were unable to smash their way through."
On February 10th, the Times published an article entitled, "Mercury 14.3 Below Zero on New York's Coldest Day: Six Dead and Hundreds Treated for Frostbitten Ears and Noses - 8-10 Below Due Here Today."
Hundreds of school children needed to be treated for frostbite, six people died in their homes or on the streets due to the cold weather, and dozens of people suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to heat their vehicles in closed garages (none died). Snow removal efforts were halted due to the extreme cold, fire hydrants froze, and evictions were postponed.
In maritime news, the Times reported, "The Coast Guard ice breaker AB-24 found the ice in the Great South Bay too strong even for her sharp prow. Hempstead Harbor also was icebound, causing some concern to industries there dependent on water carriers for supplies. The Bronx and Passaic Rivers were frozen solid and in the later fifty small craft were in danger of being crushed by the ice. In the Poconos and in New Jersey the finest supplies of ice in years were reported but - it was too cold for men to cut it."
By February 11, 1934 the temperatures rose to more seasonal just-below-freezing, but 1934 remained one of the coldest winters on record for New York City.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to support more history blog content, please make a donation to the Hudson River Maritime Museum or become a member today!
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
This blog is written by Hudson River Maritime Museum staff, volunteers and guest contributors.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
Become a member and receive benefits like unlimited free museum admission, discounts on classes, programs, and in the museum store, plus invitations to members-only events.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.