Cover option 1: A young girl hopes to sled during the Knickerbocker Snowstorm. The snowstorm occurred on January 27-28, 1922 and dumped 28” of snow on Washington. The storm holds the record for the single largest snowstorm for Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress)
I am currently working on a book about the January 28, 1922 Knickerbocker snowstorm with Arcadia publishing. It is for their “Images of America” series. Recall, this snowstorm is the biggest on record in Washington, D.C., having dumped 28” of snow.
In addition to tracking down storm stories about the collapse of the Kinckerbocker theater’s roof, it’s been a huge photo gathering effort.
The first submission to the publisher are photo choices for the book’s cover. I don’t get to choose the cover photo. That decision is made by the publisher, but they welcome input about what others consider to be the best cover shot.
I have polled my friends about the cover photo options and their input has been mixed. I thought I’d poll the readers of the Capital Weather Gang for your choice of cover photo.
Read below for the other cover photo choices, and more photos from the historic snowstorm and take the poll!
Cover option 2: Police gather outside of the Knickerbocker Theater. The theater’s roof collapsed under the weight of the snow killing 98 people and injuring 133. (Collection of Barry Reichenbaugh)
Cover option 3: Two young ladies rest on a snow bank during the snowstorm. The roads in Washington were made impassable by the heavy snowfall. (Library of Congress)
Cover option 4: A wide view of the police lines and snow-covered streets that surround the Knickerbocker Theater as hundreds of spectators watch the rescue effort. The theater was located at 18th Street and Columbia Road. (Collection of Cezar Del Valle)
Cover option 5: A car stuck in the snow on a Washington, D.C. street. Cold weather preceded the snowstorm and all of the snow accumulated. (Library of Congress)
DisclaimerThis is a non-scientific user poll. Results are not statistically valid and cannot be assumed to reflect the views of Washington Post users as a group or the general population.
Very soon, we can post the cover photo that the publisher will use for the book. It will be interesting to see if Arcadia agrees with our input or decides to choose another cover shot that they feel is more marketable.
During my photo gathering effort for this book, I discovered some interesting and unusual Knickerbocker snowstorm photos that I had missed during previous research efforts. Below are several of the newly discovered photos that I found interesting:
The Gardner motor car, a touring vehicle that was first introduced in 1920, was taken out in the snow in Washington for a sales and marketing photo shoot after the Knickerbocker Snowstorm. This is one of four photos in the series. One week before the storm, on Jan 22, 1922, Gardner announced a one year guarantee and it was the only American car to have such a guarantee. The car’s list price at the time was $975. (Collection of Robert Gardner)
Police officers take a break for tea and/or coffee during the clean-up effort of the Knickerbocker Theater. Judging by the officer’s expressions and casual appearance, the last body must have been removed long before this photo was taken. (Library of Congress)
Senator Cameron, the United States Senator from Arizona, shovels snow after the Knickerbocker Snowstorm. Cameron is best known for opposing the Grand Canyon becoming a National Park. He suggested hydroelectric dams and a platinum mine be built on the land. (Library of Congress)
A volleyball game in the snow on February 1, 1922 at Bolling Field. Bolling Field was located in Anacostia on the east side of the Potomac River. A warming trend followed the Knickerbocker Snowstorm and by February 2 the high temperature reached 56 degrees. The snow melted quickly. (Library of Congress)
Directing traffic during the Knickerbocker Snowstorm. This must have been a staged photo since not much traffic was moving on the snow-choked streets. (Library of Congress)