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 HSR Snow Sweepers (HSR #1:2-4:2)

HSR Snow Sweepers (HSR #1:2-4:2)

It's hard to imagine today, but at the end of the 19th century the removal of snow from the streets was not appreciated by citizens of Hamilton, as it made the movement of private horse-drawn sleighs difficult. It would not be until years later, after the introduction of automobiles that the City of Hamilton would plow its streets.

In the Horsecar days, when the snow got deep enough in winter, the HSR would switch from using horsecars to using horse drawn sleighs. With electrification and the replacement of horsecars with streetcars, the use of sleighs was no longer feasible. So in November 1893 the HSR received its first street sweeper to clear the snow from its tracks.

The HSR had a total of four track sweepers for snow removal. Each sweeper was unique, built by different companies at different times.(The ':2' means that this was the second HSR streetcar with this number). The sweepers lasted right to the end of streetcar service in 1951.

Specifications

Number 1:2 2:2 3:2 4:2
Manufacturer Ottawa Car Co. Lewis & Fowler Kuhlman McGuire-Cummings
Year Built 1892 1894 1908 1916
Length 27 ft, 5 in 26 ft, 2 in 28 ft, 7 in 30 ft, 10 in
Width 9 ft, 11 in 8 ft, 0 in 7 ft, 10 in 7 ft, 7 in
Height 11 ft, 0 in 11 ft, 4 in 11 ft, 8 in 11 ft, 3 in
Trucks Pedestal Pedestal Pedestal Pedestal
Motors GE 1000 GE 1000 WH 38B GE 1200
Weight 26 700 lbs 26 700 lbs 27 200 lbs 30 765 lbs

Some of the dates for these photos are unknown, and the locations are often just a guess. If you know either date or location, email me!

(All photos © Tom Luton, except where noted)

HSR 2:2 clearing snow by Gore Park circa 1910.

HSR 2:2 clearing snow by Gore Park circa 1910 (Photo courtesy of the Hamilton Public Library, Local History & Archives, used with permission)

HSR 2:2 being towed by a streetcar at King & John circa 1910

HSR 2:2 being towed by a streetcar at King & John. The earliest postmark found on this card is April 7 1911. Behind the cars is the Hamilton Terminal Station, built in 1907.

HSR 2:2 at Sanford yard, date unknown.

HSR 2:2 at Sanford yard, date unknown.

HSR 4:2 at Sanford yard in 1949.

HSR 4:2 at Sanford yard in 1949. (Photo courtesy of the Richard Vincent collection, used with permission)