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The Great Blizzard of 1947: photos of New York, buried in white

January 26, 2015

Record snowfall on West 22nd Street.  (PRecord snowfall on West 22nd Street.  (P
Record snowfall on West 22nd Street. Photograph by Andreas Feininger — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

This post is in partnership with Time. The article below was originally published at

By Ben Cosgrove, TIME

Something about snowstorms brings out the kid in most of us. Memories of those blessed, almost always unexpected reprieves from the drudgery of school — “Snow day!” — undoubtedly plays a part in the collective excitement, and whether it’s in a vast metropolis or a remote, small town, the prospect of a blizzard elicits something nearly primal in those in the storm’s path.

There’s concern, for sure — about our families, our neighbors, our power and heat, our ability to get out and about once the snow stops falling. But for a good number of us, there’s something more: something like pure, primal excitement.

In December 1947, a huge, historic storm dumped record levels of snow on the northeastern United States. In New York City, where the snow fell quietly, and steadily, for hours and hours, several LIFE photographers stepped out of the magazine’s offices, cameras in hand, and recorded the scene. Here, we remember the Great Blizzard of 1947 with some photos that ran in LIFE, and many others that were never published in the magazine.

To check out the rest of the photos, head over to

Watch more about the upcoming blizzard from Fortune’s video team: