Meet McSnowy the FlufferKnottie! Learn the History of the Snowman
When the snow falls, the storm settles, and it’s time to play, what’s the first thing you do? You make more friends! It’s practically second nature to dive your hands into the snow and make everything from confetti to a snowball. As you roll and roll your snow, avoiding a more hay bale shape to make a sphere, slowly your snowman comes to life. With a pair of button eyes and a carrot nose, you have a new friend in your latest snowman creation.
Where did the snowman come from though, besides the obvious “Snow” answer? Who made the first snowman ever and how has this tradition passed on throughout generations to lead to our beloved McSnowy, and how he’s the perfect friend for your pup? Learn the history of the snowman and why they’re not going anywhere until the sun comes out below.
First Signs of the Snowman
It would be hard to pinpoint who made the first snowman given that snow melts before we can give anyone credit and times before cameras, but the snowman had to start somewhere. In his book “The History of the Snowman” , historian Bob Eckstein wrote that documentation of snowmen was found in the Book of Hours from the Middle Ages, found in a marginal illustration in the 1380 Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague.
More than one hundred years later, a 19-year-old Michelangelo was commissioned by the ruler of Florence, Italy, in 1494 to sculpt a snowman in his mansion’s courtyard. With snow being so sculptable, it was the perfect medium for creating art, and also beautiful in that it’s temporary.
Finally, the first-known photograph of a snowman, however, was taken in 1853 by Mary Dillwyn, a Welsh photographer. The original remains in the National Library of Wales.
Friends or Foes Made of Snow
Snowmen are more than a creative means of expression, too. Sometimes they were used as decoys or standins in the colder months when one couldn’t ignore guard duty but also needed a break to warm up.
In 1690 at Fort Schenectady, in what is now upstate New York, a remote Dutch settlement was under constant threat of attack. The gates were frozen open, which required guards to keep constant watch. When a blizzard hit, though, soldiers guarding the gates left a pair of snowmen in uniform at their post to protect the town when they left to get out of a blizzard.
Snowmen spiked in popularity when Frosty the Snowman, a known friend to winter and Christmas movie collections, came out in 1969. The movie came from the popular song that was originally released in 1950. This spurred on new renditions of the snowman, from Calvin & Hobbes alien snowmen to Japanese "Yukidaruma", similar to the Daruma doll, as they usually only have two sections instead of the known three.
The record for the world's largest snowman was set in 2008 in Bethel, Maine, and it was actually a snowwoman! She stood 122 feet and 1 inch tall, and was named Olympia in honor of Olympia Snowe, a U.S. Senator representing the state of Maine.
McSnowy, our sweet seasonal friend, continues the legacy of the snowman by being the perfect friend your pup needs on a snow day. Helping your pup get outside during the colder months can be tricky from icy conditions that make it hard to safely go on a walk or deep snow that you’re worried may clump in their paws. McSnowy is here to help alleviate winter time boredom and get some of that energy out when you have no place to go.
Let your pup snuggle up with McSnowy and more of our winter-themed dog toy friends to really make this winter more active that hibernal. Find a friend in McSnowy here!
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