During the 1800s, when winter brought icy blasts and piles of snow, Americans put away their wheeled vehicles and hitched up their horses to sleighs. In the northern United States, the winter months were ideal both for travel and for pleasure driving. Cold temperatures froze the ground and packed snow and ice made the usually rutted roads much easier to drive on.
The blustery weather also brought outdoor fun for children. Sledding was a favorite activity and children delighted in coasting downhill and sliding across ice ponds on their sleds. And—even though they were usually encouraged to be prim and proper in their play—girls as well as boys enjoyed this winter activity.