by Zoë Pollock

Smithsonian reprints an oldie but goodie about the sordid history of snowmen:

Some of these early postcards show snowmen being bludgeoned by two-by-fours and stomped on by tots. There are examples of snowmen being held up by gunpoint by little girls and stabbed with brooms. At one point, a snowman is dragged into a studio and forced to pose with kittenswhile not violent, it was certainly humiliating. ...

To add insult to injury, the snowman somehow became a spokesperson for any product of an embarrassing sort, appearing in ads for every personal hygiene problem imaginable: dandruff, gas, hangovers, constipation, and bad breath Add this all up and you have a Frosty with a pretty shaken psyche. We literally built him up only so we could, apparently, knock him down and use him as a piñata. It’s no wonder the snowman turned to booze.

While no one knows for sure when exactly the snowman began smoking a pipe and drinking hard liquor, it may have started as early as 1890...

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