The history of snow-cover research is divided into four distinct periods. Before 1900 there were systematic observations of snow but the tools were just being developed to begin serious research. From 1900 to 1936, many investigations were made because of the practical considerations of snow hydrology and snow avalanches. Individuals began the assessment of snow water equivalent for forecasting run-off and the observation of snow structure and texture. Quantitative and physical investigations quickened after government-sponsored laboratories were established in 1936, the same year as the founding of the International Glaciological Society. From 1936 through the 1960s, many detailed investigations were made into snow's physical properties and behavior. Professional societies organized national and regional meetings, and published the results of snow research. Many more laboratories became involved as knowledge about snow was developed and applied to run-off forecasting and avalanche defense. Snow research surged again during the 1970s with the establishment of a new generation of snow scientists using more advanced theory, computers, and instrumentation. As demands continue for solutions to snow problems with new emphasis on old themes, snow research generates knowledge about snow for a wide variety of applications.