Shel Silverstein authored a poem about snowmen entitled "Snowman." Other poems about snowmen include "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens and "Snowman" by Gu Cheng. The poem "Snowmen" by Agha Shahid Ali also uses the snowman, transforming the snowman into a symbol for family and ancestors in the Himalayan mountains.
Snowmen have been dated all the way back to the dark ages. In a document from 1380 A.D., a small drawing of a snowman can be seen in the margins of the text. It is possible snowmen were originally built to bring good fortune, ward off threats to a community and as personal artistic expression, making snowmen an early example of folk art. Also, one of the very first photographs ever taken, in the year 1845, contains a snowman in the background.
In 1950, the snowman was popularized when Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson co-authored "Frosty the Snowman", originally performed by Gene Autry. "Frosty the Snowman" is now one of the most well known nondenominational holiday symbols. The song has been re-recorded by several famous musicians, such as Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald. As a character, Frosty has also been adapted for television appearances, most notably the 1969 animation produced for TV by Rankin-Bass.