As we are all hoping that more snow will fall before our next hike, I was thinking about the history of the question “Are snowflakes all alike”? You probably already know that under some conditions, flakes are simple shapes so of course some can be the same. Check out MSNBC.
Wilson Bentley photographed snowflakes starting back in 1885. It is his photographs of very complex snowflakes that started the slogan No two snowflakes are alike. Have fun browsing the official site from the Jericho VT historical society.
If you are interested in growing your own snowflakes you might want to go work at Caltech. Of course the research reported in Wired in 2001 may already be complete.