A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


PATENT APRIL 23 1878 & MAY 27 1878

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This little curiosity sits on a Brooklyn Heights sidewalk and could be the home port of a 19th century sidewalk Roomba, or maybe it's the cover for a patented water faucet underneath. Alas it almost certainly is a rabbit hole into hours of April 23'rd 1878 patent searching.


The type used is a nice mixture of sizes and all appear to be from hand carved dies. Notice the very slight sarif on the big P and T, and the gentle curve on some of the straight letters.


There were no "pooper scooper" laws for horses in the 19th century.


This is the only one of its type I have seen, its on Pierrepont St. between Willow and Pierrepont Place.

Related Images Follow

Don Burmeister -- Photographs