A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


BE Co

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The Brooklyn Edison Company was formed in 1919 by the merger of two of the early power companies in the borough, the Edison Electric Illuminating Co (founded 1887) and the Kings County Electric Light and Power Co. (which operated the largest power plant in the borough, the Gold Street Plant, which began operations in 1900.) Informally, the EEICo was known as Brooklyn Edison many years earlier. In 1910 it erected a sign with 13 foot tall letters and 1,962 light bulbs that read "Brooklyn Edison Co." which could be easily seen from the Manhattan shoreline. (Brooklyn Life June 18, 1910 p.30)

DESIGN:

The manhole covers for the new, official BE Co initially just changed the lettering in the design previously in use. The hexagonal "snowflake" design was used by several electric companies in the teens and twenties

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs