A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


Bingham and Taylor Gas

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Like a manhole cover, but smaller!

On the sidewalks and streets of New York there are thousands of small "valve covers". Too small for climbing down, they usually cover a "chimney" leading to a water or gas valve, very often the last valve before the pipe goes into a building. Although there are indeed devotees of these wee ones I will only spotlight a few.


The idea for this very functional cover is that the arrow will indicate the direction of gas pressure in the pipes below. The arrow would be guided itself by a square notch on the rim of the seat. In this case there seems to have been some disagreement and a great deal of effort putting the round hole over the square notch.


The B&T of this cover is not the gas company, rather the foundry Bingham and Taylor in Culpeper Virginia. Among all the utilities, gas companies are the most secretive.


This size and type cover is found all over the place.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs