A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers

Year 1983

cover image

What a Year

Sometime in the mid-20th century, the Campbell Foundry in Harrison New Jersey started producing utility covers with this basic design (which in a later catalog is called pattern number 1049). There are variations with this one being a bare bones example except but for the 4 digits representing the year of it's manufacture in the center. Are there other years you ask? How about 1953 1956 1957 1958 1972 1983 1986 1992 1993 1994 1996 1997 1998 Maybe more!


A 12 spoke wagon wheel design with 2 spokes 'covered' by two bars creating a center space. The 4 numbers are the only inscription. The basic wagon wheel motif has been used for sewer lids since the 1870's


Water or Sewer connections. Years I have spotted range from 1953 to 1998, although the same overall design is still actively installed


Throughout the city in Public Parks and Public Housing. This one was seen at Park Ave and 101st St by the George Washington Carver Houses.

Related Images Follow

Don Burmeister -- Photographs