A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers

1882 SEWER

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Willis Ave 1882

After the land west of the Bronx river was annexed to New York City in 1874 a priority was land development including provision of water and sewer connections. This cover on Willis Ave and E 145th St. was one of the 1600 manhole covers set between 1874 and 1890. This design was used, with updates, (literally) from at least 1878 to 1883. The department responsible was the Department of Public Parks although it was not until 1883 that it started to add its initials to the design.


The design is a variation of the wheel and spoke design that was used by the Croton Aqueduct Department


Sewers ran either to the Harlem River or the Bronx River.


This type has only been seen in the Bronx, and should be a good indicator of being in the Annexed 23rd Ward. I have run across only 1878, 1881,1882 and 1883 examples, there may well be others.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs