A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


New York Edison

cover image

6 Spokes

The New York Edison Company of New York emerged from a merger with several other electric companies in 1901 as the dominant electric marketer in Manhattan. As with the earlier Edison Electric Illuminating Co it provided DC current for both businesses and homes. But starting in 1901 it generated or purchased from others, more economical AC power, which it then converted to the initially more practical DC, at sub-stations closer to the final user.


This design is closely related to the designs used by both EEI before it, New York Edison itself, and Consolidated Edison after. The distinguishing difference of this variety is in spoke and wheel design; there are 6 major spokes as opposed to 8 full spokes in others. New spokes are added in outer rings, with a spacing that would make 18 coffered shapes on the outer ring, except for the disruption caused by the NYE Intitials.


After the 1901 merger, most of the street work of laying and maintaining lines was transferred to another subsidiary company of Consolidated Gas, the Consolidated Telegraph and Electrical Subway Co. It is unclear today how these NYE covers were integrated into the network.


There are still a few NYE covers scattered about Manhattan. This one is at 116th St. and Amsterdam Ave. in Morningside Heights.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs