A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers

Year 1986

cover image

Where would we be without 1986?

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 for the 4 digits representing the year of it's manufacture in the center.
Can I see other years you ask? How about 1949 1953 1954 1956 1957 1958 1972 1983 1986 1992 1993 1994 1996 1997 1998 ...and 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.


Throughout New York in Public Parks, Housing projects and occasionally by city-built highways. This one was spotted in Prospect Park under the bridge near Carroll St.

Related Images Follow

Don Burmeister -- Photographs