A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers

S Spokes and Balls

S 1??? 170 (16 spokes, no holes)

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Sixteen Spokes and 8 Balls

This is another variant of wheel and spoke design with a few cryptic inscriptions, one of which may be the year 1899.


This design was frequently used for sewer lines, and there is an S inscribed on the outer ring, but no vents were drilled through any of the balls. So it's function is tentative.


Unknown utility dating perhaps from pre-consolidation Brooklyn.


This design is found predominately in Brooklyn, this one on Adams Street and Front in Dumbo.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs