A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


(Staten Island)

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Cover in a Captain's Wheel

This cover sits at a location emblematic of older sewers, a few yards back from a large body of water. Undoubtably in this case, the sewer line into the Kill Van Kull. This may also explain the lack of vent holes -- there was no need to vent explosive sewer gas, because the sewerage was already mixing with the water of the harbor.


The design was of the classic "Ferris Wheel" design, without vent holes. It was probably an early cover as it is found in a "Ships Captain" seating also common in the late 19th and early 20th century.


You can't get much clearer!


This type of cover is seen scattered across Staten Island (often with 9 vent holes one in the center of each circle) and across the Bronx. This example was found at the foot of Port Richmond Ave (formerly Richmond Ave.), near Richmond Terrace in Port Richmond, in the borough and county formerly known as Richmond.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs