A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


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Basket Weave with Ribbon.

When the Brooklyn Edison Company was formed in 1919, it's predecessor the Edison Electric Illumination Co., was already using the alternating squares in a basket weave pattern. These small rectangular covers were a direct variations on similar covers and generally seem to be access points for individual buildings. B.E. was fully merged into Consolidated Edison in 1944.


The tight, blunt ended dashes of the body arranged in a basket weave would become one of the most seen patterns on the streets of the city. Note the diamond border on the lid, and in this case the crenulated ribbon on the outer rim of the seat.


Electrical distribution points.


These squares are found throughout the older neighborhoods of Brooklyn. this particlur example is from S 5th Street in Williamsburg near Kent Ave.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs