A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


Around Harlem Meer

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A Year to Remember

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, this one being a bare bones example except but for the 4 digits representing the year.
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!


This basic design has been used since around 1953, The 4 numbers are the only inscription, without any indication of it's manufacture. 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.


This style cover is generally seen in New York City parks and housing projects, this one is on the western side of Harlem Meer in Central Park.

Related Images Follow

Don Burmeister -- Photographs