A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers

Honeycomb with a B

B as in Bensonhurst?

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Another Mystery Letter

This honeycomb style sewer lid sports 6 vent holes and a broad, seriffed B in the center hexagon. The B may have been used as a line identification, and indeed, there is another B cover a few blocks away.


The venerable 19 hexagon design probably dates back to before New York City consolidation, when the borough presidents of the world all started to add there own marks to the underground advancement of the sewers.


Although the B remains a mystery, the honeycomb design cries out SEWER.


The hexagon design is widespread throughout the city, the B inscription is found in a few places in south Brooklyn. This one is on 84th St. between 18th and 19th Ave.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs