A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers

1957 Campbell Foundry Co

8 vent holes

cover image

Looks like: An 8-eyed fish

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 slight variations from year to year, this one has 8 vent holes.
Can I see other years you ask? How about 1949 1953 1954 1956 1958 1972 1983 1986 1992 1993 1994 1996 1997 1998 ...and maybe more!


A 12 spoke wagon wheel design with 2 spokes 'covered' by two bars creating a center badge. The 4 numbers and the foundry name, Campbell Foundry, Harrison N.J., are the only inscriptions. 8 straight vents circle the center. Unlike earlier variants the foundry name is not on the rim but on the middle of the three rings.


This type cover is often associated with parks, highways or NYC housing projects This is one of the rare examples of this type with 8 vents, needed at times to prevent the build-up of explosive sewer gases.


This type of cover is found throughout the city, often in parks or near housing projects. This one is south of LaSalle Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.

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Don Burmeister -- Photographs