A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


End of an Era?

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Newest Dated Cover of its Type.

Almost lost to the sands of time, this cover dated 1996 remains at the entrance to Central Park from Columbus Circle. 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!


A 12 spoke wagon wheel design with 2 spokes 'covered' by two bars creating a center space. The 4 numbers are the only inscription on this cover.


Probably a sewer cover, the earliest example of this type I have found dates to 1954 with some later variants (without the date) installed into the 20-teens.


This type of cover is found througout the city, often in parks or near housing projects. This one is from Central Park in Manhattan near the West Drive around 93rd St.

Related Images Follow

Don Burmeister -- Photographs