What a 19th century manhole cover has to say

New York sidewalks and streets are a treasure of old manhole covers. Some are utilitarian, others decorative, but most are emblazoned with the name of the ironworks where they were made.

Dempseymanholecover5th

But this one, on the sidewalk on 11th Street east of Fifth Avenue, is more like a cast-iron advertisement for the M. J. Dempsey Foundry, located on West 55th Street.

Dempsey made furnace grates, coal hole covers, boiler castings, and dumping grates. It’s a small reminder of the great infrastructure advances (steam heat, coal delivery, furnaces) that helped make the city an manufacturing and industrial powerhouse.

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “What a 19th century manhole cover has to say”

  1. Frank Says:

    I always find it interesting that there are so many new manhole covers today with the legend “Made in India”. How can it be possible that it’s less expensive for the city to but these heavy items (at taxpayer expense) half way around the world and have them shipped (at taxpayer expense) to New York. Pop Knickerbocker where are you when we need you?!?!?

  2. Frank Says:

    Sorry for the typo; I can’t figure out how to fix it.

  3. Bob Jessen Says:

    Not a Manhole but a Coal Hole Cover. The Dempsey lid pictured has about a score of mates scattered across the City. For more, Try “New York Lids” Author House Press, 2002

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,763 other followers

%d bloggers like this: