More old-school city manhole covers

Though it seems like the vast majority of city manhole covers are the newer ones (the “Made in India” inscription is the tip-off), plenty of holdovers from an older New York abound.

I like the simplicity of “Water Supply,” decorated with just two stars, on Eastern Parkway near Prospect Park in Brooklyn. 

“Sewer BR” has a cool bike wheel-spokes design. The BR must stand for Bronx, but oddly the cover is located on Broadway in the 150s.

This rectangular cover with a bizarre pattern was spotted in Crown Heights. BE Co., maybe for Brooklyn Edison Company, a forerunner of Con Ed?

Here, more manhole covers.

Tags: , , , , , ,

20 Responses to “More old-school city manhole covers”

  1. Jill Says:

    If you made a token really big it would look like a manhole cover.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I was thinking when I posted this that they should make manhole-cover jewelry, kind of like the token earrings and pins the Transit Museum sells.

  3. Jill Says:

    Ha ha – manhole bling

  4. Josie Says:

    Thanks for more! I love these manhole covers. Being dreadfully unobservant, visually, I never appreciated the variety or took an interest in them when I was living in Manattan and walking the streets all the time.

  5. Josie Says:

    Wow, what happened here? The email I received of this post showed a different 3rd example. Now it’s the rectangular one. No matter; they’re all interesting.

    Manhole cover jewelry would be fabulous. And how about striking a series of commemorative coins? I think they’d sell like hotcakes. I wonder who holds rights to the images. NYC? The various manufacturers? It might be an interesting challenge to find out.

  6. Josie Says:

    Someone sells Cuff Links featuring manhole covers from around the world.—interests-manhole-covers.html

  7. wildnewyork Says:

    Those cuff links are very cool, especially the Tokyo style ones.

  8. Lilly Says:

    You know that i think about it…i have seen alot of those square manholes in my walking adventures uptown manhattan & older looking circle ones. I might need to start carrying my phone with me to take pictures.

  9. Jill Says:

    Come to think of it, just a couple weeks ago, while not technically a manhole cover, I saw one of those similar types of covers that is next to a fire hydrant, in Rockaway Beach. There were at least a dozen toads that we saw living under it. They were popping out through a little round hole in the cover one after the other, one of the cutest intersections of nature and steel I’ve ever seen.

    Photo is the last one in the post, though you can’t really see the steel cover as it is covered with sand and surrounded by stone:

  10. Alex Says:

    I grew up playing stickball in the streets and the manhole covers were often times the bases. It’s hard to find the more ornate one in existence these days

  11. New York’s most decorative manhole covers « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Usually they’re simply engraved with “Con Edison” or, strangely enough, “NYC Sewer—Made in India.” But sometimes you can spot one that a 19th century iron works company decided to make a little lovelier. […]

  12. pdxrailtransit Says:

    Thanks for posting these manhole cover photos. I am working on a project in Portland, Oregon to document our covers. Please see

  13. Manhole covers: clues to an older New York « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] it looks a lot like this Brooklyn Edison cover found in Crown […]

  14. Bob Bowman Says:

    The rectangular cover with B E CO is indeed a Brooklyn Edison Company cover. I’ve shot a few of them inside Prospect Park

  15. Keith Gaydica Says:

    Do you know who I could contact to find a manhole cover that my great, great grandfather’s company back in the 20s under the name Szemko Gaydica Iron Works?

    • Charles Hickson Says:

      Keith: Are you referencing Joseph Gaydica of Brooklyn? My wifes’
      maiden name is Gaydica and we have a REPLICA of a manhole
      cover with the GAYDICA name. The originals were supposedly
      on Kings Hyw and various spots in BKLYN. Regards, Chuck H.,

      • Frank Szemko Says:

        Charles: Do you happen to know where there any other Szemko/Gaydica manhole covers are specifically? I would love to make a REPLICA myself. My name is Frank Szemko and my great grandfather owned the iron works with Mr. Gaydica in Brooklyn. THANKS!

  16. HC Says:

    There is a Szemko Gaydica cover at 55 Hicks Street in Brooklyn heights

  17. Bobbi Mastrangelo Says:

    You have COVERED my favorite subject: MANHOLE COVERS!
    In fact my art theme is based on manhole covers, water covers, grates and drains: called “Grate works of Art.”

    I have documented almost every type of utility cover in an art form. Mostly I create sculpture relief streetscapes. But I also created deeply embossed prints on hand made paper.

    Check out my website:
    Your comments are welcome on my blog!
    “Grate Wishes!”
    Bobbi Mastrangelo

  18. The mystery manhole cover on Central Park West | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] looks like no other manhole cover I’ve encountered in Manhattan. But there is an identical one in Brooklyn (above). It’s on Eastern Parkway near Prospect […]

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: