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.
Like this one, with images of stars and fancy “DPW” lettering, found underfoot on a sidewalk at Fifth Avenue and about 100th Street.
“Croton Water” references the old Croton Aqueduct, completed in 1842, which brought clean water to the city from Westchester’s Croton River.
Even more decorative is this fleur-de-lis cover on the sidewalk on Charlton Street off of Sixth Avenue.
It hides a coal hole, into which coal deliverers dumped their wares. This way, coal could reach a building’s basement, where the furnace was, without mucking up a home or office.