Posts Tagged ‘Flatbush Gas manhole cover’

Manhole covers: clues to an older New York

August 26, 2011

There’s a lot more variety when it comes to manhole typeface and design than you’d think. And each cover offers a tiny clue to the businesses that made the modern city.

The Weinstock Brothers started out as steel fabricators in 1898. This Gramercy-area manhole is a testament to their work.

It’s still plugging up the street—and the company is also going strong.

The Flatbush Gas Company must have put this manhole cover down in the area known today as Victorian Flatbush around 1900, when farmland south of Prospect Park was suburbanized.

Hmm, it looks a lot like this Brooklyn Edison cover found in Crown Heights.

It’s clear that this lovely spoke-wheel cover found in Manhattan says “DPW [Department of Public Works] Sewer.”

But the year is hard to decipher. Could it really be from 1871?

Though the newest manhole covers on New York streets mostly appear to have “made in India” engraved on them, the city still creates some fun and fanciful decorative ones.

Check out this one on Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, with a cute porgy on it.