Magney's Manhole Covers of the World

Created 17 January 2006

This page was last updated on 2 January 2012
All photos copyrighted by David L. Magney 2003-2012, unless otherwise indicated.

This is a study of manhole covers (and various utility vault covers) from various cities throughout the world (okay, for just a few places [only 13 when I first created this page, but now at 189 cities/towns/communities, including about 38 photographed with their pages under construction, but what a goal!).   This project was inspired by another photographer, I don't remember who, that had a collection of photographs of various manhole covers, which I found interesting.   So, I decided that I too can photograph the manhole covers that I come across in the places that I visit.

This collection of photographs shows just a bit of the variety, diversity, and interesting design that some have, or have not, expressed in the simplist, most basic utilitarian doors to the underground, manhole covers, and utility vault covers.   Manhole covers are most simply removable doors (usually without hinges) to underground vaults that contain utility structures, from telephone cables and switch boxes to water valves to sewer main pipes. The manhole covers shown on this group of pages are grouped according to the state/country and city in which they where photographed.   Some are very simple, while others are extremely detailed designs or scenes.   Some simply state what they cover while others inspire fantacies.   You should see what some cities are doing with their manhole covers, such as Tokyo and Vancouver, British Columbia, they are outstanding pieces of art.

Currently, there are well over one hundred pages of manhole cover photos on this site.   You will want to see them all, as there are some very interesting ones on various pages, particularly those from Scandinavian countries.   You will see many that are almost identical or entirely identical even when from different cities.   Generally, separate webpages have been created for the manhole cover photos for each city, and are accessible via the webpage links listed below, listed by country or state and city, or, you can just go through them all one page at a time.   I have also included some basic information about the town/city, and some scenes of what the town looks like.   Enjoy, and let me know what you think at david(at) (I have not put a direct email link to minimize spam, requiring you to type it in).

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Below are some links to other websites featuring photographs of manhole covers.
Dan Heller's Photography Site
Vancouver Manhole Art Site
The Straight Dope Site - Why are they round?

And, what are the psychological implications below these portals to the underworld?   How many people even notice manhole covers?   What lurks down there?   Do you really want to know, or do you prefer to just let your property taxes and utilities think and worry about this for you, while you walk or drive over them?   Does making manhole covers pretty just put on a pretty face of something dirty and ugly?   As you will see, some are boring and very plain (simplicity?), while others are ornate and very interesting.   Some are even stolen, usually just to melt down for scrap metal.

Magney Manhole Cover Pages

Arizona [Factoid: there are 15 counties and 90 incorporated cities in Arizona]
  • Chandler

  • California [Factoid: there are 58 counties and 478 incorporated cities in California]
    Alameda County
  • Berkeley

  • Oakland [just Mills College campus so far]

  • Alpine County
    Amador County
  • Amador City

  • Jackson

  • Sutter Creek

  • Butte County
  • Chico

  • Gridley

  • Live Oak

  • Calaveras County
  • Angels Camp

  • Mokelumne Hill

  • San Andreas

  • Colusa County
    Contra Costa County
  • Pleasant Hill

  • Del Norte County
    El Dorado County
  • Placerville

  • Fresno County
  • Coalinga

  • Fresno

  • Kingsburg

  • Selma

  • Glenn County, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Inyo County
    Kern County
  • Buttonwillow

  • Lebec

  • Inyokern

  • Lost Hills

  • Maricopa

  • Mojave

  • Ridgecrest

  • Taft

  • Wasco

  • Kings County
  • Avenal

  • Hanford

  • Kettleman City

  • Lemoore

  • Stratford

  • Lake County
  • Harbin Hot Springs

  • Middletown

  • Lassen County
    Los Angeles County
  • Los Angeles

  • Agoura Hills

  • Beverly Hills

  • Calabasas

  • Cypress Park

  • Gorman

  • Hacienda Heights

  • La Canada Flintridge

  • Long Beach
  • [under construction]
  • Malibu

  • Pasadena & South Pasadena

  • Rancho Palos Verdes

  • Santa Monica

  • West Hills

  • West Hollywood

  • Westlake Village

  • Whittier

  • Madera County
  • Oakhurst

  • Marin County
    Mariposa County
  • Coulterville

  • Mariposa

  • Mendocino County
  • Mendocino

  • Merced County
  • Los Banos

  • Merced

  • Santa Nella

  • Modoc County
    Monterey County
  • Carmel by-the-Sea
  • [under construction]
  • Monterey

  • Salinas

  • Mono County
    Napa County
  • Calistoga & St. Helena

  • Nevada County
  • Grass Valley

  • Nevada City

  • North San Juan

  • Truckee

  • Orange County
  • Costa Mesa
  • [under construction]
  • Irvine
  • [under construction]
  • Orange
  • [under construction]
  • Villa Park
  • [under construction]
    Placer County
  • Auburn

  • Colfax

  • Loomis

  • Rocklin

  • Roseville

  • Plumas County
    Riverside County
    Sacramento County
  • Carmichael

  • Citrus Heights

  • Courtland

  • Fair Oaks

  • Galt

  • Hood

  • Isleton

  • Orangevale

  • Sacramento

  • Walnut Grove

  • San Benito County
  • Hollister

  • San Bernardino County
  • Chino Hills
  • [under construction]
    San Diego County
    San Francisco County
  • San Francisco

  • San Joaquin County
  • Lathrop

  • Lodi

  • Stockton

  • San Luis Obispo County
  • Avila Beach

  • Cambria

  • Los Osos

  • Morro Bay

  • Paso Robles

  • Pismo Beach

  • San Luis Obispo

  • San Mateo County
  • Los Altos

  • Santa Barbara County
  • Santa Barbara

  • Montecito

  • UCSB

  • New Cuyama

  • Santa Clara County
  • Gilroy

  • Mountain View
  • [under construction]
  • San Jose

  • Santa Clara
  • [under construction]
    Santa Cruz County
  • Castroville
  • [under construction]
  • Watsonville
  • [under construction]
    Shasta County
    Sierra County
  • Downieville
  • [under construction]
    Siskiyou County, Solano County, Sonoma County
    Stanislaus County
  • Salida

  • Sutter County
  • Yuba City
  • [under construction]
    Tehama County
    Trinity County
    Tulare County
  • Visalia
  • [under construction]
    Tuolumne County
  • Sonora

  • Ventura County
  • Unincorporated Areas

  • Camarillo

  • Fillmore

  • Moorpark

  • Oak View
  • [under construction]
  • Ojai

  • Oxnard

  • Port Hueneme

  • San Buenaventura

  • Santa Paula

  • Simi Valley

  • Thousand Oaks

  • Yolo County
  • West Sacramento
  • [under construction]
    Yuba County
  • Marysville
  • [under construction]
  • Smartsville

  • Wheatland
  • [under construction]
    Colorado [Factoid: there are 63 counties in Colorado]
  • Denver

  • Massachusetts [Factoid: there are 14 counties in Massachusetts][some pages now up]
  • Boston

  • Cambridge

  • Charlestown

  • Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard

  • Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard [under construction]

  • Plymouth

  • Provincetown [under construction]

  • Salem [under construction]

  • Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard [under construction]

  • Watertown [under construction]

  • Nevada [Factoid: there are 17 counties and 71 incorporated cities in Nevada]
  • Austin [under construction]

  • Ely [under construction]

  • Eureka [under construction]

  • Fallon [under construction]

  • Pioche [under construction]

  • Oregon [Factoid: there are 36 counties in Oregon]
  • Cottage Grove [under construction]

  • Crater Lake National Park [under construction]

  • Roseburg [under construction]

  • Rhode Island [Factoid: there are 5 counties in Rhode Island]
  • Newport [under construction]

  • Providence [under construction]

  • Utah [Factoid: there are 29 counties in Utah]
  • St. George

  • Washington [Factoid: there are 39 counties in Washington]
  • Anacortes

  • Eastsound [under construction]

  • Friday Harbor [under construction]

  • Roche Harbor [under construction]

  • Canada [Factoid: there are 12 provinces in Canada]
  • Burnaby, B.C.

  • Vancouver, B.C.

  • Czeck Republic
  • Prague [under construction]

  • Denmark
  • Copenhagen

  • France
  • Nice & Paris [under construction]

  • Italy
  • Cataria, Cefalu, Comino Island, Palermo, Pisa, Rome, Sicily, Vatican, & Venice

  • Japan
  • Japan

  • Malta
  • Malta

  • Norway
  • Bergen, Flåm, Kristianstad, Myrdal, Oslo, Stavanger, and Voss

  • Sweden
    Stockholms Lan
  • Stockholm

  • Uppsala Lan
  • Uppsala

  • Darlarnes Lan (Darlana)
  • Leksand, Mora, & Tällberg

  • Central America
    Costa Rica
  • San Jose & Tortuquero

  • South America
  • Bariloché de San Carlos

  • Chile
  • Santiago

  • Sample Manhole Covers of the World

    Manhole Hat on manhole cover

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