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)magney.org (I have not put a direct email link to minimize spam, requiring you to type it in).
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]