Manholes, Lampholes, Grit Basins (1)
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge image)


In the very early collection systems (especially for "separate" sanitary sewage systems), narrow lamp-holes were installed for visual inspections of sewers, but it soon became clear that they were almost useless as a maintenance access point. Manholes corrected this problem, providing access to the sewers for inspection and cleaning. A second purpose of manholes was to serve as points of ventilation for the gravity sewers. (It was recognized early on that sewers need to "breathe.")

There are many types of manholes used at one time in the sewer system, including drop manholes, wellholes, and "flight" sewers. Many of these designs can be seen below.

See Tracking Down the Roots of Our Sanitary Sewers for more information.

   


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Reference

See Sanitary Engineering by Baldwin Latham (1884) for a number of illustrations of manholes and lampholes. Posted under Articles/Design - Before 1900

Patent for sewer basin, 1861. Patented by William H. Short on April 9, 1861. U.S. Patent No. 32,008. See full text description. (Use back button to return to graphics section.)

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office at http://www.uspto.gov.

Patent for manhole and cover, 1878. The pan cover was filled with wood or rubber blocks to street level. Patented by Thomas Kerr on March 19, 1878. U.S. Patent No. 201,349, pp. 1-3. See full text description. (Use back button to return to graphics section.)

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office at http://www.uspto.gov.

Cross-sections of Boston sewers, circa 1885.

Source: Eliot C. Clarke, Main Drainage Works of the City of Boston, 2nd edition (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, City Printers, 1885), Plate VI.

Cross-sections of Boston sewers, circa 1885.

Source: Eliot C. Clarke, Main Drainage Works of the City of Boston, 2nd edition (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, City Printers, 1885), Plate VII.

Cross-sections of Boston sewers, circa 1885.

Source: Eliot C. Clarke, Main Drainage Works of the City of Boston, 2nd edition (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, City Printers, 1885), Plate VIII.

Patent for a means for preventing the accumulation of gas in manholes, 1891. This device also helped prevent ice buildup that froze manhole covers in place. Patented by Charles W. Hays on August 11, 1891. U.S. Patent No. 457,436. See full text description. (Use back button to return to graphics section.)

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office at http://www.uspto.gov.

Oblique inspection pipes were designed by George E. Waring, Jr., for the San Diego, California, sewer system. Used in eight-inch and six-inch sewers at an interval of about 300 feet. 1891.

Source: George E. Waring, Jr., "Chapter XVI: The Sewerage of San Diego," Sewerage and Land-Drainage, 3rd Edition (New York: D. Van Nostrand Co., 1891), p. 144.

Typical sewer and manhole sections from West Bluff sewer system, Peoria, Illinois, 1897.

Source: Engineering News and American Railway Journal, Volume XXXVII, No. 4 (28 January 1897), insert between pp. 56-57.

A fresh air inlet was sometimes used in place of a manhole. While cheaper than a manhole, it had the disadvantage of not being large enough to insert tools for cleaning. Circa 1899.

Cady Staley and Geo. S. Pierson, The Separate System of Sewerage, Its Theory and Construction, Third Edition (New York: D. Van Nostrand, Co., 1899), p. 135.

General details for pipe sewers, wellhole, and manhole with flushing gate in the Pennsylvania Avenue subway project, circa 1900.

Source: George S. Webster and Samuel Tobias Wagner, "History of the Pennsylvania Avenue Subway, Philadelphia, and Sewer Construction Connected Therewith," Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Volume XLIV (December 1900), p. 25.

General details for egg-shaped sewers and manholes with in the Pennsylvania Avenue subway project, circa 1900.

Source: George S. Webster and Samuel Tobias Wagner, "History of the Pennsylvania Avenue Subway, Philadelphia, and Sewer Construction Connected Therewith," Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Volume XLIV (December 1900), p. 27.

Standard drawings for manholes. From Columbus, Ohio, dated 1901 and date unknown.

Source: Mike Foster, Sewer Maintenance Operations Center, Columbus, Ohio.

Incline on the Indian Run Sewer (flight sewer), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1904.

Source: ""The Indian Run Sewer, Philadelphia," The Engineering Record, Volume 50, No. 27 (31 December 1904), p. 778.

Plan for a 61-foot drop manhole and connecting sewer at Washington and Arlington streets, Los Angeles, 1909.

Source: Tom Bates, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Design drawings for the incline on the Indian Run Sewer (flight sewer), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1904.

Source: ""The Indian Run Sewer, Philadelphia," The Engineering Record, Volume 50, No. 27 (31 December 1904), p. 779.

Graphic

Design for combined sewer and storm-water manhole, circa 1910.

J. T. Brown, W. H. Maxwell, editors, "Sewerage," The Encyclopaedia of Municipal and Sanitary Engineering (New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1910), p. 430.

Graphic

Design for ramp and manhole to connect a high-level and low-level sewer, circa 1910.

J. T. Brown, W. H. Maxwell, editors, "Sewerage," The Encyclopaedia of Municipal and Sanitary Engineering (New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1910), p. 432.

Graphic

Design for chamber at junction of outfall and tank sewers, circa 1910.

J. T. Brown, W. H. Maxwell, editors, "Sewerage," The Encyclopaedia of Municipal and Sanitary Engineering (New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1910), p. 432.

   


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