Prewar Manhole Covers: Przemyśl

In Poland it’s a little more difficult to determine the age of manhole covers than in Ukraine, because in Ukraine if it’s in Polish, it’s old; but in Poland, everything is in Polish… However, by comparing them with prewar ones in Lviv, I think I’ve been able to distinguish which ones are old. Both Lviv and Przemyśl  (Peremyshl in Ukrainian transliteration) were cities in Habsburg Galicia as well as interwar Poland, the Second Polish Republic.

Przemyśl has several manhole covers produced by the Wisniewski Brothers factory.

Fabryka Maszyn Odlewnia Żelaza i Metali Bracia Wiśniewscy w Przemyślu – Machine Factory Iron and Metal Foundry Wisniewski Brothers in Przemyśl

 A business directory from Przemyśl 1938 lists the Wiśniewscy brothers’ hardware store:

Below is a cover made by just one of the Wisniewski brothers.

M.Z.W.K.
Probably stands for Miejski Zakład Wodociągów i Kanalizacji,
which means Municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Company

Pomiar Miasta means “measurement of the city”

Water valve covers made by Roman Sapa & Son in Tarnów

This zasuwa (stop valve) cover is exactly like ones in Lviv — a testament to the fact that Lviv and Przemyśl were once in the same state.

Hydrant covers

8 thoughts on “Prewar Painted Stripes in Lviv

  1. Thank you Areta for another important and timely blog post on the challenges and issues of Jewish heritage and recovery of memory. We are hopeful that soon the headstones used as basement steps in a courtyard in Lviv (Hałycka Płoszcza 15 / Galitskaya 15) will be recovered. The Lviv Volunteer Center is working behind the scenes to make this happen, with the support of the Lviv Jewish community and others.

  2. This is the part that blows my mind: “During periods of transition, the records occasionally show the use or mix of two languages—Church Slavonic and Latin, or Latin and Ukrainian…”
    SO COOL!
    Thanks, Areta!

  3. > The largest and best-preserved fragment of Lviv’s medieval defense structures is the Hlyniany Gate (1618)

    Areta, Hlyniany Gate and wall around it have been renovated.

    There used to be some residential building in its place (behind the now-demolished fire station in the foreground)
    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N3g4hWC9YuQ/TbF5heED-OI/AAAAAAAAE2o/r66p5JhJ9iMx0UWnvU7y4dyC_M14zc8XwCCoYBhgL/s0/mit-001.jpg

    Building, close-up
    https://audiovis.nac.gov.pl/i/PIC/PIC_2-8519.jpg

    The wall looked like this
    https://audiovis.nac.gov.pl/i/PIC/PIC_1-U-3615.jpg

  4. Any idea what the Yiddish is on the hat sign on the right? I can make out most of the letters, but my Yiddish isn’t good enough to fill in the blanks. I used to pass by that wall frequently on my way to a friends house, but he has moved since then. It’s still my favorite ghost sign, though 🙂

  5. Kudos to you, Aretha. I came across your blog from a repost from one of your diaspora Ukrainian language from Pre-war Galicia words versus accepted and widely used Post-war words for a long list of foods. I too grew up in the diaspora in Cleveland. I was in Lviv in November of this soon to be last year. Although Lviv is my Dad’s ancestral city, I had family from Central Ukraine and grew up hearing both dialects. I think the blog was from 2014 or 2015. I wanted to leave a comment on your new blog and commend you for the interesting sociolinguistic and cultural discussions you have initiated. Nice to see that you are now in the field doing your research first-hand.

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