Prewar Hydrant and Valve Marker Plates

Marker plates, which indicate the location of hydrants or valves, can be found all over Lviv. The plates were attached to the facades of buildings to display information about the utility as well as to ensure that the hydrant or valve could be found even if the road was covered […]

Lost in a Sea of Cobblestones: Lviv’s Historical Manhole Covers & Storm Drains

To find traces of Lviv’s prewar past, one must not forget to look down from time to time. Indeed, below our feet are hiding hundreds of manhole and utility covers, which have been serving the city’s infrastructure since before the war. These Austrian- and Polish-era cast iron plates cover buried […]

Relics in Belgrade

Serbia’s capital changed hands dozens of times in the past few centuries: Ottoman/Austrian rule 16th–19th centuries Ottoman/Serbian rule 1804–1878 Serbian rule 1878–1914 Austro-Hungarian/Serbian rule 1914–18 Kingdom of Serbia 1918 Yugoslav Kingdom 1918–1941 Nazi/Croatian rule 1941–1944 Yugoslav Republic 1944–1991 I found some relics from Austrian rule, namely antique roller shutters made […]

Prewar Manhole Covers in Prague

“Vodovod” means “water supply” in Czech

Prewar Manhole Covers in Uzhhorod

A sampling of Uzhhorod’s prewar manhole covers. Read more about Uzhhorod’s remnants of the past here and here.  

Manhole Covers in Stockholm

I didn’t find many old manhole covers in Stockholm, and the ones that I did find were all connected to the telecommunications infrastructure, in particular, from the company Rikstelefon (see also Rikstelefon’s phone booths and markers). This one dates from 1909 – it is similar to Swedish-made manhole cover that […]

Storm Drains and Manhole Covers in Vienna

In Vienna, at almost every step there is an old manhole cover or storm drain. Fortunately, most include a date along with the manufacturer’s mark, and this is true even for modern ones. Below are square storm drains ranging from 1896 to 1957, posted in chronological order.  

Interwar Fire Hydrants in Mukachevo

Traces of Mukachevo’s Czechoslovakian past can still be found in the city. (During the interwar period, Mukachevo along with the rest of Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia) was part of Czechoslovakia.) “In 1883, Antonín Kunz (1859–1910) founded a company in Hranice [Czech Republic] for the repair and production of small farm machinery and then specialized […]

Swedish Manhole Cover in Riga

n Riga I found a manhole cover dating from 1901. Upon researching it later, I realized it was made by the Swedish company called Stockholms Allmänna Telefonaktiebolag. Sweden’s first telecom operating company (founded in 1883), Stockholms Allmänna Telefonaktiebolaget (Stockholm General Telephone Company) (SAT) installed and operated telephone equipment. The company had […]

Prewar Manhole Covers in Chernivtsi

In Chernivtsi I found manhole covers from Austrian (pre-WWI) and Romanian (interwar) times. I saw both German-language and Romanian-language ones. The Austrian-era ones use the German name for the city, Czernowitz. The ones made by Pittel & Brausewetter company include Wien (Vienna). This company was founded in 1870 in Bratislava […]