What comes to mind when thinking about manholes? Most people address it as merely a hole for people to access the sewer. Some may even have glances of the Ninja Turtles in the back of their minds when they think about manholes. Many see manholes as plain and functional. But there is more to it that some people may not understand. Manholes have covers that are filled with intricate details, design and art. The essential beauty of a manhole is somewhat overshadowed due to the fact that it is merely located on the ground. Most people just step at it and walk through it as part of the street itself. After reading this paper, hopefully, people could see manholes in a more different way.


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            The functionality of a manhole dates back from the earliest civilization, the bible even has an account about its origins.

            “You shall have a place outside the camp and you shall go out to it; and you shall           have a stick with your weapons; and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole          with it, and turn back and cover up your excrement.” (Deuteronomy 23:12)

            There is more to a manhole than what people normally take it for granted. A manhole cover is rhetoric and tries to convey something. Just like any piece of art, a manhole expresses something. Manhole covers was initially made up of stone slabs or wood pieces that permits people to access trenches that are covered for carried sewage. This simple design of the manhole cover was used since 3500 BCE until 1750s to 1850s CE. During then19th century, the design of manholes were improved into the modern manhole look, the ones that people could typically see today. Manhole covers are typically shaped round, but there are also rectangular and squared shape manhole covers. There is an available catalog dating back to 1860 found and it is by far the oldest one. Nothing has changed that much since the 1870s. The philosophy behind the need of manhole design is still existent through the years. The materials and techniques of installation might have changed, but still, there is the enduring principles behind a manhole and its cover.

            Manhole covers have been designed throughout the years. Different places have different designs. The manhole covers show different forms and significance. Some manhole covers tell a story, some just wants to inform people where they are. All around the world, there are intricate designs of manhole covers that might surprise a person who formerly fail to notice them. There is something in a manhole cover that people unfortunately overlook. There is great art in manhole covers. There are stories behind it. And there are messages that these manhole covers tell. Some manholes are even designed from coin designs. Some are emblems of different insignias around the world.

            Manhole covers are rhetoric and they should not just be overlooked. Their intricate details and wonderful designs should be commended. Some manhole covers just express a simple note of danger in top of it but there are many that inscribe the name of places. The old intricate manhole covers can be found mostly in New York and in London. While the old ones have appealing looks, many modern manhole covers have been utilized to express art and style. In Japan, almost each city has a different manhole cover design. Many artists, as well, have delved into designing manhole covers. People can’t blame them, a manhole cover lasts for years and it would serve a great deal of importance.


            The need for a sewerage system for a place is a must. Origins of manhole have been  traced back even up to ancient civilizations and it’s  importance has been dated back and written through history. The Bible even describes the need for a sewage system. Indeed, the functionality of a manhole is a significant aspect of hygiene and beauty for an area.

            Manhole covers should not be overlooked or just stepped at. People should try to look at it in an artistic way and not just basically in a functional way. A beautiful manhole cover could even add up beauty to the streets and the whole community as well. Some artists are emerging from different places and have been delving into designing intricate details of manhole covers. Remember that a great combination of function and design can produce a very effective outcome at any given place. For people, who may be walking over a lot of manholes on their way to school, work or wherever, should try looking up at manhole covers and try to appreciate the design and the possible rhetoric message of those manholes. Manholes are essential for a place, making it more artistic-looking and improving its look is a helpful assistance for people. It has the potential to alter people’s views regarding manholes as plainly stinky places. A great design of a manhole cover can definitely provide impact regarding this matter. Many artists and other people can take great advantage of these manhole covers basically, many words can be inscribed in it and remain for a very long time. Manholes have been a part of history, it would definitely stay for a very much longer time, people should not overlook it and appreciate art in manhole covers.







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