Manhole Covers and The Man Who Lived Underground

Did some research on manhole images and came up with these stairs leading down to the Viennese sewer used in Orson Welles' The Third Man.  Apparently it is possible to arrange to tour the sewers in Vienna today, as opposed to the layout of the sewers in Wright's story.  It may be that these older cities in Europe and elsewhere have much more elaborate sewers, and or they may have sewers that become obsolete and therefore make good places to tour.  This one is certainly beautiful.

This is a shot of the manhole cover in Vienna, the same one used in The Third Man with the various leafs of the cover open.

This is the same manhole but closed.  If you wish to see the way the manhole figures in Welles' film, there is a clip on UTube linked via some of the sewer research sites.  This connection to Welles is interesting because it was he who directed the stage version of Wright's first novel Native Son.  Wright's story was published in 1942 several years prior to the making of The Third Man, which was very "noir," or in other word filled with night time images and expressive of cynical views concerning the possibilities for urban modern life.  On the other hand, so was "The Man Who Lived Underground."  But now we are crossing over into Movie Talk, which belongs on another blog.

It seems as though American manholes are somewhat less elaborate, although no less beautiful.  This is a lovely one in Minnesota.

This is a manhole in Washington, D.C. Couldn't find any in New York for some reason but there is a Manhole Group on Flickr with millions of images so its out there.  Have seen enough to guess that manholes are a fascinating topic, on their own merits.

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