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Luc CHAUMONT
Vichy - France
April 1998 - 2006


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Inheritance in perdition

The MANHOLE COVERS models here visible are yet obsolete : Still in service *, certainly, and for a long time more if needed, but of an exceeded design.


A rare square hinge model,
at Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin).

(*: Except for some, of which the exceptional model of the photograph n° 4: A splendid monster of 1,40 meter diameter of buffer, now removed and replaced per nothing less than 3 modern models and of which we know one other specimen, at Porte de Saint-Cloud near Paris, but not patinated because located out-circulation, on a pavement.).

Development of new cast iron qualities allowed mouldings by injection, faster, compact and precise, costless and of a better resistance at use. Thanks to what the total weight of the unit dropped by the 2/3 (passing roughly from 200 to 60 kg) what is very appreciable at all the costs: Production, transport and installation.

Chantier
Street renewing concern manhole covers too...

Today manufactured manhole covers are products wich quality is technicaly codify and guarantee, produced by a few large founders, which did survive to the concentration process of this branch of industry and are equiped of large convenient means of production.

With the liking of the reorganizations or restorations of cleansing networks, the old manhole tops are dismounted and sent to breakage to set out again towards the foundries... Replaced each one by one or several standard modern models, they discreetly disappear from our streets, and their wooden moulds were destroyed.


Now manhole covers are everywhere : Here close to the Carcassonne's (Aude) castle (XIth century).

We have good hope that the sight of these some photographs will interest you and contribute in fine to cause some company of conservation of these elements of urban furniture. Let us imagine, for example, a public place whose roadway gradually furnished with new parts would be saved of the break-in at the time of their disassembling and be sealed in the ground of what would then become the " Manhole Covers Square ". An astonishing place, horizontal museum in full air. The ideal would be a large paved crossroads, offered to the traffic motor vehicle in week (to maintain glossing the MANHOLE COVERS and thus their brightness) and reserved to walk visits during the week-end.
Which city will initiate it ?


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