A Little Something for a Friend

Photo Montage: Manhole Covers 1I discovered quite some time ago that the admirable proprietress of a photography blog I enjoy very much, inte fan gör det det (I’ll let you look up the translation, you non-Swedish-speakers, for your own amusement) shares my affection for many things that escape attention from lots of others. Among those oft-overlooked everyday objects are the steel caps that separate cars and pedestrians and the like from whatever dwells in the underground infrastructure: manhole covers.Photo montage: Manhole Covers 2

Some of these utilitarian items are made without much regard for their aesthetic potential but even so, manage to become rather special and interesting by virtue of the patina of age and use. On top (no pun intended) of that, there are many manhole covers deliberately designed to be special and interesting and aesthetically pleasing. I don’t much care what the original intent of a manhole cover’s design happens to have been, as long as part of the purpose was to keep me from falling into the sewer.Photo: Manhole Covers 3

But it does beg the question, for me, of why, outside of emergencies, one shouldn’t make every single thing one makes as beautiful as it can be. Maybe I should simply be content that so many things, like manhole covers, can become beautiful through use and time. After all, that’s what I would like to be able to do, myself. Ah, perhaps that is precisely what is at play in the manufacture of a manhole cover; it is made expressly to become beautiful through use and years. Perhaps, indeed, I’ve stumbled onto a cosmic truth, and we mortals are also designed with that in mind. I suppose I’d better get busy!Photo: Manhole Covers 4

14 thoughts on “A Little Something for a Friend

  1. What an interesting selection. It seems that I spend a lot of my time looking down so I don’t trip over things, and I never took time to notice these much. Thanks for the reminder to look closer!

    • I’ve seen a bunch of covers online from various places that have a long history of showy beauties (Japan, for example, unsurprisingly), so I’m always delighted when I happen on some cool ones myself.

    • I think there might just be a little research in my future, eh? I wonder the same thing. Some of the ones I’ve seen, especially in Europe, seem pretty old both in wear-and-tear and in design style, so I think it’s been a tradition longer over there than on this teenaged continent to make the utilitarian quite so elegant. Regardless, who does design the beautiful ones???

    • I would love to grow up to be both, of course, but if I have to choose I will be quite happy to be useful. Oh, you meant the manhole covers. Well, if I’m lucky, I’ll be as beautiful as a manhole cover when I grow up. 😀

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