Aaron Burr's Water Pipes
Aaron Burr started a water company in Manhattan two-hundred years ago. Today, you can see little tiny pictures of his water pipes all over the city, and all over the country. In 1799, the Manhattan Company was charted by Burr to bring fresh drinking water to the island. The lack of fresh water had caused a lot of problems, including cholera and yellow fever epidemics. The new water pipes were bored logs- you can see them below in a recent excavation in Coenties Slip.



A clause in the charter of the Manhattan Company allowed for the formation of a bank to manage funds. The water company is long gone, but the bank thrived. It was the earliest predecessor of today's Chase Manhattan. The four intersecting segments of the Chase logo are a stylized representation of those quaint wooden water pipes.



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