Someone recently suggested this site (? application? tool?) to me because I was stumped at finding a font similar to those used on manhole covers. It’s through the My Fonts website and is called What the Font. What it does is help you find fonts used in pictures you submit. All you do is upload an image with type in it (there are lots of tips for optimal images). Next you will get a screen with multiple thumbnails in it in which the tool (? generator?) outlines what it believes to be the type. In this example, I was given over 50 thumbnails with suggestions by the generator. You fill in the little box with the letter that is outlined. If there isn’t a letter, you leave the box blank. Sometimes it automatically recognizes the letter for you.
Once you make it though all the thumbnails and hit submit, What the Font will give you five suggestions of fonts they think are similar.
Unfortunately, I was not happy with the suggestions given to me, so I went the long route and ended up browsing font catalogs for the right font but I’d love to give this a try again, with a better picture (I obviously didn’t read the tips) and with more time. They do provide options if you are unhappy with the suggestions such as posting the image to their forums in the hope someone might recognize it or they listed this link: identifont.com, which upon a brief glimpse at, seems like something to take a longer look at.