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DWELLINGS BUILT FOR FRENCH IN
The city of Colon (k6-l5n') is at the Atlantic
end of the Panama Canal. It is connected with
the city of Panama at the Pacific end of the
canal by the Panama Railway. It is a city of
15,000 people. The United States has built a
long breakwater so that the harbor of Colon is
now a safe one for ships. Locate Colon; Panama.
The picture here shows the houses built for
the French workmen when a French company
was trying to dig the canal. They did not suc-
ceed. Ferdinand de Lesseps (de le'seps'), the
engineer who built the Suez Canal, was in
charge of t1ie French undertaking in Panama.
In 1878 tlIe nations of the world sent men to
Paris to decide where to build the Panama Canal.
In a general way the site of the present canal
was decided on. But the French engineers
thought it should be built on a level with the sea.
[The present canal is not so built. Much of it is
S ''at. 9 N.; Long. 80 W, o
above sea-level; hence the locks to raise and
lower the ships.]
French surveyors began work in 1881. Much
digging and building were done in the eight
years following. Then the company in charge
failed. A new French company undertook it,
and kept at the work till 1899. Then they offered
to sell to the United States. They had taken
out 8o,ooo,ooo cubic yards of dirt and rock by
that time. The United States bought out the
French claims in 1903 for $40,000,000.
SOur engineers changed the direction of the
Canal somewhat. So we could not use half the
channel the French had dug. There are in the
Canal Zone many houses and landmarks that re-
mind us of the failure of the French. However,
they made a beginning; and upon this the United
States built its successful plans.
Copyright by The Keystone View Company.
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