r *''"':' '"" **/20.K, ,
11480. Geography.-Construction.-We are at
the northern end of Culebra Cut, looking south over the
finished canal bottom. Just to the north the Chagres
River crosses the canal and zigzags back and forth till
it reaches the Gatun Dam. It is held back from the
cut by Gamboa Dike. The cut here is from 75-160
feet deep, but increases towards the Great Divide. 4
On May 20, 1913, a steam shovel that had eaten its
way down from Bas Obispo met at Culebra (five miles
to the south) one that had carved itself an arduous
passage up through the backbone of the Great Divide,
but removal of the slides that have fallen into the canal
prism makes excavations in the Cut still necessary.
History.-Geology.-The Panama Canal is no twenti-
eth century project. In 1523 Charles V of Spain finally
forbade the hotly advocated building of an isthmian
waterway. Befo e this time the world believed there
was such a passage. Columbus when he sighted San
Salvador off Limon Bay to the north was only 421
years too early to find the west to east route he sought.
Geologically speaking, the tale is no myth. ,When
President Wilson in Washington .pressed the button at-
m p. m., October 10, 1913, which gave the signal to ex-
.plode. the charge of dynamite buried in Gamboa Dike,
R .-... .
and so let the waters of Gatun Lake into Culebra Cut,
he merely caused a twentieth century revival of a
100,000 year ago condition. There was then, so says
geology, no isthmus here but a strait. This strait was
gradually filled up by lava and ashes from its own
volcanoes (now mostly extinct) and became in time
the land link between Central and South. America.
Read "Panama Past and Present" by Farnham Bishop.
South from Obispo over finished canal, Panama.
Au sud d'Obispo au-dessus du canal termine, Panama.
Siidlich von Obispo fiber fertigen Kanal, Panama.
Al Sur, desde Obispo, sobre el canal concluido, Panama.
S6derut frin Obispo utofver den fardiga kanalen,
Ha iora Oincno, Haia ORKOH-eHHIM xaHajroM ~, laHaMaa.