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20887-Bas Obispo Cut, Showing Battery of Rock Drills at Work, Panama Canal Route
This view shows the Canal at the point
where the Culebra Cut practically begins.
The digging of this cut has been the most
taxing and labor-consuming feat of the
whole project. The cut itself is over eight
miles long and the canal is narrowed in
width from 500 feet, which width it has up
to 'Obispo, to 300 feet throughout the ex-
tent of the Culebra Cut. At Obispo there
is an abrupt elevation of 150 feet for the
major portion of a mile, and then, after a
sudden drop, the elevation is more gradual
until Culebra itself is passed.
We see here five or six drills in a row and
in great proximity to one another, which
are operated more or less in unison. Thus
a great amount of blasting can be done at
one time, and the resultant debris can oc-
cupy quite a large number of workmen in
removing it while the battery of drills re-
i.eats its boring or moves forward for simi-
lar simultaneous drilling.
The machinery is considerably improved
and also completed to what it was in our
forefathers' days, when one man was con-
tinually turning the drill with his hands
while his partner kept up a continual ham-
mering on the head of the drill. Two men,
however, are still required in the operation
of each drill.
Copyright 1913, by Keystone View Company,