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The Panama Canal was opened to cornm-
mercial ship traffic August I;, 1914. Since
that time more than 2qo,ocoo ships of every
category and over ,,oc.0coo,o.o tons of cargo
have gone through the waterway.
Its influence on the twentieth-century world
extends far beyond the economic field. Sta-
tistics on savings to shipping and ultimately
tn consumerss are staggering and entire new
trade rreas and industries have been devel-
oped as a result of its opening. Although the
benefits of the Canal to commerce are world-
wide, its geographical position has made it of
unique importance in the development of
Built before the advent of modern trans-
portation, the Canal helped shrink the world
by many days and many thousands of miles
for travel and personal communications. Its
contribution in wartime to the free world was
of inestimable value through two world con-
In the field of tropical medicine truly great
forward strides were taken as a direct result
of construction of the Panama Canal. The
area in which it is located once had the un-
enviable reputation of being one of the pesti-
lential spots of the world. Under the leader-
ship of Col. William Crawford Gorgas, the
team of American medical and sanitation ex-
perts demonstrated that yellow fever can be
eradicated and such scourges of the tropics
as malaria and intestinal disorders can be
Every American citizen who views the
Panama Canal can take pride in its construc-
tion and in its operation by his country.
The formidable problems of its building were
considered by many to be insurmountable.
Its day-by-day operation in providing sate
and expeditious transit for vessels of all na-
tions on a basis of absolute equality is a
The story of the Panama Canal goes back
more than four centuries. The idea ofjoining
the two oceans through the narrow isthmus
was born soon after the New World was dis-
Over the years many plans were made and
advocated and possible canal routes from
Mexico to Colombia were surveyed.
The first tangible efforts to build a Panama
Canal began January to, iSSo, when the proj-
ect was formally inaugurated by the French
Canal Company under the leadership of
Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the
Suez Canal. The work was conducted with
great vigor but the project was doomed to
failure. Nature's own obstacles, inadequate
machinery, insecure financial arrangements,
and health conditions on the Isthmus contrib-
uted to failure of the Company in 1889.
A new French Canal Company was formed
in 1894 and work was continued on a modi-
fed scale until 1904 hen the company's
rights and properties were purchased by the
United States Government for $40,occ.,coo.
The purchase followed the negotiation of a
treaty with the Republic of Panama, which
in November of the previous year had de-
clared its independence fromin Colombia to be-
come the youngest of the American Republics.
The i9..3 Treaty granted to the United
States in perpetuity, with full sovereign
rights, the strip of land today known as the
Canal Zone for building and operating the
Canal. The United Stares agreed to pa.
Panama $i o,c.co,oo and to establish an an-
nuity ot $250o,c.co beginning nine years alter
ratification of the treaty. The annuity "as
increased in i9-3b to $43c.,:. and in 1955 to
While certain o editionss cf the 1903 Treaty
were changed by the 1936 and 19,5 agree-
ments, the basic provisions under thich the
oldest and youngest of the American Repub-
lics became joined in this international enter-
prise have remained unchanged.
The Canal Zone is roughly ten miles wide
and covers an area of .553 square miles. It
is located nine degrees above the equator and
its climate, vegetation, and li\ ing conditions
are typical o:f the tropics. Contrary to the
expectation of most visitors, the topugraph
of the Canal Zone is extremely rugged, the
Canal being cut through the long minoun-
tain range which joins the Rockies on
the north and the Andes on the south. The
geological framework of the Isthmus is prin-
cipally volcanic with a widelyy varied pattern
for such a small area.
The geographical alignment of the Isthmus
is such that the Canal runs from northwest
to southeast, with the Canal's Atlantic en-
trance 33.5 miles north and 27 miles west of
the Pacific entrance. For this reason the sun
rises over the Canal out of the Pacific and
sets in the Atlantic and transiting vessels go
north and south rather than east and west.
The stror of the construction of the Pan-
amra Canal is one oft the richest sagas of
United States history. The enterprise is
woven of American initiative, ingenuity,
ideals, and dollars, without which, as Pres-
ident Theodore Roosevelt once said, the Canal
would not have been built.
It was here that the mighty forces of nature
which had defied mankind for centuries were
conquered or harnessed.-. .
The work of building the Canal involved
three main problems-engineering, sanitation,
Its successful completion was due princi-
pally to the engineering genius and adminis-
trative skill of such men as John F. Wallace.
John F. Srevens, Theodore P. Shonts, and
Col. George \\. Goethals; to the solution of
monumental public health and sanitation
problems by Colonel Gorgas and his asso-
ciates; to the statesmanship and political acu-
men of such leaders as Theodore Roosevelt
and \Villiam Howard Taft; and to the loyal
and unremitting toil of thousands of workers.
The engineering problems were primarily
ones of magnitude which could be solved b\
imaginative men with adequate machinery,
Digging Gaillard Cut-May 1913
MBI1 ii 'k i~ig~imiii
Miraflores Locks Under Construction-August 1912
and willing workers. They involved digging
a ditch through a mountain range, wide and
deep enough to float the largest ships; con-
structing the largest earth-dam ever built;
designing and building the most massive canal
locks ever conceived; constructing the biggest
gates ever swung; inventing and fabricating
electrical and mechanical devices for operat-
ing the i'aterway; and conquering landslides
of mountainous proportions.
Sanitation involved tasks of similar propor-
tions. It required a general cleanup of a large
area where yellow fever, malaria, dysentery,
and other tropical diseases thrived; provision
of a pure water supply; adequate sewers and
drainage; pest control; sanitary food and food-
handling facilities; comprehensive quarantine
measures; hospitals and staffs to treat the
sick; and an unending fight against many
malign diseases prevalent in the tropics.
The organization and administrative diffi-
culties were numerous and complex. It is
high tribute to the leaders of the construction
period that a force of workers was welded
into an efficient and inspired organization.
The three outstanding features of the Pan-
ama Canal and scenes of greatest activity
during construction were Culebra (now Gail-
lard) Cut, Gatun Dam, and the locks.
When the Canal was opened, the total ex-
cavation for the channel exceeded 200,000,000oo
cubic yards; 23,ooo,0oo cubic yards of earth
and rock had been dumped to form Gatun
Dam; and 4,500,00D cubic yards of concrete
had been poured to form the locks.
The operation of the Canal enterprise, in-
cluding provision of civil government in the
Canal Zone, is without cost to the American
taxpayer. The Panama Canal Company is
required by law to set rates of tolls on ship-
ping and other revenue-producing operations
sufficiently high to cover all costs of opera*"-
tions, pay interest charges on the United
States investment, and repay to the U. S.
Treasury the net cost of civil government.
Treaty commitments limit private enter-
prise in the Zone to a few which are directly
related to shipping. Therefore, nearly all
operations are governmental and there is no
private ownership of land.
Civil government, including public health
and medical services, is provided by the Canal
The Panama Canal Company operates the
waterway and related functions and conducts
those business-type operations incident to the
operation of the waterway and civil govern-
Both are civilian agencies of the U. S.
Government with a single administrative head
who is Governor of the Canal Zone and ex
officio Pre-ident of the Company. The com-
bined functions of these two are the operation
and administration of the Canal enterprise as
a whole. The differences between the two are
mainly of a fiscal nature, since the Company
is a corporate entity of the Federal Govern-
ment and operates within its income, and the
Zone Government is an independent agency
which operates with funds appropriated by
the Congress although its net costs are repaid
in full to the U. S. Treasury by the Company.
The Company is operated under the
direction of a Board of Directors appointed
by the Secretary of the Army in his capacity
as Stockholder by designation of the Presi-
dent. He is also the designated representa-
tive of the President for the supervision of the
Canal Zone Government.
Soon after the close of World War I1, the
flow of traffic through the Canal began a
rapid increase and the volume now amounts
to about i2,o o ships a year. New' commer-
cial traffic records have been set. in eight suc- .---.
cessive~yeats, beginhingjji the fiscal"'ear. 195,2 "
Teh'e general composition of this postwar
traffic is indicated by the traffic in the fiscal
year 1960. Of the 12,040 transits that year,
10,795 were ocean-going commercial vessels,
i82 were ocean-going U. S. Government ships,
and the remainder were small vessels.
Although it is a viral element in national
defense, the Panama Canal was conceived
and built as an artery of trade, and its oper-
ation is principally geared to the trends and
requirements of world commerce.
While the Canal has had great influence on
the flow of trade and in the development of
many new trading areas, its traffic is largely
dependent on world conditions. Thus, its
transit statistics have reflected wars, depres-
sions, and other political and economic up-
heavals of any consequence.
The stream of Canal traffic is made up' of
ships from all over the world, carrying com-
modities of every conceivable nature required
by mankind. Although about two-thirds of
the ships using the Canal are of foreign regis-
try, the United States flag vessels are by far
the biggest users of the Panama Canal in
number of ships and amount of cargo. The
next most frequent users of the Canal are:
Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Liberia,
Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Colombia,
Panama, Honduras, Italy, and France.
The bulk of traffic and cargo using the Ca-
nal is moved over eight principal trade routes.
Although there are wide fluctuations from
year to year, ii commodity groups account
for about three-fourths of the total tonnage.
These are: Mineral oils, lumber, sugar, w hear,
ores and metals, manufactures of iron and
steel, coal and coke, canned and refrigerated
goods, nitrogenous products, phosphates, and
The eser increasing flow of ships through the Canal has meant in turn ever greater expenditures on new
construction and betterment projects so that present traffic can be expedited and future needs met.
Work is under way at present on several multi-million dollar projects, all aimed at increasing the Canal's
capacity) and efficiency. One of the largest, which you ma) notice as .ou make %our transit, is the widening of
Gaillard Cut from 300 to 500 feet. When completed in 1966, some 32 million cubic yards of earth and rock will
have been removed. The cost will be approximately $46,000,000. After widening, practically all ships sill be per-
mitted to meet and pas in all reaches of Gallard Cut, thus providing for more efficient scheduling of ships.
Plans aie being made for deepening the present channel from its 42-foot depth to 47 feet. This will greatly
iniprose the maneuverability of ships through Gaillard Cut at normal Lake levels and will increase the supply
of water for lockages during e\tremel dr) periods. The project sill be completed in 1969 at an estimated cost
Other projects include the installation of lights along the banks of the Cut and improvement of lighting at
the locks, at a cost of $1,500,000: construction of new towing locomotives. or mules, a $6,000,000 project, and
the building of three new tugs to assi-t the more unwieldy ships though the Cut. Cost will be about $2,000,000.
One of the most interesting projects is an electronic ship dispatching system, which is expected to be in op-
eration in 1963. The system will modernize ship scheduling and surveillance, again increasing efficiency and
safety. The cost will be about $1,800,000.
All of these improvements are in addition to the regular requirements of the normal operation and mainte-
nance of the Canal. Something of the magnitude of the maintenance and improvement task can be grasped %%hen
it is realized that vastly more earth and rock have been removed from the Canal since it was built than was dug
out during its original excavation. Some 271,075.690 cubic yards 'seic removed from 1904 to 1914. the year the
Canal was completed: since 1914, about 345,000,000 cubic yards hase been removed.
Building the "Big Ditch" was a task of Herculean proportions: improving and maintaining it is plainly of
equal, or even greater size.
Your trip through the Panama Canal began when
your ship entered the Crislobal breakwater.
We knew you were coming al leasl 48 hours ago
The captain of your ship radioed to the Crisiobal Port
Captain his expected time of arrival, whether he would
transil without docking, what supplies might be needed,
ihe number' of passengers aboard, and. other similar
information., Therefore, all arrangements were com-
pleted far your transit of one of the world's great
strategic waterways well before your Panama Canal
pilot came aboard.
You can relax and enjoy watching at close range
the operation of one of the great modern Wonders
of the World. You will be traveling one of the best-
marked waterways in the world. Your pilot kno'.'.
every feature of ihe channel as v.ell as you knov., the
street from your house to the grocery store.
Relax. You are about to make a trip which has
been planned to the last detail by a force of several
hundred skilled technicians and others whose jobs are
to see you safely and expeditiously delivered to the
Pacific Ocean. They have already scheduled the en-
tire 50-mile trip, where you will be at any given time.
and what ships you %ill meet er pass.
Your Canal pilot and one or more boarding officers
of the Canal organization came aboard soon after you
arrived. The duties of the boarding officers relate to
customs, immigration, quarantine, and other port reg-
ulations. They will also measure your ship for tolls
to be paid for its use of the Canal, Complete measure-
ments will be taken during ,our trip if the ship has
never been through the Canal before. Olher..Mse,
they vil11 only check on any changes v. which mighi have
been made since its last visit.
One of the great thrills of your trip through the
Panama Canal will be the lifting of your ship 85 feel
with no perceptible motion or disturbance. It will be
done by a giant v'ater stairv.ay knovn as Galun Locks
where your ship will be raised in three steps to the
level of Gatun Lake.
As you approach the locks a large illuminated arrow
on the center approach wall, activated in the Locks
Control House nearly a half mile away,, v.ill] move to
show the Panama Canal pilot which set of the l.vin
locks to use. Linemen in small rowboats will put oui
from each side of the lock chambers to connect vour
ship with towing locomotives by heavy steel cables.
All but the smallest ships ore to-.ed through the Canal
Locks by electric locomotives or "mules" while else-
where In the Canal they are under their owvn po,.wer.
When you arrive oat Galun Locks fram the Allan;ic
the big gale leaves wviii swing back into recesses along
the concrete v'walls to lei the ship enter ihe first or
lover chamber. The structural steel gate leaves are
seven feet thick and are corrmparlmented so haot they
practically float in the -walter. Each leaf is so delicately
balanced thalt it is moved by a 25-horsepo.ver motor.
Although lock canals had been in use many '/ears
before the Panama Canal '.as built, no locks of its
magnitude had ever been conceived before. Accord-
ingly, much of the mechanism had to be devised or
invented. Mules used on the to.'.'-paiths of the old
Erie Canal were not suitable ItD pull big ocean liners
Tolls are based on Panama Canal net tons, or 100
cubic feet of space generally usable for revenue pur-
poses. They average about $4,200-$4,500 for ocean-
going commercial ships.
Your trip v.ill lake about eight or more hours.
Follow your ship on the map in the center.
The first seven miles of your trip to Gatun Locks will
be at sea level. This section of the channel is 500
feet wide and was dug through a flat, swampy area.
Much of the excavation accomplished by the French
in Iheir effort to build the Canal three quarters of ao
century ago was on the Atlantic side.
Cristobal Harbor, which you entered when you
passed the breakxaters, is the principal port of entry
for the Canal Zone and Ihe Republir of Panama. The
town of Cristobal, now largely depopulated, is con-
tnguous to Colon, the second .largest city of Panama.
The names of the iwo, Cnristobal-Colon, are the Span-
ish names for Christopher Columbus who visited the bay
on his fourth arid last voyage to the New World.
The two cities are relatively young in comparison with
many in Latin America. Colon was built after the
construction of the Panama Railroad, the irsi transcon-
tinental 'aoil link in the Ne.v World, was begun in 1850.
The Port of Cristobal was developed as a modern
and commodious shipping center as part of Ihe Canal's
construction. While the surrounding land folarms.a nat-
ural harbor, etlensie dredging arid protection from
frequent "norlhers' by the conilruchion of the long
breakv.c aters ere required to make it safe for shipping.
Its extensive pier area provides nearly 15 acres of
covered space. There ore four large piers and one
wharf, each about 1,000 feet long, v.hich provide
more than a mrile of berthing space, sufhcien i to accom-
modate 14 overage-sized freighters ar one iTie.
At Cristobal also are located the principal repair
facilities of he Panama Canal Company. The shops
of this unit, the Indutlrial Division, have modern equip-
ment and are slaHed by skilled craftsmen for all lypes
of marine repair '.'.ork.
The principal commirunities for Canal employees and
their families on the Ailanlic side of the Isthmus are
Margarila, Rainbo,. Cit/, and Gaiun. The principal
Army posils are F.':.rl Gulick, Forl Davis, and Fort Sher.
man. The Navy irn:lallanons are al Coco Solo, on the
point of land to your left entering the breakwater.
and so mechanical 'mules" v...ere invented to do the
These mules, or towving locomotives, are miighly mid-
gels. Each '.'.eighs nearly 100,000 pounds and is cap-
able of exerting 25,000 pound; of pull or braking
power. Six, three on each side, are used for ships
of average size although len are used for the largest
After your ship enters the lower chamber the gates
behind ',ou are closed and you are read/ to be lifted
the f.ril step in Ihe 85 feel. Before the .v.ater elevator
begins to raise your ship, you ,..ill get the impression
of being in a huge, unroofed cavern. Each of the
lock chambers is 110 feel wide and 1,000 feel long,
big enough to accommodate all bul a fewv of the very
largest ships afloat.
No pumps are used in operating the locks. The
.valer moves by gravity and flo,'.sI from one level to
the le'.'el beloa... To fill the lo'. -.er Gatun Locks cham-
ber after the gates are closed back of you, 'v.ater in
the chamber in front and above you is permitted to
flo,', do'v',n through large culverts or tunnels buried
deep in the side and center lock v'alls. The v.waler
from these i; fed into a series of smaller lateral culvetls
under the floor of the lock chamber and then bubbles
up through 100 holes in the floor of the chamber where
your ship is '.'.ailing.
When the waier level in this lower chamber and
that in the one in front of you is equalized, the gates
between them are opened and your ship is lo'.,-ed
for'.ward. The process of closing the gates back of
you and lelling waler in from the chamber above until
the -.vo water levels are equalized is then repeated
I... ice, bringing your ship up to Galun Lake level.
The main culverts under each of the lock walls are
18 feet in diameter, vjlh a square area larger than
Ihe Holland Tunnel. Flattened oul to seven feel in
height, one tunnel would be wide enough for a four-
lane highway, .vilh a iv'o-foot dividing strip.
The series of lateral culverts leading from the main
culverts to feed the water into Ihe lock chambers
through the floor hae a cross-sectional area of 33 to
44 square feet. Each of the lateral culverts have five
openings four and one half feel in diameter in the
floor of the chamber through which water is fed into
or out of the chamber.
The heart of Ihe lock operations is in Ihe Control
House, Ihe red-roofed building on the center wall.
In this is a long control panel which, in effect, is a
miniature of the locks and its principal moving mech-
anisms. These miniatures-of the lock gates, fender-
chains, or valves-are synchronized to move with their
giant counterparts below.
As your ship is raised lo the level of Galun Lake
you will see on your left Ihe town of Galun where
most of the employees of the Locks reside.
On your right is Galun Dam and Spillv,ay which
form one of the indispensable keys of the Panama
Canal. Construction of Ihis dam was a controversial
subject v.hen the Canal was built. It was then the
largest earth dam ever constructed and many capable
engineers seriously doubled its stability.
It dams the Chagres River which flows into the lake
al Gamboa aboul midway on your Irip The dam was
thrown across a deep valley to unite high hills on
either side. The 23,000,000 cubic yards of earth and
rock used in its construction novw' blend so perfectly
.\iih the natural terrain thal ii is scarcely recognizable
as a man-made piece of work.
The dam is nearly one-and-a-half miles long and
almost a half-mile wide at the base. The spill..vay is a
concrete-lined channel 1,200 feet long and 285 feet
wide. The 14 large gates v.which are used to control the
level of the lake are each 45 feet wide. All together
they can spill 150,000 cubic feet of water a second, or
more than the maximum discharge of the Chagres River.
The 14 gates have rarely been opened at one time
except for testing, and generally no more than eight
are ever used to control flood conditions on the lake.
The formation of Galun Lake saved many miles of
digging and several hundred million cubic yards of
excavation in building the Canal. Before Boulder Dam
was built it was the largest body of artificial water in
the world. It covers an area of 163.38 square miles
with a shoreline 1,100 miles long at its normal level
of 85 feet above sea level.
As your ship glides through these placid waters you
will see many islands. These were once high hills.
The largest of these is Barro Colorado Island about 10
iTilcs IrcTi Gatun. This is now a natural wildlife pre-
serve, under the jurisdictionn of the Smithsonian Institu-
tion, v..hich attract; scientists from all over the world.
It is one of the '.'orld'i most valuable natural labora-
tories. It contains most of the plant, animal, bird, and
insect life of this area which grew or took refuge there
when the waters of Gatun Lake rose.
The town you pass on your left on the banks of
the Chagres River where it flows into Gatun Lake is
Gamboa, headquarters of the Canal's Dredging Divi-
sion. This unit has the important task of keeping the
channel and terminal ports dredged to proper depths
and keeping the Canal clear of obstructions.
There are two eels ot tv.win locks on the Pacific slope
which h will drop your ship back down to sea level.
This will be done by the same system, in reverse, by
which it was lifted 85 feet at Gafun Locks.
The Pacific Locks v.ere built at separate locations
because engineers doubled thal the rock formations
v,.ere strong enough io withstandnd the terrific weight of
three sets of locks in a single structure.
Pedro Miguel Locks, where your ship will be lowered
31 feet, is located at ihe southern end of Gaillord Cut.
After crossing Mviraflores Lake, you .vill be lowered
to sea level in Iwo steps at Miraflores Locks.
A tremendous amount of v.o.,ater is required to oper-
ate Ihe Panama Canal. V th each complete transit
52,000,000 gallons of water, enough to supply a
city of 500 000 for one day, is spilled out to sea.
Gatun Lake is the principal source of water-supply
for the Canal. It is augmented by a large reservoir,
Madden Lake, located on the upper Chagres River.
This was formed by the construction of Madden Dam,
a masonry structure, during the early 1930's.
There is no water supply problem during the long
rainy season on the Isthmus, which generally runs,
from May through December.
During long dry seasons the water losses outstrip
the inflow from the Gatun Lake drainage basin. To
overcome this, the level of Gatun Lake is raised to
87 feet and Madden Lake is filled to capacity at the
end of each rainy season. By the end of the dry season
the Gatun Lake level drops to about 82 feet.
While all of the chambers in the Canal lock system
have the same usable dimensions, the lower chambers
at Miraflores Locks are much deeper than the others
and the gates there are the highest of any. They are
82 feet high and each leaf weighs 730 tons. Most
of the other gates are 47 feet high and leaves weigh
These differences are required by tidal variations of
as much as 22 feet in the Pacific. Tides on the Atlantic
side vary only about two feet.
The part of your trip from Miraflores Locks until your
ship reaches the Pacific will be at sea level.
Opposite Miraflores to your left is the large Army
post of Fort Clayton. On your way to Balboa Harbor
you will pass, also on your left, the Army post of
Corozal and the civilian towns of Los Rios and Diablo
Heights. On the opposite side of the Canal, partly
hidden from your view, are Cocoli and Rodman, Navy
communities, and the Army post of Fort Kobbe.
You enter Gaillard Cut, named for Ihe engineer in
charge of its excavation, after passing Gamboa. It is
through this eight-mile section that you will have the
impression of riding through a "big ditch"-the name
affectionately given the Canal during its construction.
One of the most monumental tasks of the Canal
construction was digging through the Continenltal Di-
vide. Look out over the surrounding mountains and
you can imagine the magnitude of that job.
The lo.vest saddle in the mountain range through
which the Cut passes was originally 312 feel above
sea level. A l this point, beiveen Contractors and
Gold Hills, (shown on your map) it "'as necessary to
dig do..'n 270 feel to reach the bottom of the Canal
The bottom width of the channel in the Cut is 300
feet for most of the way and 500 feet the remainder.
The section was a veritable beehive during the con-
struction period with the constant movement of dirt-
trains, drilling, blasting, and bobbing steam shovels, all
contributing to the ordered confusion. On one day
in 1911, at the height of the work, 333 loaded dirt
trains, each hauling about 400 tons of rock, were
moved out of the Cut.
It wqs in this section that the disastrous slides oc-
curred during construction and just after the Canal was
opened. When they occurred a heartbreaking amount
of new material had to be dug out, while shovels and
trains were buried or tossed aside like toys and rail-
road tracks were twisted like rubber bands.
The most prominent features of the Pacific landscape
are Ancon arid Sosa Hills which overlook Balboa Har-
bor and the Pacific entrance. On the slopes and
around the fool of Ancon Hill, the taller of ihe Itwvo,
are several large towns which are actually contiguous
communities. They include the civilian towns of Ancon,
Balboa, and Balboa Heights, the military reservations
of Quarry Heights and Fort Amador, the 15th Natal
District headquarters, arid Aibrook Air Force Base
Here are located nol only the headquarters of the
Panama Canal Company and Canal Zone Government,
but also those of the Joint Caribbean Command, and
its components, the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Pan-
ama City, capital of the Republic of Panama, is on the
opposite side of Ancon Hill.
The large, Ihree-story masonry building with red tile
roof you see on the slope of Ancon Hill is the Canal's
Administration Building. Here the Governor of the
Canal Zone has his office as do most of the principal
members of his staff. Headquarters of all port opera-
lions and for the transit of ships on the Pacific half of
their trips through the Canal are in the Port Captain's
Building, the three-story masonry structure at the head
of the long covered pier in Balboa.
The first deep-water pier at Balboa was built by
the Panama Railroad Company in 1901. At that time
it had the only deep-water berthing facilities in the
2,000 miles voyage between Salina Cruz, Mexico,
and Callao, Peru.
Like Cristobal Harbor, the Port of Balboa and its
extensive facilities for berthing and supplying ships as
they appear today were developed as a phase of
the Canal construction.
2M. GATUN LAKE 2tM.
L I .,