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SPANAMACANA CROSSROAD OF THE WORLD
4 TE PANAMA CANAL, CROSSROADS OF THE WORLD
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. 1 -
SPECIALL 55TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE-AUGUST 15, 1914-1969
, It' A
TWO ANNIVERSARIES of profound significance, separated by the centuries but closely linked in history,
are commemorated today on the Isthmus of Panama. Both serve to remind us of the privileged position
of this land in which we work and live.
The Panama Canal enterprise is 55 years old today. More than a great engineering accomplishment, it
is a monument to the peaceful endeavors of man throughout time. Two countries, Panama and the United
States, made it possible. Men of diverse nationalities built it. Many nations of the world depend upon it
to speed their commerce between the oceans.
The City of Panama is 450 years old today. Founded less than 3 decades after the discovery of the
New World, it has ever symbolized the crossroads of the world. The Panama Canal has helped preserve
for it that historical role.
The record of both has been one of progress. The activity of the Panama Canal has grown beyond all
expectations. Year in and year out, it has been setting records in moving ships through the waterway, both
in number and in tonnage. Today it is more efficient and in better condition than when it first opened. In
1969, the City of Panama is one of the flourishing capitals in the Western Hemisphere and its future holds
the promise of still faster and larger growth.
Panamanians and U.S. citizens have contributed to the growth of one and the other.
It is fitting that THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW should devote this issue to bringing to its readers some of
the highlights of these two anniversaries. Its pages will reflect, I trust, the pride all of us feel at the accom-
plishments of the citizens of our two countries working together on a vital international utility serving the
world's commerce and living together in a great city.
WV. P. LEBER,
AUGUST 15, 1969
\V. P. LEBER, Governor-President
R. S. HARTLINE, Lieutenant-Governor
FHANK A. BA.LDWIN
Panama Canal Information Officer
Official Panama Canal Publication
Published quarterly at Balboa Heights, C.Z.
MOHGGN E. GOODWIN, Press Officer
LoLis R. GRANGER, TOMAs A. CCPAS
EUNICE RICHARD, FANNIE P. HERNANDEZ,
JOSE T. TU ON, VILLIE K. FRIAR, and
LuIs C. NOLI
Printed at the Printing Plant, La Boca, C.Z.
Review articles may be reprinted in full or part without
further clearance. Credit to the Review will be appreciated.
Distributed free of charge to all Panama Canal Employees.
Subscriptions, $1 a year: airmail $2 a year; mail and back copies (regular mail), 25 cents each.
Postal money orders made payable to the Panama Canal Company should be mailed to Box M, Balhoa Heights. C.Z.
Editorial Offices are located in the Administration Buildine. Balboa Heights. C.Z.
Canal Builders ___________________ _
Three men, Gorgas, Stevens, and Goethals, all
with diverse but magnetic personalities, made
the construction of the cwatertcay possible.
U.S. Closer To World Markets _---_ _---
Commodities made in the United States flow
through the Canal daily making their way to the
four corners of the earth.
Europe-Mainstay Of The Canal -----------
Half a world awcail, Europe relies heavily on the
Isthmus to quickly and cheaply get her nations'
goods to far atway markets.
Latin American Nations Develop __----------
Many "south of the border" nations were once
closed to important trade centers, but the Canal
makes tcorld-tcide trade possible.
Far East Builds On Trade-
Japan leads Far Eastern nations in trade which
is tightly linked with her expanding industrial
Shipping Notes ------_ ------ ___
450th Anniversary Of Panama City _ _ _ __
Founded by the Spanish, the old city grew as a
crossroads base for exploration. Later, Panama
becomes a center for worldd commerce.
The Republic Benefits ________- _
The Canal brings many benefits-tangible and
intangible-to Panama. In 1968 the country
received $149 million from the Canal Zone.
Anniversaries -- _
They Keep The Ships Moving-_ -------
Skills required to operate the wcatertay are
varied and include everything from line han-
dling to rain measuring.
Life On The Isthmus .---------------- -
Activities of nearly every variety-bird watching,
deep sea fishing, archeology-mean interests
4 INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING routes used by merchant
ships which move everything from sardines to kitchen
sinks to the four covers of the earth fan out from the
Panama Canal. Our cover for this 55th anniversary issue
shows these ocean highways and how they converge on
the narrow isthmus of Panama. On August 15, 1914,
55 years ago, the SS Ancon made the first ocean-to-ocean
12 trip through the Canal. The Ancon carried approximately
200 persons including Panama President Belisario Porras
and his cabinet and other Panama Government officials,
members of the diplomatic corps and resident consuls-
1 general. U.S. military officers and officials of the Panama
Canal. The following day, Sunday, August 16, seven
U.S.-flag merchant ship and one pleasure craft out of
16 New York moved through the Canal. Thus began the pat-
tern of routes displayed on the cover. Since the Ancon's
passage, nearly 420,000 ships from virtually every nation
in the world have made the 50-mile crossing.
19 This special issue features another important date, the
20 450th anniversary of the City of Panama. It shows how
the Canal affects various regions of the world. It includes
photographs depicting some highlights of the Canal's
24 history, an article on recreational attractions on the Isth-
mus, another on the three principal men who guided
the Canal's construction, and finally, a story on the most
important ingredient of all-the people who make the
25 Panama Canal a reality.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
Ic--r~--m- u,~~~- . r;r.,~:
Conquered Yellow Fever Opened The Way
THREE MEN, all out of different
molds, all with varied talents, but with
one thing in common-they built the
Col. William Crawford Gorgas-
sanitarian, the physician who helped
free Havana of deadly yellow fever, and
who, against uncommon odds of nature
and unbelieving superiors, made habit-
able one of the most pestilential sections
of the world-the Panama Canal Zone.
John F. Stevens-engineer, basic
architect of the Canal. He made orga-
nization out of chaos, rebuilt the Pan-
ama Railroad, provided food and water
supplies, installed sewers, erected docks
and storehouses, recruited labor, and
generally put things in order to open
the way for the final construction of
Col. George Washington Goethals-
engineer and administrative genius. He
became the chief engineer credited with
completing the Canal who, according
to a construction-day worker remarking
at the time of Goethals' death: "... was
a great engineer and a great American.
We old-time Canal men have lost a
father and a brother."
Strong personalities all, and like man%
men of destiny, they could be loved at
one moment, and hated the next. Men
of heroic stature and towering ability,
laboring with singular devotion, they
were indispensable to the accomplish-
ment that is the Panama Canal.
There were other dedicated men,
engineers, doctors, surveyors, and in the
colorful slang of the workers themselves,
"hoggers, the dinky skinners, the shovel
runners, the cranemen" and the men
who were doing the actual digging of
The idea of linking the two great
oceans by a canal across the Isthmus was
in the minds of men long before the
Pilgrims landed on the shores of New
England in December 1620. It is be-
lieved that Vasco Nuiiez de Balboa,
discoverer ol the Pacific, was the first
to conceive the idea of uniting the two
oceans by a canal. But it was Charles V
of Spain who initiated the movement
to build a canal in 1523. Though numer-
ous surveys were made and reports
written, not a shovel of earth was turned
until the French effort which began
For 6 years work progressed with
dispatch. The French planned to build
a sea-level canal at first but finally that
task seemed to be impossible and a
change of plans was made to provide
for a high-level canal with a system
But poor planning, disease, and
mismanagement forced the French to
halt operations in May 1889. A new
company was formed and by public
subscription enough money became
available to renew operations on Octo-
ber 20, 1894. For 6 years, thousands
of men moved 11 million tons of earth.
But again, killing disease and the lack
of proper equipment led to defeat for
the French. This time it was their last.
Despite the failures, the French
accomplished much. The total excava-
tion was more than 78 million cubic
yards of earth, and an extremely val-
iable collection of maps, surveys, draw-
ings, and records was left. The greatest
AUGUST 15, 1969
praise is due the French for getting the
work started. They gave reality to the
dream of the centuries by actually
making the dirt fly.
By the turn of the century the United
States had been established as a first-
rate world power. The western lands
had opened up in dramatic fashion
when 90,000 easterners dashed west-
ward for free lands and new homes.
Western ports were growing and it was
felt that the United States might need
a two-ocean navy.
With growing pains and a spirit of
adventure, political leaders and the
public raised an old question: would it
be beneficial to construct a canal and
thus cut many thousands of miles from
the coast-to-coast ocean route?
A commission was appointed and
finally recommended to President Theo-
dore Roosevelt to accept a French offer
to sell its rights and property for $40
million. Congress accepted, and on
May 4, 1904, the transfer was made.
Building a canal was not only a
matter of digging a ditch and letting
the water flow through. The decision
between a sea-level and a lock canal
had not been made. A thousand minor
questions of administrative and engi-
neering detail had to be answered;
housing facilities had to be provided;
water and sewerage systems had to be
installed; sanitation methods had to be
devised to convert a pest-ridden area
into a habitable and healthful commu-
nity; equipment and supplies had to be
imported, and an enormous labor force
had to be recruited and brought to
Foremost among the problems to be
solved was how to make the Isthmus
healthful. President Roosevelt appoint-
ed Colonel Gorgas to take charge of
Temperamentally Gorgas was mild,
amiable, and optimistic with the added
qualities of having quiet determination
and persistence. It was this combination
of seemingly opposing qualities that
carried him successfully through his
Born in Mobile, Ala., on October 3,
1854, he wanted as a bov to be a sol-
dier like his father who during the Civil
War commanded the Ordnance of the
Southern Confederacy. But the idea was
not encouraged by his parents. He later
decided to study medicine, and during
his student days at New York's Bellevue
Hospital Medical College, the spectre
of yellow fever dogged his footsteps.
When an outbreak occurred at Memphis,
(Srr 1p. f3)
READY TO QUIT-Many engineers were ready to give up when this slide occurred at
Cucaracha in December 1913. It completely blocked Culcbra Cut as this scene from
Contractors Hill shows. Goethals made only one comment: "Hell, dig it out again."
MOSQUITO CONTROL-A two-horsepower oil cart moves along a dirt road spraying
breeding areas of disease carrying insects. Such scenes were common during the early
construction days when the biggest job was to rid the Zone of yellow fever and malaria.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
MEN WENT CRAZY;
MEN TOOK TO DRINK
(Continued from p). 5)
Gorgas volunteered to attend the sick,
but authorities refused to let him go.
Upon graduating in 1879, still bent on
a military career, he entered the Army
as a first lieutenant.
While serving in Texas an epidemic
of yellow fever broke out in Browns-
ville. He was sent as a volunteer to the
fever-stricken district where, among
others, he attended Miss Marie Doughty,
a visitor from Cincinnati. She recov-
ered and they married in 18S5. Gorgas
himself contracted the disease and
after recovering had the advantage of
After serving in several posts he was
sent in 1898 to Cuba as chief sanitary
officer in Havana. He believed the re-
ports that yellow fever was carried by
mosquitoes. Carlos Finlay of Havana,
in 1S81 advanced the thesis that the
infectious agent was transmitted by a
certain mosquito. And in 1900, Maj.
Walter Reed, who headed the U.S.
Army's Yellow Fever Commission in
Cuba, came to the same conclusion after
conducting experiments using human
"Go To It"
Armed with these facts, Gorgas asked
for authority to rid Havana of the
deadly pest. "Go to it," was the answer.
In less than a year, sanitation methods
employed by Corgas freed Havana of
Gorgas was sent to Panama with a
small staff in June 1904. The death rate
of American workers was increasing as
an epidemic swept across the Isthmus.
But he met with resistance from mem-
bers of the Isthmian Canal Commission
who rejected the theory that the mos-
quito transmitted yellow fever. A new
commission was appointed, but it too
Among the new officers was John F.
Stevens, chief engineer, who supported
Gorgas to the extent that he threatened
to resign if Gorgas left. President Roose-
velt, seeing that a critical situation was
facing the construction efforts, and seek-
ing advice from trusted advisers, con-
cluded that Gorgas was right and gave
him authority to continue with his work.
The battle against yellow fever was
short and victorious. Stevens threw his
efforts into the campaign and put most
of the digging force into sanitation work.
By the end of 1905, yellow fever had
been eradicated from the Canal Zone,
and Gorgas turned his efforts to malaria.
Insecticides were poured into holes,
ponds, and swamps; drainage ditches
were mopped with oil, and even
railway trains that crossed the Isth-
mus were searched for straggling mos-
quitoes. Malaria declined to a point
where it was a minimal threat to Canal
Gorgas went on to other medical
victories and in 1914 was promoted to
Surgeon-General of the United States
Army and the following year promoted
to major general. Before he died in
1920, Gorgas headed a yellow-fever
commission in South America, organized
the Medical Corps in World War 1
and directed the yellow-fever work
under the International Health Board
of the Rockefeller Foundation. At the
urgent request of the British Govern-
ment, in 1920 Gorgas accepted appoint-
ment on a yellow fever commission in
But on May 30, 1920, Gorgas, at 66,
was struck with a cerebral hemorrhage
in London. Three days later he died.
He had been the recipient of many)
honors and had been decorated by a
number of foreign governments. Dur-
ing his last illness he was visited by
King George and knighted.
In July 1905, Stevens was appointed
chief engineer. He arrived on the Isth-
mus with President Roosevelt's words
still ringing in his ears: "Things are
in a hell of a mess down there." He
found it to be an understatement. Red
tape had bogged down the work, and
morale was at its lowest ebb.
But Stevens was an organizer, a
trouble shooter, and he immediately
realized that without supporting activ-
ities the Canal would never be dug.
Stevens was a New Englander by
birth and a westerner by choice.
Although he lacked technical training,
he decided to become an engineer. In
1874, at the age of 21, he moved to
Minneapolis and became an assistant
engineer for the city. He shifted to
railroading and moved to Texas where
he served as axman, rodman, instrument /
man, surveyor, engineer, construction
superintendent, and then to executive
He spent long periods in undeveloped
country searching for new routes for
the railroads, and he found them.
Ever alert to great undertakings in
other parts of the world, he became in-
terested in the challenging problem of
building a canal at Panama. Not expect-
ing to ever be actively connected with
the Panama Canal project, Stevens
accepted an appointment with the Phil-
ippine Commission to head its railroad
building program. As he prepared to
leave for the Pacific islands, President
Roosevelt, on the advice of railroad
executives, asked him to head the
A man of imposing stature and com-
manding personality, Stevens tramped
the entire length of the canal viewing
the various works. Walking with energy,
he radiated the confidence of a natural
leader. Often speaking to employees,
he told them that there were only three
diseases on the Isthmus: felloww fever,
malaria, and cold feet; and the greatest
of these is cold feet."
His first task was to renovate and
double-track the old Panama Railroad-
a vital link in moving supplies, men and
dirt. He then built construction camps,
roads, water supply and sewers, erected
docks and storehouses, recruited skilled
and unskilled labor, and arranged for an
adequate food supply.
NEARING COMPLETION-Men work on the west chamber of Miraflores lower locks
April 14, 1913. The scene is looking north.
Stevens and his team of engineers had
another task to accomplish before they
could be confident of success. Contro-
versy over whether the Canal should
be a sea-level waterway or a lock-type
canal had not been settled. In fact, it
became the hottest issue builders of the
Canal ever had.
Prior to the appointment of Stevens,
President Roosevelt had designated an
International Board of Consulting En-
gineers to consider the type of canal.
Reporting to the President in January
1906, the board split 8-5 favoring a
Stevens, who strongly favored the
lock-type proposal, testified in Washing-
ton. But his appearance was not enough
to sway Congress from the majority's
recommendation. Stevens then appealed
to the President but discovered that he
had become "lukewarm" in his stand
for a lock canal.
As one who believed in vigorous
handling of superiors as well as subor-
dinates, Stevens talked to the President
"like a Dutch uncle." Roosevelt was
again convinced and stood behind him
"like a brick." In the end, with support
of the President, Secretary of War Wil-
liam Howard Taft, and the Isthmian
Canal Commission, the plans of Stevens
prevailed, and Congress, on June 29.
1906 adopted the high-level lake and
Before Stevens accepted the job as
chief engineer, he made it clear to the
President that he would remain with
the project until, in his judgment, its
success or failure was determined.
Although a long way off, success
seemed assured, and Stevens resigned
late in March 1907.
As evidence of the esteem in which
he was held. Canal employees presented
him with two bound volumes of 10,000
signatures of a petition in which the\
had requested him to reconsider his
resignation and remain, a gold watch,
diamond ring, and a silver table setting.
On the day of his departure on the
SS Panama from Colon, the largest
crowd since the United States began
construction of the Canal gathered on
the pier to bid him farewell.
After returning to the United States,
Stevens continued his climb in the rail-
road industry. President Wilson ap-
pointed him head of the U.S. Railway
Mission to Russia in 1917, and from
1919 to 1923, he was president of the
Inter-Allied Technical Board supervising
the Siberian railways.
In these positions he observed the
S. ,-" ... :, M I Mr, J' I M..
DECEMBER 1914-The Administration Building was newly opened and living quarters
were completed along El Prado in Balboa when this photo was taken.
start of the Communist Revolution. He
was among the first observers to alert
responsible leaders in the United States
to its dangers.
Returning home in 1923, he later
became president of the American So-
ciety of Civil Engineers. Stevens died in
1943 in North Carolina at the age of 90.
He had made order out of chaos, but
now that he had resigned, another spe-
cial kind of man was needed to get the
President Roosevelt decided to put
someone in the job who would stay
for as long as Roosevelt wanted. That
man was Lt. Col. George \W. Goethals
of the Army Corps of Engineers, a
strict disciplinarian with outstanding
Erect, soldierly, and unsmiling, Goe-
thals possessed, however, a keen sense
of humor. Stern of purpose, he had a
driving power that carried all before it.
Born in Brooklyn in 1858, the son of
Belgian immigrants, Goethals showed
such promise in the public schools that
his principal urged his appointment to
the U.S. Military Academy. He was
graduated second in his class, completed
a special course in engineering and
began a rapid rise. Soon he was consid-
ered the engineering brains of the gen-
eral staff, and in 1907, when President
Roosevelt asked the Secretary of War
to nominate a man to take charge of
the work at Panama, the selection was
instant. Goethals was chosen.
Known as "The Colonel," Goethals was
at his desk at Culebra until 11 o'clock
nearly every night. During the day be-
ginning at 7 a.m., he was out on the
job throughout the morning and part
of the afternoon, dashing from place to
place in the "Yellow Peril," his famil-
iar railcar, plowing through mud and
climbing over slides, rain or shine.
A crane operator once remarked:
"Few men could have stood the amount
of work he put on himself. Men broke
down; men went crazy; men took to
drink. The colonel kept as keen as
On Sunday he held court in his
office. Any man could see him personally
on that day. Women came to settle their
troubles. Hour after hour he sat there,
smoking cigarettes, advising, listening.
Just when it looked as though the
long drudgery of building the Canal was
nearly finished, a major slide occurred
at Cucaracha in 1913. Many of the engi-
neers were ready to give it all up. Colo-
nel Goethals was summoned hurriedly
to the scene.
"What are we going to do now?" he
was asked. He calmly looked over the
scene, lighted a cigarette, and answered:
"Hell, dig it out again." That was his
Construction moved rapidly under
Goethals and thanks to him the far
looking decision was made to increase
the width of the locks from 100 to
110 feet. Despite slides and other de-
lays such as when Gatun Locks began
to sink a year after he arrived, the Ca-
nal was opened nearly 5 months ahead
Heralded as America's greatest engi-
neer, Goethals became the Canal Zone's
first Governor. The following year he
was promoted to major general. Late
in 1916 he retired and founded his
own engineering firm. When the United
States entered the war Goethals re-
turned to the Army as acting quarter-
master-general. Finally, he became as-
sistant chief of staff and director of
purchase, storage, and traffic.
Back in private life, he resumed
his profession of consulting engineer
and continued it until his death in
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
* -- S...... '
COAST TO COAST-The MS "MacMillan" was specially built to haul lumber from
Canada's western timber lands to the U.S. east coast through the Panama Canal.
Master at World Trade
ON A PALM lined atoll of the South
Pacific a husky native fisherman trades
his day's catch for a colorful sport
shirt made in the textile mills of North
In a tall office building in Tokyo
a Japanese industrialist signs a con-
tract to buy coal from West Virginia
mines for the manufacture of iron and
steel products partially made with U.S.
Further around the world a Ger-
man cabinet maker selects a finely
grained piece of walnut from U.S. for-
ests that will wind up as a table in a
Ever) day in nearly every country
of the world someone-fisherman, busi-
nessman, home owner-uses the raw or
manufactured products of the United
Many of these commodities, number-
ing in the hundreds, flow through the
Panama Canal, which has served the
world's trade community virtually with-
out interruption for the past 55 years.
The benefits of the Canal to the
United States, or any other country us-
ing the waterway, are apparent through
the savings in distance, time and cost
it offers the shippers, and ultimately,
the consumers of the world.
The 50-mile-long passage between
the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans reduced
the distance between New York and San
Francisco from 13,135 to 5,263 ocean
miles-a saving of more than 7,800 miles.
The distance between New York and
Yokohama was shortened by more than
3,000 miles and New York to Melbourne
by nearly the same distance.
At the end of fiscal year 1968, the
number of vessels of ever) variety
which had transited the Canal since
it opened on August 15, 1914, had
reached more than 403,000. Nearly
321,500 of these were of the ocean-
going (300 Panama Canal net tons or
larger) commercial class.
During fiscal year 1968, 14,807 ocean-
going ships made the Canal passage.
Of this total, 13,199 were commercial
AUGUST 15, 1969
transits, 1,504 were U.S. Government
and 104 free and repair transits. The
cargo these ships carried came to 105.5
million long tons with 96.5 million tons
classified as commercial cargo.
Although there are a dozen major
classifications of commodities that make
up the bulk of Canal cargo, the list of
items passing through the Canal in the
holds of merchant ships is a long one
and some of it reads like poetry. For
Angles, shapes, and sections
Nails, tacks, and spikes
Plates, sheets, and coils
Tubes, pipes, and fittings
Wire, bars, and rods.
Before the Canal opened, tall-masted
sailing ships plied between the U.S.
east and west coasts and Europe haul-
ing lumber, grain and nonperishable
food products. It was a 13,785-mile trip
between the timber country of Portland,
Oreg., and New York-a route that took
the trading ships around the treacherous
Cape Horn at the southern tip of South
America, or through the Strait of Ma-
gellan, a slightly shorter passage just
north of the cape but even more danger-
ous because of its relative narrowness
and rocky shores.
The Canal route, however, cut some
6,500 miles off the distance, allowing
shippers to reduce labor costs and to
increase the tonnage moved by making
A vessel traveling between New York
and San Francisco at a speed of 16
knots saves nearly 3 weeks of sailing
time by using the Canal instead of
traveling around the Horn. And in ad-
dition, depending on operating costs, a
ship can save up to $50,000 on each
one-way trip, even after paying the
The Suez Canal, which opened 100
years ago on November 17, gave Europe
a closer market for raw materials. The
Panama Canal did the same thing for
American manufacturers and put them
on equal footing with their European
The Southern States of North America,
which even in the early 1900's were still
trying to dig out of the economic de-
pression that followed the Civil War,
benefited greatly by the opening of
For the first time, these States had
a direct route to the Far East for their
chief product, cotton. Up to that time,
cotton shipments went to the east by
three routes-rail to San Francisco and
then by ship across the Pacific Ocean;
by ship around the Horn; and the third,
BUSY PORT-Merchant ship
but most important, by rail to New York
to be shipped through the Suez Canal.
On August 15, 1914, gulf coast ports
found themselves 500 to 750 miles
closer to the Atlantic entrance of the
Canal than they were to New York. Thus
the south gained an advantage over east
coast ports in the shipment of products
to the Orient, and marked a steady rise
for the south in its exports of lumber
and forest products.
There is no doubt then, that gulf
ports, with their ability to bring the rail-
road car and the merchant ship side by
is unloaded at Philadelphia.
side at shipping terminals, were in a con-
siderably better position when the Canal
gave them shorter and quicker passages
to the west coast and Pacific areas.
Peoples of the western States were
able to buy more cheaply from Europe
and the east coast and increase their
trade, both domestic and foreign.
Northern west coast ports became
the natural gateways for the export
and import trade of such areas as
Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, and
For the industrial sections in the
eastern United States, the Canal opened
(See p. 10)
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
For The Future:
(Continued from p. 9)
up the vast areas of western South
America, the Pacific and the Far East.
First 3 Months
According to The Canal Record for
October 28, 1914, 113 oceangoing ships
transited the Canal during the first 3
months of operation. Forty-six were out
of east coast ports, and 25 of them
carried manufactured commodities from
the port of New York.
During this period, more than 1
million tons of cargo were transported
through the waterway. Four main
routes carried 95 percent of the traffic:
U.S. intercoastal trade; Pacific coast
of the United States and Europe; west
coast of South America, the Atlantic
seaboard and Europe, and between the
east coast of the U.S. and the Far East.
As traffic has steadily increased during
the past 55 years, these routes have re-
mained among the leading sea lanes
through the Canal.
Last year, the five primary routes in
the order of importance were: East
Coast United States and Asia; East
Coast United States and West Coast of
South America; Europe and West Coast
United States, Hawaii and Canada; Eu-
rope and West Coast South America;
and United States Intercoastal.
The main commodities hauled over
these routes, accounting for 94 per-
cent of the total oceangoing commercial
cargo in 1968 were: petroleum and
products; coal and coke; ores and met-
als; grains; nitrates, phosphates, and
potash (fertilizers); agricultural com-
modities; lumber and products; man-
ufactures of iron and steel; canned and
refrigerated foods; minerals; chemicals
and petrochemicals, and machinery and
Whatever the cargo, two thirds of it
is either heading to or coming from the
United States. This was true in 1968 and
has been the general pattern through
Not only does the Canal mean savings
to consumers because of the cheaper
transportation costs, but it operates at
no cost to the U.S. taxpayer.
To further enhance national security
was certainly part of the reasoning in
the decision to take up where the
CARGO ASSEMBLED-Steel matting, foreground, and containers, in the background, are ready for loading at an east coast port.
I11 Wii \J/ \\l Il
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CABLE SHIP-The largest cable laying and repair ship in the world, the U.S.-flag "Long Lines" ties up at Cristobal on a trip from the
Pacific to Florida. Although not a frequent visitor, she uses the Canal on trips between the two oceans.
French left off in their efforts to build
In World War I, the Canal enabled
the United States to defend itself, its
Pacific possessions and Latin America
more effectively. During World War II,
the Canal became even more crucial to
American strategy as warships were
moved from ocean to ocean. During
this period a greater amount of strategic
supplies moved through the Canal than
ever before, although commercial trade
dwindled to a trickle because of the
threat of submarine attack on merchant
ships and because trading nations were
no longer able to exchange their goods.
Again in the 1950's, many supplies
were moved through the Canal to Ko-
rea, and at the time of the Cuban
missile crisis in 1962, U.S. Marines
from California were transported to the
troubled Caribbean area.
Although modern techniques of war
have diminished the Canal's importance
for the movement of combat vessels, to-
day, approximately 10 percent of the
ships that transit the Canal are carrying
supplies for the war in Vietnam.
International commerce is not static
by any means-nor are the routes and
the goods that pass over them. Discov-
eries of new sources of raw materials,
the development of natural resources
and increased demand and production
of manufactured products all contribute
In the early years of the Canal, a
main commodity which passed through
was Chilean nitrate destined for the
east coast of the United States. Today,
this resource is insignificant as new syn-
thetic fertilizers have been developed.
Change In Direction
And although petroleum has always
been a major commodity in Canal traffic,
the flow has changed. Once it was pre-
dominantly intercoastal, from the west
coast to the east coast of the United
States. Today petroleum comes mostly
from Venezuela and is shipped west.
This predominantly east-west trade
may change again as the result of ex-
plorations at Orito, Colombia, where
productive fields have been found. In
April of this year, 80,000 tons of crude
oil were pumped from Orito to Tumaco
on the Pacific coast and loaded into
tankers. Some of the oil was sent to the
west coast of the U.S. and some through
the Canal to the U.S. east coast.
Should this continue, it would more
than double the Pacific to Atlantic sea-
board crude oil shipments which last
year amounted to 651,000 tons.
Of the 13,199 commercial oceangoing
ships that transited the Canal in fiscal
\ear 1968, a total of 1,647 were U.S.
flag vessels. Liberia followed closely
with 1,543. Third was Norway with
1,498 and close behind was the United
Kingdom with 1,453.
That \ear the Canal handled 96.5
million long tons of commercial ocean
traffic. The U.S. portion of this-imports,
exports, and intercoastal traffic-totaled
62.5 million tons, or nearly two-thirds
(See p. 30)
LUMBER-A major Canal commodity
heads for consumer.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
With cargo booms raised skyward, an oceangoing merchant ship which just
arrived from Europe is unloaded at a U.S. east coast port.
HALF A WORLD away lies Europe-
a mainstay of the Panama Canal.
Among the geographical areas for
which the Canal is an artery of inter-
national trade, Europe has ranked high
through the years in terms of transits,
tolls, and cargo tonnage. Figures of
European traffic through the waterway
are impressive and reflect the sizeable
portion of the Continent's overseas trade
that flows through the Isthmian water-
way as well as its significant position as
a Panama Canal customer.
One-half of the commercial transits,
one-half of the tolls and one-fifth of
the total cargo in fiscal year 1968 were
generated by European trade. Trans-
lated into figures, these portions meant
nearly 7,000 transits, more than $43.5
million in tolls, and 20.8 million long
tons of cargo.
The ratio of European traffic to the
overall Canal activity has been consist-
ent over the years. Three decades ago,
for example, the 3,215 commercial
transits by European-flag vessels repre-
sented 58 percent of the annual total;
the $12.9 millions in tolls paid by Eu-
ropean ship operators accounted for 56
percent of the total collections, and the
8.7 million tons of cargo moving to and
from Europe were 31 percent of the
Little wonder, then, that the major
European routes through the Panama
Canal have as consistently ranked among
the top nine sea lanes in traffic through
the Isthmus. They link the Old World
with the west coast of the Western
Hemisphere and with Oceania and Asia.
The maritime nations, as is to bc
expected, account for the bulk of Euro-
pean traffic. However, every major Eu-
ropean country is included in the current
listing of vessel nationalities at the Pan-
ama Canal. In the previous fiscal year
they numbered 22, ranging from just 2
transits by Rumanian vessels to a whop-
ping 1,498 by Norwegian ships. Inciden-
tally, Norway, the United Kingdom and
West Germany ranked in that order
after the United States and Liberia in
the compilation of transits for the 12-
month period. Thirty years ago, 16 Eu-
ropean countries were using the Pan-
ama Canal, the range then being from
one transit by Finland to 1,281 by the
The routes of European exports and
imports are well defined at the Panama
Canal: exports go mainly to the Far
East and to the Pacific coast of the
AUGUST 15, 1969
...EZ . .
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The Norwegian ore carrier "Sigvik" is taken through Gaillard Cut by the oceangoing tug "Taboga" during Canal widening work. The
"Sigvik" is heading toward the maritime nations of Europe. Since the photograph was taken the dredging work has been completed.
Western Hemisphere; the bulk of im-
ports originates in North and South
America. In fiscal year 1968, some 7
million tons of European exports moved
through the Canal, one-half destined to
the Far East, the rest split among South
and North America and Oceania. Im-
ports were double the exports (reflecting
the exhaustion of raw materials in the
Continent) and came principally from
South America, Canada, the United
States, and New Zealand.
To the Far East and the Americas,
Europe sent machinery and equipment,
iron and steel manufactures, fertilizers,
pig iron and coking coal-7 million tons
in fiscal year 1968. From the Americas
and Australia, it imported lumber and
lumber products, grains, canned and
refrigerated goods, fishmeal, ores and
metals-I4 million tons. Thus the bulk
of European transits are to and from
the west coast of South America,
Canada, the Far East and Oceania.
In the past 2 years, Panama Canal
traffic figures have reflected a significant
service to European trade.
The closing of the Suez Canal in
mid-1967 as a result of the 6-day war
between Israel and Egypt disrupted
trade lanes that had relied on the
Middle East waterway. Europe was
among the areas affected. The re-rout-
ing through the Panama Canal of many
European ships formerly using the Suez
Canal accounted for an increase esti-
mated at 4.5 million tons of cargo
through the Isthmian waterway in the
the first 12-month period following the
closing of Suez. All but half a million
tons of this increase was attributable to
Europe, which exported via the Panama
Canal 3.5 million tons of goods that
normally would have moved through
Suez, destined mainly to Australia and
the Far East. Thus, pig iron exported
to Japan by European Communist Bloc
countries now is going through the Pan-
ama Canal instead of Suez. The same
is true of Polish coking coal.
With the Suez Canal still closed,
the Panama Canal continues to perform
this valuable service to the European
All in all, the Panama Canal has borne
out the predictions made 55 year ago
with respect to its use by European
countries. The February 1914 issue of
the National Geographic Magazine, in
an article entitled "The Probable Effect
of the Panama Canal on the Commer-
cial Geography of The World," said
". .. the European countries will use
the Canal in most of their traffic with
western America and in exceptional
instances with northern Asia, Australia,
and New Zealand." There is no ques-
tion that Europe has relied through the
years on the Panama Canal for its com-
merce with western America; now an
"exceptional instance"-the closing of
Suez-has increased the value of the
Isthmian waterway to Europe as a fun-
nel for its trade with distant lands.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
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14 AUGUST 15, 1969
GREEN GOLD. Black gold. Ores.
Copper and silver. Coffee and sugar.
For South American countries all
these mean dollars and marks and
pounds and francs with which to buy
the iron and steel manufactures that
are a major part of their import needs
Most of this trade, however, would
not have been economically possible
were it not for the Panama Canal. De-
veloping Latin American nations have
an almost incalculable commercial in-
terest in the Canal. This is especially
true of the west coast countries-Ecua-
dor, Peru and Chile-which trade ex-
tensively with Europe and the U.S.
Their reliance upon the Canal is
dramatized by the fact that the total
trade of each constitutes from one-
third to more than one-half the gross
The inter-dependence of the Americas
is convincingly demonstrated by Pan-
ama Canal trade figures. The United
States, increasingly dependent on raw
material imports to sustain its economy,
obtains substantial portions of its re-
quirements from Latin America-bauxite
and bananas, tanning extract and coffee,
industrial fiber (sisal, henequen, abaca),
petroleum and sugar, copper and iron
ore, and lead. In return, Latin Amer-
ican countries take more of the United
States industrial production.
A similar exchange takes place be-
tween South America and Europe, also
through the Panama Canal.
During fiscal year 1968, nearly 8.4
million long tons of cargo moved over
the Panama Canal trade route be-
tween the U.S. east coast and South
America; 2.8 million tons over the East
Coast South America-West Coast U.S.-
Canada route, and 7.6 million tons over
the Europe-South America route. These
figures underline the Panama Canal's
role in the economy of South America.
The trade statistics of Ecuador, Peru
and Chile offer striking examples.
Take Ecuador. Its chief export, bana-
nas (green gold), most of which went
to the United States and West Germany,
accounted for close to 979 thousand long
tons of Canal traffic in fiscal year 1968.
But bananas are only one of Ecuador's
exports. Others include refrigerated and
chemical products, coffee, coal, coke,
lumber, copper, and cotton, which bring
her total to more than 1.2 million long
tons. Add imports of about 1.1 million
long tons and the total-well over 2.3
million tons-represents 2.4 percent of
the total cargo that moved through the
waterway in that 12-month period.
Peru's reliance on the Canal for its
international trade is equally dramatic.
Peruvian ores and minerals, nitrates,
phosphates, potassium, sugar, molasses,
cotton, coffee, petroleum, and fishmeal,
flow through the Canal to Atlantic ports
in the United States and Europe. In
fiscal year 1968, the Canal handled
nearly 4.9 million long tons of Peruvian
exports and approximately 2.3 million
tons of the country's imports.
Chile also is heavily dependent on the
Canal for its commerce. The flow of
goods to and from Chile in fiscal 1968
amounted to approximately 3 million
tons in each direction. Copper and
sulphur led the list of Chilean exports.
Petroleum and machinery, coal and
coke, and wheat flour were among its
This is not all, however. Goods from
practically every South American coun-
try move regularly through the Panama
Canal en route to consumers abroad.
There is substantial trade between east
coast countries in South America and
the west coast of North America.
Thus, Venezuelan petroleum "black
gold" accounted for 7,882,381 long tons
of the cargo shipped through the Canal
in fiscal year 1968; Colombian coffee
for 210,696; Brazilian ores and metals
for 123,552 tons, to cite a few examples.
The fact that South America is still an
untapped reservoir of vital raw materials
combined with the growing industriali-
zation of this part of the world point
inevitably to increasing South American
traffic through the Panama Canal in the
ears to come.
In its 55th year of operation, the
Panama Canal's key role as a vehicle
for hemispheric progress grows larger.
It has helped develop a major part of
the economy of the South American na-
tions, nine tenths of whose total foreign
commerce is dependent upon merchant
shipping. And in fulfilling that role with
eminent efficiency, the Panama Canal
stands out today as a living, practical
symbol of hemispheric solidarity.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
F Sao and Skte Canae
The passage through the Isthmus
is as important to the booming Far East
as raw materials and markets
FOLLOWING CENTURIES of feudal
seclusion, Japan began to emerge as
a major industrial power during the
same era that saw the completion of
the Panama Canal.
The use of the Canal by Far Eastern
shippers, however, began slowly. But
as Japan's industrial development grew,
the passage through the Isthmus became
as important to Imperial Japan as the
raw materials it imported.
Today, 61 percent of all cargo pas-
sing southbound through the Canal is
en route to the Far East. Of this total
almost 32.2 million long tons, or 86 per-
cent, is destined for Japan. She ranks
sixth among the 48 nations that used
the Canal during fiscal year 1968
with 1,036 oceangoing merchant ships
making the transit.
For a period of 10 years before De-
cember 7, 1941, when Japanese planes
attacked Pearl Harbor, transits of Jap-
anese registered ships had averaged
nearly 300 a year. Most of those home-
ward bound were loaded with scrap
and raw materials, cargoes that have re-
mained important Japanese imports.
More recently, coal has been added to
the major imports of Japan.
In the years when the Canal was
reaching completion, economists pre-
dicted accurately that the great Austral-
asian and Asiatic markets, then scarcely
touched, would receive the greatest im-
pact. The possibilities of the Asiatic
market, which the Canal brings so
much closer to the United States, were
reckoned as almost incalculable.
AUGUST 15, 1969
With the possible exception of the
countries on the west coast of South
America, Japan probably has benefited
more than any other foreign country
from the Panama Canal.
In 1936, cargo destined for Japan
alone totaled nearly 1.8 million long
tons. In 1968, only 32 years later, cargo
reached almost 32.2 million long tons.
Japan's role in the industrial develop-
ment of the Far East is a dominant one
and it can be said at present that the
island nation has definitely broken out
of its economic shell. It is building up
through eastern Asia into the Middle
East and Africa, and is developing its
industrial investments in the Americas.
Japan's industrial sway over the Far
East as well as its increasing depend-
ence on the Panama Canal is illustrated
Opposite page, at left: The "Japan Pine,"
assisted by the tug, "Gulf Raider," enters
Miraflores Locks. The ship, 734.9 feet long
with a beam of 104.3, is owned by Japan
Line Ltd., which operates a number of
similar bulk carriers now using the Canal.
Opposite page, at right: American exports
are loaded in New Orleans for shipment
through the Canal to the Far East.
Above, left and center: Japan's booming
ship builders construct a large percentage
of the ships using the waterway. The "Me-
lodic" and the "Arctic" are typical of reg-
ular customers bringing coal south. The
"Melodic" set a tonnage record in 1968
and the current record is held by the
"Arctic" with 60,309 long tons of coal ship-
ped from Norfolk to Japan in January.
Above right: Oklahoma coal is loaded in
New Orleans for shipment to Japan.
At right: The Japanese Floating Fair ship,
"Sakura Maru," visited Panama in April.
by the vast quantities of raw materials
going through the Canal to feed the
steel mills and manufacturing plants of
Japan. Of particular importance is the
coal sent from the United States east
coast to keep the Japanese industrial
A report made in 1967 by Ely M.
Brandes, senior economist at Stanford
Research Institute, said 95 percent of
the coal shipped through the Canal is
U.S. coal destined for Japan. Involved
are coke and coal required for use in
steel production. Projections of future
coal shipments show some growth in
exports of coal to Japan as well as to
South America and to the west coast
of the United States. (See 1. IS)
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
(Continued from p. 17)
U.S. coal used in Japan occupies a
unique position, he said. Delivery cost
is considerably higher than the cost
of the nearest competitive coal which
comes from Australia but which does
not match the quality of U.S. coal.
Another raw material gaining impor-
tance among the products going through
the Canal to the Far East, is alumina
from British Guiana, the West Indies,
the east coast and gulf ports of the
United States. Of the more than 1.3
million long tons of alumina shipped
southbound through the Canal last
year, nearly 73 thousand long tons went
Influence On Canal
Although the Canal has meant much
to Japan and other Far Eastern coun-
tries since it was opened to traffic 55
years ago, the Far East also has had
influence on the Canal.
Japan, with its booming postwar ship
*1 ^*^** -
building business, is constructing a large
percentage of the ships that use the Pan-
ama Canal and sail under the Japanese
flag and the flags of other nations.
Some of these regular customers are
those bringing bulk coal southbound
and which sometimes return with iron
ore from Peru for Baltimore or Europe.
Many of them, such as the Onomichi
Maru, the Melodic, and the Arctic, have
set Canal cargo records. Others, like the
Jinko Maru, carry rolled steel made in
Japan to the U.S. east coast and return
from New York with scrap iron.
Many of the ships being built in
Japan are too big for Canal transit, but
a great majority have been designed
with a view of using the Canal either
on a regular basis or only occasionally
such as the world's first LASH (lighter
aboard ship), a 43,000-ton, 860-foot
long cargo liner launched in May and
due to go through the Canal in October.
Christened the Acadia Forest, she will
operate under a long term charter from
CARGO OF COAL-The "Vestfold," a Norwegian-flag bulk carrier, squeezes through
Miraflores on its way from Norfolk to Japan. The 823-foot ship has a beam of 106 feet.
Norwegian owners between the U.S.
gulf ports and north Europe carrying
paper outbound and general cargo on
Many of the ships put into trade by
other Far Eastern countries following
World War II and the Korean war were
built in Japan. South Korea, for in-
stance, has increased its national ship-
ping through the addition of several
new vessels built in Japan. The Korean
Pioneer was the first to make regular
trips through the Canal. South Korean
vessels made 40 transits in fiscal 1968.
Ships flying the Philippine flag made
94 transits during the past fiscal year.
Many of these engaged in trade with
Europe and the east coast of the United
States, were built in Japan. Other Asian
countries using the Canal regularly are
the Republic of China, Thailand, and
Japan's know-how in steel and ma-
chine manufacturing won the contract
for the Mitsubishi Shoji Kaisha Inc. for
the construction of the new Panama
Canal towing locomotives and locks
cranes which were delivered to the Ca-
nal Zone in 1961 to replace the ones
that had been in operation since 1914.
Last vear, Mitsui and Co. Ltd. of
Tokyo, was awarded the contract for
the installation of a power regulating
transformer at Miraflores Substation
which will be the largest piece of ma-
chinery of its kind ever to be assembled
on the Isthmus by the Panama Canal
organization. It was manufactured by
the Toshiba Electric Company and wil
be used to regulate the flow of power
of the Pacific and Atlantic intercon-
nection with the Panama Power and
Recently, a contract for the instal-
lation of new central office telephone
switching equipment in Balboa was
awarded by the Panama Canal to
C. Itoh and Co., Ltd. of Tokyo. It is
one of the first steps in the proposed
long range plans to modernize the
Canal Zone, Panama and the U.S.
18 AUGUST 15, 1969
The Tat 6aA~
The Panama Canal has been watching
with interest the tonnage measurement
conference in London, sponsored by the
Intergovernmental Maritime Consulta-
tive Organization, a specialized agency
of the United Nations. Representatives
of the world's major shipping nations
agreed in June to unify ship meas-
urement rules by revising the two-tier
system of gross and net tonnage. They
ruled that gross tonnage should express
the volume of the ship in weight, and
net tonnage the displacement of the
ship. At present, gross tonnage repre-
sents the volume of the whole ship in
units of 100 cubic feet per ton. Net ton-
nage is the same volume minus the
space required for machinery, propel-
ling equipment, crew quarters and
The conference voted to issue a
recommendation that the new net ton-
nage based on the displacement be used
as a yardstick for tolls and dues. The
new measurement would eventually re-
place six systems now in use; that of the
Oslo convention-used by most Euro-
pean nations-and one each used by Brit-
ain, the United States, the Soviet Union,
and the Suez and Panama Canals.
Canal Zone Governor W. P. Leber,
commenting on the proposed new sys-
tem of tonnage measurement at the con-
ference, said the Canal would try to
use any universal tonnage measurement
system agreed on and accepted, but
much would depend on the particular
system chosen by the conference.
SIX PASSENGER liners built in the
United States in the 1920's and early
1930's recently were praised by the
British shipping magazine "FAIRPLAY
INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING JOURNAL" for
their excellence of construction.
The vessels were the former Grace
Line ships Santa Paula and Santa Rosa,
and the Matson Line's lMalolo, Alari-
posa, Monterey, and Lurline. All are
now sailing under different names.
PANAMA CANAL TRAFFIC
STATISTICS FOR 12 MONTHS
OF FISCAL YEAR 1969
TRANSITS (Oceangoing Vessels)
Commercial 13,150 13,199
U.S. Government 1,376 1,504
Free- 76 104
Total 14,602 14,807
Commercial ___ 887,492,565 $83,942,429
U.S. Government 8,422,043 9,211,220
Total $_ 95,914,608 $93,153,649
U.S. Government 7,210,068
SIncludes tolls on all vessels, oceangoing and
00 Cargo figures are in long tons
968 1200 N
1969 1 N 8
(AVERAGE 1951 -1955)-- 600
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
The Santa Rosa and Santa Paula
were two of four popular Grace Line
vessels built at Kearny, N.J., in 1931-32.
They had accommodations for 225 first-
class passengers and sailed between the
west coast of South America through the
Canal to New York. During World
War 11, two of the four were lost at sea.
But the Santa Rosa and Santa Paula
survived and were put back in service
between New York and Venezuela.
Later, however, the Grace Line sold
them to the Typaldos Lines and the
names were changed to the Athenai
and Acropolis respectively. They now
operate in the Mediterranean.
The Malolo, built in Philadelphia in
1927 for the San Francisco-Honolulu
run, is now the Queen Federica and is
in service for the Chandres Lines.
The other three were built by Bethle-
hem Steel at Quincy, Mass., in 1931-32.
The Mariposa is now the Home Line's
Homeric which cruises the Caribbean
and has called several times at Cristo-
bal. The Monterey has been renamed
the Lurline which is scheduled to tran-
sit the Panama Canal in November from
San Francisco for a Caribbean cruise.
The original Lnrline was sold to the
Chandres Lines and renamed the Ellinis
which is a regular Canal customer oper-
ating between Australia and the United
First LASH Vessel
Due to transit the Canal in September
is the world's first LASH (lighter aboard
ship) vessel named the Acadia Forest.
The 43,000 gross-ton cargo liner was
built in Yokosuka, Japan, and will be
put in service in October by the Cen-
tral Gulf Steamship Corp. of New Or-
leans. The ship will carry 73 lighters
(boats used to move the cargo) on each
voyage with remaining lighters posi-
tioned in port and inland terminals to
serve the overall system. Ship and
lighters represent an investment of
about $18 million.
Contracts have been let for the con-
struction of other vessels of the LASH
design, but the Acadia Forest is the
first to go into operation, according to
the Weekly Bulletin of the Port of New
Orleans. It will go through the Panama
Canal on its maiden voyage from Japan.
Later the ship will operate between
U.S. gulf ports, the United Kingdom
and Northern Europe. It will carry Inter-
national Paper Company cargo out-
bound and return with general cargo.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEw 19
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Fulfilling Her Destiny,
Becomes Municipal Giant
UPPER PHOTO-Modem Panama City seen from Ancon Hill. Shrimp fleet is anchored in Panama Bay at low tide.
LOWER PIIOTO-Similar view in 1855. The realistic sketch by unknown artist shows Panama Railroad terminal at left center.
"- \ -. -
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FROM THE beginning, four and a half
centuries ago, the quest was for a
The immense Pacific Ocean, or South
Sea, as it was then called, had just been
discovered and man already sensed
that here, on this neck of land, lay the
passage between the oceans.
It was July 1514. A fleet of 20 ships,
flying the Spanish banner, had arrived
off Santa Maria la Antigua del Dari6n-
the first mainland settlement in the
Americas, founded only 4 years earlier.
In command of the expedition was
the dashing Colonel Don Pedro Arias
DAvila (to be known in history as Pe-
drarias), by royal appointment Gover-
nor and Captain General of Castilla del
Oro, the gold-rich land along the At-
lantic coast of Panama that Columbus
had explored during his fourth voyage
to the New World in his epic search
for the route to the Indies.
Already the conquistadores had
planned their next step-an overland
trail between the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans. Armed parties had set out south
and west from Santa Maria la Antigua to
build settlements along the proposed
trail. One of the parties had built one
such settlement on the San Bias coast
and another farther inland from the
Caribbean shore. Now it was preparing
to push toward the Pacific coast to
carry out its orders to build a third
But the Indians rose in vengeful
rebellion, laying siege to the Spaniards
at the inland settlement. Pedrarias, a
resolute man, dispatched a punitive ex-
pedition to rescue his men. The force,
under Captain Antonio Tello de Guz-
mAn, beat back the besiegers and then
set out to complete the trek southward
across the Isthmus.
At last, the Pacific coast was reached-
at a miserable fisherman's hamlet the
Indians called PanamA.
Pedrarias himself wrote to the Spanish
Court in 1516: "Your Highnesses should
know that PanamA is a fishery on the
coast of the South Sea and the fishermen
are called panama by the Indians."
By July 1519, Pedrarias was undis-
puted ruler of Castilla del Oro. At his
orders, Vasco Niifiez de Balboa, the
Discoverer of the South Sea and his
rival for power, had been beheaded,
and now the new ocean was Pedrarias'
But to carry out his plans, Pedrarias
needed a coastal city with a suitable
harbor that would serve as a crossroads
base for the lands he hoped to discover
TIE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW 21
'~& 1- 1)E L R. . . RANATNSE
: v ,
THE SPANISH MAIN-From a map published in Amsterdam about 1630, the area shows
much of the lands that today are Colombia. The Spanish Main was the area in the Atlantic
just above Terra Firma, or Panama. Old Panama was destroyed by pirates in 1671.
to the south. He undertook the explora-
tion of the Pacific coastline of the
Isthmus by sea and by land. Pedrarias
himself set out by ship and after taking
possession of the Pearl Islands anchored
off Taboga. Anxious for news of the
land force of 300 men commanded bv
his lieutenant, Gaspar de Espinosa, he
dispatched a search party to the main-
land that soon brought back the news
that the men were at the fishing hamlet
Pedrarias hurried to the mainland to
take council with his captains. Among
them were Francisco Pizarro and Diego
de Almagro, who were to conquer Peru,
and Hernando de Soto, who was to land
in Florida 20 years later.
The decision: to establish a city at the
site of the Indian hamlet of Panama.
The site for the city, measuring
3 leagues, was cleared about half a
league from the hamlet itself to take
advantage of a small harbor.
(See p. 22)
(Continued from p. 21)
On August 15, 1519, on the feast
day of Our Lady of the Ascension, the
City of Panama was founded by Pedra-
rias. The founding of Lima, Peru, was
16 years away; that of Bogota, Colom-
bia, 19; that of New Amsterdam-the
future New York-94.
The fledgling city's first settlers were
100 Spanish soldiers.
"The chosen site," one of Panama's
foremost historians, Juan B. Sosa, has
written, "was undoubtedly quite ap-
parent for the purposes that drove the
Governor of Castilla del Oro. Sur-
rounded by a green plain, it had, be-
sides a more benign climate than Santa
Maria, the advantage of its position in
the southeastern and narrowest part of
the country, which was ideal for the
projects of new conquests across the
South Sea, at the same time offering
better prospects for traffic, trade and
agriculture in the future."
On September 15, 1521, 2 years later,
the city obtained its royal charter and
a coat of arms.
Pedrarias did not live to see the city
he founded flourish. The one event that
was to set the historical seal of cross-
roads upon the City of Panama for all
times-the conquest of Peru-was ac-
complished 3 years after his death. He
died in 1531, at the age of 91, in Ma-
nagua, Nicaragua, where he had moved
4 years earlier upon being appointed
Governor of Nicaragua.
Now it was 1669. Past were the
days when the population of the City
of Panama had dwindled to 32 or 33
Spaniards-the handful that for diverse
reasons had not been drawn by the
magnet of riches in Peru. Now it was
a city of 400 houses, "which though
of wood, are of good appearance,"
as one chronicler wrote. There were
500 Spanish inhabitants-sometimes as
many as 800, depending upon traffic
through the city-and 3,000 Negro
slaves toiled within the city's environs.
What had happened in that first
half-century is told in the words of
"The discovery and boom of the
lands to the South and in Central
America; the traffic across the Isthmus
that gave occasion to the departure
ever) year of fleets, sometimes number-
ing 40 vessels; the considerable hauling
of foods; the business and trading in
the city and the other coastal settle-
ments on the Atlantic; the Cruces and
Nombre de Dios trails, busy with the
coming and going of numerous mule
trains and gangs of burden-bearing
slaves, and the Chagres plied by barges
transporting travellers, goods and valu-
ables; the working of the Veraguas
mines in which more than 2,000 labor-
ers were employed; the pearl trade in
the Royal Pearl Islands which keeps
the owners and crews of 30 brigantines
engaged in fishing, all contributed to
enable Panama, in the space of slightly
more than half a century, to attain the
reputation as one of the principal cities
of the new world, the emporium and
center of trade between the Spanish
metropolis and its possessions in the
"The layout of the city was quite
Ci;t Jirt Settler-
100 Spanisl Soldiers
AUGUST 15, 1969
adequate: straight streets, wide for the
traffic of pedestrians and riders, all
paved with round stones from the sea
shore; the houses well built, most one
story high, with balconies, wooden
grill work on the windows and a wide
door for access inside, all with rooms
well distributed and with such comforts
as were required by the climate and as
afforded by the owner's means.."
The very wealth of the city-sym-
bolized by its reputation as the "Cup
of Gold"-brought on its destruction
in 1671. In the 152 years since its
establishment, the city had survived
three major conflagrations, one disas-
trous earthquake, at least four civil re-
volts, one slave uprising and one attack
by pirates. It had risen to the status of
See of the Civil and Ecclesiastical Ad-
ministration of the Mainland Kingdom.
But nothing availed against Sir Henry
Morgan, the English buccaneer. After
storming Fort San Lorenzo, at the
mouth of the Chagres, Morgan ad-
vanced on the City of Panama. The
end, by sword and by fire, came on
Wednesday, January 28, 1671. The
city of 1,000 houses and about 10,000
inhabitants was laid waste.
Vasco Niliez de Balboa
Discovers the Pacific
A Spanish force, assembled to defend
the Crown's possessions, landed at Por-
tobelo in late 1671, under command of
Don Antonio Fernindez de C6rdoba y
Mendoza, who came invested as pres-
ident, governor, and captain general of
the mainland. Fernandez de C6rdoba
lost no time proposing to the Crown
the transfer of the city to the nearby
Ancon site, which offered better defense
facilities. His proposal received royal
approval and a charter was issued for
the new City of Panama.
On Saturday, January 21, 1673, on
the feast day of Saint Ines, Virgin and
Martyr, the transfer of the city from
its old to its new site was carried out
with full ceremony.
Center of Trade
Today, halfway through its fifth
century of existence, the City of Pan-
The City of Panama is turning into
a municipal giant, plagued with the
problems of growth-quick growth. Its
population, now nearing 400,000, lives
in 85,000 dwellings, consumes 30 mil-
lion-plus gallons of water daily, requires
1,089,000 kilowatts of electricity daily
to operate, uses nearly 55,000 tele-
phones to communicate, moves on the
wheels of 40,000 vehicles making a
total of 200,000 trips daily, and gen-
erates two-thirds of the Gross National
Product, about $600 million.
All this boils down to an annual rate
of growth of 10 percent.
The week of August 10 to 17 has
been set aside by the Panamanian
Government for the observance of the
450th anniversary of the capital city.
The highlight is to be a History Con-
the city in 1995. On the basis of orderly
tendencies of growth, the planners fore-
see a vast metropolitan area shaped like
a half-moon, with the Pacific coast
as the base and Plaza 5 de Mayo-the
city's present major commercial center
-as the hub.
One figure alone provides an idea of
the magnitude of the city's expected
growth in the next quarter century and
the problems this will pose: The esti-
mated population for the metropolitan
,area in the year 2,000 is 1,220,000
This metropolis will trace its lineage
to the tiny) settlement 3 leagues long
founded close to an Indian fishing ham-
let 450 years ago this month. Founded
in hope and destroyed in adversity, the
I1 7; ~ CILr)IC
= ~iia"S ;u
iiCj -rWlz T
c _"-'-. -.
ois bg w i- te -h-e fan City e..
"i " - .-,
.. i ;.. -.._
.L .4. A. -
..r 2 i.. -
WIDENING TRANSISTHMlIAN-A 4/-mile section is being widened in the heart of Panama City to relieve increasing traffic.
ama still is "one of the principal cities
of the New World, the emporium and
center of trade . ."
But instead of the trade between the
Spanish metropolis and its possessions
in the Pacific of 400 years ago and
the gold- and silver-laden galleons that
came from fabulous Peru to disgorge
their treasures at its shores, it is the
trade of the world and the ships of
many nations, laden with the sinews of
progress, that flow past it, entering or
leaving the Panama Canal.
It is also a crossroads in the air age-
a major gateway for travel to points
north, south, east, and west. At To-
cumen International Airport, approx-
imately 32,000 planes landed and took
off and 174,000 passengers arrived and
departed in 1968.
gress to which delegates from the
Central American countries, Mexico,
Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru,
and Spain are being invited. The con-
clave will examine the geography, his-
tory, physical structure, institutions,
economy, society, importance and fu-
ture of the city. There will be cere-
monies amid the ruins of Old Panama
and concerts, art displays, theatrical
presentations, folklore festivals, a sports
parade and literary contests.
If the city's growth in the past few
decades has been impressive, the out-
look for the future is astonishing.
"The Plan of Panama," drawn for the
Institute of Housing and Urban Dev-
elopment (IVU) of the Panamanian
Government by De Diego y FAbrega,
a firm of urban consultants, envisions
city rose again to overshadow its past.
Of the original site, again in the words
of historian Sosa, "there remained for
the coming generations, clear evidence
of its importance in the ruins of its
buildings, in the arcades of its bridges
and cisterns, in the superb tower of the
Major Church which still bears, straight
and elegant, the weight of the centuries
on its powerful structure."
At the base of that tower, a bronze
plaque, placed there by Court Santa
Maria 497, of the Catholic Daughters
of America, contains a summary of the
history of the cathedral. Its final, elo-
quent paragraph serves as the epitaph
for the old City of Panama: "These
ruins call forth admiration, for amid the
profound silence of death they recall
human glory and riches gone forever."
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
FOR MUTUAL BENEFIT
PANAMA-CENTER of the World; Heart of the Universe.
The phrase sums up this country's greatest boon-a privileged
position relatively equidistant from the great land masses of
In the process of the evolution of the Isthmus, a unique
international partnership developed at the turn of this century
between the United States and Panama in fulfillment of a
paramount mission of service to the world. For more than half a
century, citizens of both nations have worked together effec-
tively in operating the Panama Canal-a vital international
utility that plays an influential role in the progress of many
nations by speeding the flow of world commerce in all direc-
tions. Both nations have endured hardships and sacrifices as
a result of that partnership.
But there have been benefits for both countries, too.
Elsewhere in this issue are set forth some of the gains the
United States has derived from the Panama Canal. Its
partner-Panama-also has received substantial material ad-
vantages from the presence of the waterway in its territory
which played and still plays an important part in the
In 1968, the Panama Canal represented for.Panama, $149
million-in salaries and wages for Panamanians employed in
the Canal Zone; in retirement and disability payments; in
direct purchases by U.S. agencies; from private companies and
contractors operating in the Canal Zone; in personal ex-
penditures by Canal Zone residents; and in the annuity paid
by the United States.
Panamanian revenues generated by the Panama Canal have
been increasing steadily in the past years. The 1968 figure,
for example, was over $14 million higher than that for 1967.
One of the major benefits for Panama, of course, is the
employment of its citizens with the Canal organization. Nearly
12,000 of them at present draw an annual payroll of nearly
$47.4 million. All Panamanian citizen employees in the Canal
organization now share in most of the benefits of U.S. Federal
employment. For instance, since 1966 the minimum wage
law has applied to the Canal Zone, making the current mini-
mum pay for any government employee $1.30 an hour and
providing for annual increases which will be raised to $1.60
Practically every phase of Panama Canal operations is
reflected dollarwise in Panama; for instance, construction and
maintenance projects for the waterway in the 3-year period
from 1966 to 1968 resulted in an average annual expenditure
of $9.5 million in Panama for materials and services.
Residents of the Canal Zone made expenditures of $33.9
million in Panama last year.
Some installations in the Canal Zone, while designed
primarily for the operation of the Canal, also serve Panama.
The centenarian Panama Railroad, which played such a key
role in the independence of Panama in 1903, supplements
communications between the country's two principal cities,
transporting passengers, mail and cargo. The Canal organiza-
tion has 13 docks and piers which total 3.3 miles of berthing
space for operations at Cristobal and Balboa. These facilities
are utilized by Panama for its international commerce. Medical
institutions and services provided by the Panama Canal orga-
nization serve its employees and their dependents, American
and Panamanian alike.
Unquestionably one of the vital benefits for Panama from
the construction of the Panama Canal was the massive san-
itation effort begun by the United States at the outset of
the building of the waterway and carried on unceasingly
for the past seven decades. It has significantly contributed to
making Panama City and Colon among the healthiest cities
in the world.
The opening of the Panama Canal fulfilled the promise of
service to mankind which is emblazoned on the Panamanian
coat of arms-PRO MUNDI BENEF1CIO, For the Benefit
of the World.
PANORAMA OF BENEFITS-Nearly all Panamanian imports come through Canal Zone ports of Cristobal and Balboa which combined
have 3.3 miles of berthing space. Here, five ships are moored at Balboa. At upper left is the $20 million Thatcher Ferry Bridge linking
Panama City and Canal Zone with the Interior. The bridge is an important connection in the Pan-American Highway.
I.~ . -,~
r ---' - C --.** --~- -.;,
WP- .. -. --
Emmanuel A. Burton
Lead Foreman Painter
Benito E. Sykes
Charles Mh. Inniss
Time and Leave Clerk
Clyde W. Carew
Supervisorvy ounts nce
Su rV a e -er
Ivan S. Brown
Bertram 1. Walters
Supervisory Supply Clerk (Typing)
CIVIL AFFAIRS BUREAU
Alfred E. Osborne
Director-Assistant Superintendent and
Director Latin American Schools
Rosan R. Trowers
Medical Aid (Sterile Supplies)
OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER
Egen WV. Mike
Bookkeeping Machine Operator
Maenner B. Huff
Supervisory Systems Accountant
B. D. Licorish
Accounts Maintenance Clerk
Paul A. Kunkel
Leader Blacksm th (Heavy Tires)
Francis E. Westley
Toolroom Mechanic (Maintenance)
Alvah NV. Simpson
Simon P. Blackburn
James E. Pomare
Motor Launch Operator
Reginald P. Ramsey
Harold A. Goodrich
John F. Frensley, Jr.
Yard Locomotive Engine
Robert H. Rathgeher
Lead Foreman (Fuel Operations
Wilfred C. Werner
Vivian S. Deane
Maurice A. Long
School Bus Driver
Norman E. J. Demers
Transportation Operations Officer
George A. Black, Jr.
Administrative Officer (Water
Vincent E. Lowe
Sylvester L. Morgan
Leader Maintenanceman (Dock)
C. A. Leslie
SUPPLY AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
Sylvester E. Smart
Leader Garbage Collector
Reggie A. John
Sales Store Clerk
(On the basis of total Federal Service)
C. V. McPherson
Leader Linehandler (Deckhand-
Clarence G. Webley
Luther V. Gordon
Motor Launch Operator
Lead Foreman (Operations Lock Wall)
M. P. Thompson
Helper Lock Operator
Truman H. Hoenke
Supervisory General Engineer
Glenn C. Dough
Vivian E. Bonus
Helper Lock Operator
Vincent S. Belgrave
Motor Launch Operator
Manuel E. Benitez
Elton A. Jones
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
Clarence N. Brin Y.
Supervisory Distribution Facilities
Percival U. Johnson
Charles H. Blades
Service Station Operator
John K. Mall
Lovell L. Ledgister
ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION
John E. Jennison
General Foreman Pipefitter
David J. Morgan
Helper Cable Splicer
Hlerbert A. Waith
Juan B. Quintana R.
Edward R. Hayle
E rd j erd
e 0 a achinist Maintenance
alp J. Du s
L For an ipefitter
erc a] Arc r
E tricia Li man)
yin ton B
Clifton A. Nurse
Adolfo M. Ruiz
Oiler (Floating Plant)
Richard R. Potter
Supervisory Electrical Engineer
Victor E. Bailey
Richard J. Mahoney
Supervisory Construction Representative
(Building and Utilities)
Roger M. Howe
Supervisory General Engineer
Peter A. Warner
Chief Foreman (Public Works)
William E. Dyar
Morty K. Blanchard
Oiler (Floating Plant)
Leader Laborer (Cleaner)
(See p. 31)
T he "silent canal" requires
16,000 dedicated men
and women to keep
the thousands of ships
a year moving smoothly
through the Isthmian
waterway. Like many
organizations, it's mostly
operation. The persons
who don't steer the ships,
handle the lines, or
operate the locks-
such as the lighthouse
keepers 300 miles
away at Qluita Sueiio
Bank in the Atlantic,
and the woman who
is the official
rainfall observer at
the historic town
as much as any
of the others.
The Shkpr moving
- jLa*.' *-
_ -,' ,,.-". ..,- ~. -- .' ,., .
.markin- tM. se vic ,' it.periodicall
, ... . .. .- .-. A.-.-. S. 1, "-
'- ; .i , -- ...- -*: "' ,- '
.. .v -.- -' ~ ,. " .<^ aa
-a. .- -r.
-. . . ... ,
SEABIRDS, CANAL MEN-Maintenance is carried out on the lighthouse at Fraile del
Sur Island ini the Pacific about 6 miles off the Azuero Peninsula. It is typical of lighthouses
marking the Canal route, Men of Aids to Navigation Branch service it periodically.
26 AUGUST 15, 1969
"THE PANAMA CANAL is the silent
canal," Viscount Craigavon, former liai-
son officer for the P&O Lines, once
told friends in one of the swank bars
aboard the liner Oriana as it transited
The shipping officer thus summed
up his admiration for the operation of
the Canal-efficient, fluid, smooth. None
of the noise and the bustle found in
By calling the Panama Canal "the
silent canal," Viscount Craigavon paid
tribute to the Canal personnel-"the
men and woomen who move the ships"
in the words of Canal Zone Governor
W. P. Leber.
The casual observer of a ship in transit
through the Panama Canal seldom real-
izes the number of persons and the
diversity of skills required to operate
The Canal employs 16,000 people-
nearly 12,000 Panamanians and about
4,000 U.S. citizens who perform an al-
most inconceivable variety of duties.
The Personnel Bureau lists 1,800 posi-
tion titles-from gardeners to surgeons.
Panama Canal employees are covered
by hospital insurance and retirement sys-
tems. In addition to the medical instal-
lations in the Republic of Panama, there
are two general and two specialized
hospitals in the Canal Zone.
When the Canal operations began,
practically all the personnel had to come
from outside. But even from the begin-
ning, the administration placed emphasis
on the training of local labor. Combined
with the educational advances in the
Republic of Panama, this has made
possible impressive achievements in the
past decade. Non-U.S.-citizen employ-
ees, most of them Panamanians, have
increased 34 percent from 8,946 in 1959
to 11,964 today. Their hourly average
salary in 1959 was SO cents; today it
is $1.86. Their total payroll 10 years
ago was $17.5 million; today it amounts
to nearly $47.4 million a year.
The Panama Canal is conducting a
number of programs to assure that its
personnel requirements will be met in
the years ahead. These programs are
constantly being enlarged.
Of particular pride to the Canal
administration is its training program for
young men just entering the labor mar-
ket. Almost from the earliest days, the
Canal organization has provided train-
ing for apprentices in various trades-
electricians, lathemen, radio mechanics.
automobile mechanics, welders, struc-
tural iron workers, and shipfitters. Aftei
4 years of training, apprentices are cer-
tified as journeymen and qualified to
work in the Canal shops. At present,
225 high-school graduates are enrolled
in the apprentice program.
In the past few years, four other
programs have been added: one to train
journeymen helpers; another to train
office workers; a third for students of
the Universities of Panama and Santa
Maria La Antigua, under which partici-
pants gain practical experience with the
Canal in their field of studv; and a stu-
dent-aide program which employs both
university and high-school students dur-
ing the vacation months. More than 400
young people are benefiting from the
There are unusual job opportunities
with the Canal which call for unique
skills. High on the list are the pilots
who put the ships through the water-
way. Long navigational experience is
one of the requirements for pilots-in-
training; hence, local recruitment for
this position has not been possible.
Another Panama Canal position re-
quiring unusual skill is that of admeas-
urer, whose job is to determine the
capacity of transiting ships for fixing
the transit tolls. Then there are the
tugboat masters, ever ready to assist
the big ships in the waterway. Among
the latter are several Panamanians, in-
eluding Capt. Jorge A. Panav whose
service record goes back 23 years. He
was trained by the Canal organization
and advanced through various positions
to his present job.
Towing locomotive operators on the
locks also are among key personnel in
the Canal. Many ships fit into the locks
with but inches to spare; it is the towing
locomotive operators, executing the or-
ders from the pilot on the bridge, who
keep the vessels from hitting the thick
walls. There are quite a few Panaman-
ians among them. One is Santiago Ne-
mesio Kelly, a one-time press photog-
rapher, who has found a future in the
great family of Canal employees.
Boatmen and linehandlers also per-
form unusual duties in the Panama
Canal. They handle the thick towing
cables between the vessels and the loco-
motives. Their skill has been honed by
long years of work. Most of these men
are Panamanians, many of whom retire
only because they have reached the
maximum retirement age of 70.
The Marine Bureau, through its
Traffic Control office, directs the move-
ment of ships through the waterway and
the operation of the locks. It also runs
the Mount Hope industrial complex on
the Atlantic side, including shops, ship-
yards, and a large drydock. Among the
(See p. 28)
PROBLEM SOLVERS-Three members of the Engineering Division discuss a problem over
a drafting table. From left are: Joaquin Ponce, Manuel L6pez Espla, and Ricardo Castillo.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
A 700-Mile Route
From Ocean to Ocean
(Continued from p. 27)
many Panamanians who work in
Mount Hope is Carlos A. Alvarado, a
naval engineer and mechanic who grad-
uated from the University of Buenos
Aires, Argentina, with a major in
One of the Panama Canal's most
important units is the Engineering and
Construction Bureau. Many of its em-
ployees are Panamanians, some in high
positions. Rubelio Quintero heads the
electrical engineering staff and Julio E.
Cordovcz, an architect who, although
number three man in the Architectural
Branch, has served as acting chief.
One of this bureau's divisions is
closely linked with the day-to-day oper-
1'- 7 1i 'LM .
ation of the Canal. The Dredging Divi-
sion is responsible for keeping the
waterway and its harbors and bays free
of obstacles and at the required depth.
But it does more than just dredge. Its
Aids to Navigation Branch, for example,
sees to it that the beacon lights and
buoys marking the Canal route are in
operation at all times. International
shipping circles refer to the Panama
Canal as one of the best lighted
waterways in the world.
The Panama Canal is generally
described as being 50 miles long, from
deep water in the Pacific to deep water
in the Atlantic. But the Canal route
proper, extending from the Caribbean
approaches to the Pacific gateway,
- r. Or N..
actually covers some 700 miles. It starts
at Quita Suefio Bank, 300 nautical
miles north of Cristobal, and ends in
the Pacific on Jicarita Island, 225 miles
southwest of Balboa Harbor, on one
side, and at San Jose Island Light, in the
Pearl Islands 60 miles south of Balboa,
on the other.
The work of the men in the Aids to
Navigation Branch assigned to the first
three beacon lights on the Caribbean
section of the route is hazardous. The
lights are located on Quita Suefio,
Serrana, and Roncador banks. Quita
Suefio (Take Away Sleep) derives its
name from the fact that in the davs of
sailing vessels, no master dared go to
.. .1hs :... .-.
ROCKY SHORE-Four men carry a 225-pound gas tank after disembarking on an island along the Canal route where an automatic light
signal operates. The men of the Aids to Navigation Branch must be experienced seamen.
AUGUST 15, 1969
sleep until his ship was past the trecher-
of Caribbean hurricanes. The Aids to
Time and his have had t
7' .,; I,.
have to for as long as a week before
comsleep until his ship was pastto the treacherous reefs.
ous banks. Its shoals, just below the
Onsurface, lithe Pacific route tospawning groundsama
of Caribbean hurricanes. The Cape, a ship graveyard s to
beacon lighters on because of its strong ks,
serving them several times a year.g o
was buanilt there in 914. hi t is tmen have dead toby
have to for as long as a veek before
cofive empcloyees residing in the trenearbacherous reefs.
tOwn thef Pedacific routein to theart ofPacentralma
anal ma'is Cape Maa 90 micattles country.hest
ofMany PBalboan. The Cape,manians hold important
positions in the Dredging Division.
Engineer Hernan Barsao is one of its strong
on the Canal route. A large lighthouse
them. His dutiere s include e projectin g ded b
five employees residing in the nearbybuoys before they are returned to their
(Seen ofp. Pdasi,31) positioning the heartin the waterway.central
Panama's farm and cattle country.
positions in the Dredging Division.
Engineer Hernan Barsallo is one of
them. His duties include projecting 6 r
specifications for new capital equip- BUOY CHIEF-Arnold S. Hudgins, chief of the Aids to Navigation Branch, checks an
ment and modifications for existing inspection list during an overhaul of these big buoys before they are returned to their
(See p. 31) positions in the waterway.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
CANAL COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC BY NATIONALITY OF VESSELS
I Fiscal Year 1969
Cuban -_ -
Italian __- -_
Mexican --__ --
Peruvian -__-. -
South Korean __
All Others _
May- ---_____ -
fiscal year _.._
Cross tolls* (Thousands of dollars)
Before deduction of any operating expenses.
TRAFFIC MOVEMENT OVER MAIN TRADE ROUTES
The following table shows the number of transits of large, commercial vessels (300 net tons or over).
Fiscal Year, 1969
Trade routes Avg. No.
1969 1968 Transits
United States Intercoastal (including Hawaii) --------- 425 467 520
East coast United States and South America ._ 1,345 1,547 2,355
East coast United States and Central America 684 653 500
East coast United States and Far East 3,054 3,040 2,220
East coast United States/Canada and Australasia 395 398 321
Europe and West Coast of U.S./Canada, Hawaii --- 1,012 1,012 1,009
Europe and South America ----_ 1,285 1,372 1,236
Europe and Australasia 447 451 397
All other routes ----- --------- --. -----.. 4,503 4,259 2,777
Total traffic-_ .___._ 13,150 13,199 11,335
AUGUST 15, 1969
MONTHLY COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC AND TOLLS
Vessels of 300 tons net or over-(Fiscal years)
Tons of Avg. No. Avg. tons
cargo transits of cargo
275,042 46 168,966
11,363,599 1,294 8,292,285
691,186 120 849,621
735,947 81 594,921
433,024 256 408,588
331,805 3 14,596
132.205 --- --
2,538,773 307 1,548,545
169,308 42 49,491
216,472 24 107,205
1,015,648 144 771,293
4,974,583 1,122 3,391,774
4,467,674 632 6,180,888
116,047 197 153,814
632,923 65 253,130
1,881,085 190 1,126,250
8,191,057 835 4,871,840
21,253,720 951 9,348,846
177,468 25 77,779
2,014,299 621 2,793,040
118,874 52 80.14'
16,409,131 1,436 10.931,401
2,779,659 461 1,968,519
780,694 119 5.7,814
413,567 70 310,866
171,861 10 44,398
572,292 23 164,686
3,036,667 363 2.157,223
8,594,846 1,708 10,191,486
2.060,709 138 713,501
96,550,165 11,335 68,112,909
(Continued from p. 11)
of the total Canal tonnage. And this
figure does not include U.S. Govern-
ment ocean traffic which came to nearly
8.5 million tons.
The breakdown of this traffic to and
from the United States is: 21.7 million
tons of imports; 36.1 million tons of ex-
ports, and 4.7 million tons intercoastal
trade including Alaska and Hawaii.
Total U.S. waterborne imports for
fiscal year 1968 amounted to 407 mil-
lion tons; exports, 192 million tons for
a total of 599 million tons of goods
carried by oceangoing vessels to and
from the United States, not including
These statistics show that the Canal
handled 9.6 percent of all U.S. imports
Despite the growing number of ships
that cannot use the Canal because of
their size (mostly in the supertanker
class), Canal business is not expected to
decrease except for temporary periods
during economic slumps.
It is expected, however, that settle-
ments will be made in Vietnam and
the Suez Canal within the next few
years which will cause a short-term
drop in cargo and a leveling off of toll
revenue and transits until long-term
growth offsets the decline.
The Panama Canal annual report for
fiscal year 1968 said succinctly of the
Canal's future: "Over the long term all
studies show nothing but growth in most
aspects of Canal traffic."
This growth can be tied in directly
with the ever expanding world economy
and trade with the United States.
(Continued from p. 25)
Norbert H. Marquis
Ralph V. Morris
Gladstone A. Cooper
Stanley R. Price
Wilmoth A. Green
Luther S. Buchanan
James D. Maloney
11 ert n
Oscar A. Murrell
William J. Cronan
Henry C. Deraps
Jesse Y. Bunker
ClVI S REA
NN S. Ir an
Teac ler ementary, U. tools
Oscar A. Murrell
Richard P. Patton Aid
William J. Cronan
Emily E. Buthera
Supeisor (u sic-Latin American
Jesse Y. Bunker
Richard P. Patton
Emily E. Butcher
Supervisor (Music-Latin American
Coral A. Strickler
Supervisory Clinical Nurse
John R. Thomson
Hospital Administrative Officer
PRINCIPAL COMMODITIES SHIPPED THROUGH THE CANAL
(All cargo figures in long tons)
Pacific to Atlantic
Fiscal Year 1969
Ores, various -------
Boards and planks-------------
Iron and steel plates, sheets
and coils- --- -----------
Food in refrigeration
(excluding bananas)----- ---
Petroleum and products --------_
Iron and steel manufactures,
Plywood and veneers------------------
Wheat_--- --- --------------
Canned food products ------__--- --------
All others -- ----------------
Atlantic to Pacific
Fiscal Year 1969
Commodity 1969 1968 5-Yr. Avg.
Coal and coke ----------------------
Petroleum and products -------- ------
Corn ------ -------- ---
Metal, scrap-- -----------
Ores, various _---- ---- -
Wheat -------- ---------
Chemicals, unclassified ---------------
Paper and paper products ----
Fertilizers, unclassified__---------- -----
Autos, trucks and accessories--------------.
All others __---
61,360,119 1 37,418,328
CANAL TRANSITS COMMERCIAL AND U.S. GOVERNMENT
(Continued from p. 29)
equipment. Another is Ricardo A. Pasco,
an agronomist with degrees from the
Universities of Arkansas and Wisconsin.
Among those working outside the
Canal Zone proper is Mrs. Valentina O.
P6rez, a rainfall recorder in Portobelo,
the historic town 10 miles northeast of
the Atlantic entrance to the Canal.
The average annual rainfall there is
159 inches; the all-time high, 237
inches. Portobelo holds the world's rec-
ord for 5-minute rainfall: 2.47 inches
on November 29, 1911.
U.S. Government Vessels: **
Total commercial and U.S. Gov-
Fiscal Year 1969
to to Total Total
754 622 1,376 1,504 250
68 51 119 121 157
7,680 7,548 15,228 15,395 14,302
Vessels under 300 net tons or 500 displacement tons.
** Vessels on which tolls are credited. Prior to July 1, 1951, Government-operated ships
TIE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
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PANAMA IS SMALL, old, and most
of the year, green, lush, sundrenched,
rain-washed and beautiful. As a residen-
tial area or as a crossroads for those
who have come and gone since the
Spanish conquest more than four cen-
turies ago, it has meant many things
to many people. To persons who today
live and work on this narrow neck
of land that joins two massive conti-
nents and separates two mighty oceans,
Panama is home-a happy home.
In its essential aspects, Panama has
much in common with other Latin Amer-
ican nations, sharing a common cultural
heritage, traditions and language.
The pattern of home and community
living for a U.S. citizen on the Isthmus
is similar to that of an average town
or city in the United States. Each res-
ident carves out his own interests at
his own pace. He works and plays at
more or less the same vocations and
hobbies as in the U.S., with the advan-
tage of more leisure to pursue hobbies
and sports. Usually, there are enough
daylight hours after work to enjoy nine
holes of golf, play two sets of tennis, go
horseback riding, or do a little fishing.
The climate is tropical and the
relatively high but even temperature
permits year-round enjoyment of out-
door activities and water sports. The
two oceans hugging the Isthmus offer
swimming, boating, skin diving, surfing,
water skiing and have produced record
shattering gamefish. A total of 528
pleasure boats registered in the Canal
Zone reflects the large number of lei-
sure-time sailors in the community.
White sand beaches stretching for miles
invite sun worshipers, particularly such
Pacific side beaches as Rio Mar and
Santa Clara which compare with the
finest in the hemisphere.
Panama is one of the leading sport
centers in Latin America and offers such
spectator sports as horse racing every
weekend and on holidays. From Dec-
ember to February fans jam the Na-
tional Stadium to watch the Panama
Professional Baseball League in action.
Bullfighting may be seen from January
to April at the Plaza de la Macarena
in suh,,rhan Panama City. The Panama
Open brings some of the world's top pro-
fessional golfers and attracts thousands
AUGUST 15, 1969
; ~-r .~~a~aoPa;~
NATIVE DANCERS-Cuna Indians from the San Bias Islands perform a native dance for
a Canal Zone audience. The women are wearing molas and wrap-around skirts.
YOUNG ANGLER-Fishing from the rocks
on the Fort Amador causeway, this young
angler may bring in a delicious corbina, red
snapper or a kingfish mackerel.
CAYUCO RACE-Explorer Scouts paddle their cayucos through the Canal nearing the
end of an annual ocean-to-ocean race sponsored by the Canal Zone Boy Scouts.
to the Panama Golf Club. Basketball
games are popular, and less known by
U.S. citizens is cockfighting, a spectator
sport that features wagering.
For the hunter, the primitive jungles
offer a chance to stalk jaguar, ocelot,
puma, deer, wildcat, and wild pig. Bird
hunting enthusiasts may search out wild
turkey, duck, quail, and wild dove. The
entire country is a bird watcher's para-
dise, but the big exotic creatures are
found in the deep forest.
Church, civic, fraternal and social
activities form an important part of the
daily life. For the men there are Ma-
sonic organizations, Elks, Knights of Co-
lumbus, veterans' organizations, Lions
and Rotary, Canal Zone Pacific Power
Squadron, and baseball leagues. There
are judo clubs, bowling and softball
leagues, gun clubs, camera clubs, thea-
ter guilds and many other social and
sport groups to occupy all interested
members of the community during the
evening hours and on weekends.
The Balboa Women's Club and the
Cristobal Women's Club, the Inter-
(See p. 34)
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
(Continued from p. 33)
American Women's Club, Order of the
Eastern Star, veterans' organization aux-
iliaries, Pen Women, church groups,
and other social and cultural organiz-
ations offer a wide range of doings for
Appealing to the hobbyists are several
organizations to satisfy the spare time
pursuits of most enthusiasts. The Canal
Zone Gem and Mineral Society, Isth-
mian Numismatic Club, Panama Shell
Club and bottle collectors hold periodic
exhibits which attract community in-
terest. There are also opportunities to
study art, music, history, archeology,
and other subjects. Persons interested
in pre-Columbian and colonial history
of Panama and artifacts may join the
Archeological Society of Panama or the
Friends of the National Museum of
Panama. A Canal Zone symphonette
and chamber music group offer the
musically inclined a chance to fulfill
Good roads permit residents to travel
to most parts of Panama and on week-
ends and holidays many persons head
for the Interior, famous for its rich,
green mountains, crystal clear waterfalls
and inviting beaches. A number of U.S.
citizens own summer homes in a pictur-
esque valley called El Valle de Ant6n,
home of "golden" frogs and square trees,
which provides a cool respite from the
heat of the city.
On a long weekend, one may venture
further north to Panama's province of
contrasts, Chiriqui, where a short drive
through varied landscapes takes us from
the tropical climate of David, the princi-
pal city, to the lovely and cool mountain
village of Boquete or to the breathtaking
hamlets of Cerro Punta and Volcan.
Here there are excellent fruits and veg-
etables, trout fishing, beautiful flowers
and magnificent mountain scenery.
TABOGA-Tamarind trees provide cooling shade for strollers on beautiful Taboga Island,
one of the favorite resorts near the Canal Zone for swimming and boating.
About 1 hour by car in the opposite
direction from Panama City is Cerro
Azul. Here a man-made lake at 2,500
feet above sea level offers boating,
swimming, fishing, and other recreation.
A sweeping view of the rolling green
mountains and of the lake is well worth
the 25-mile drive.
For a very special weekend there is
Taboga, the "Isle of Flowers," a trop-
ical resort about 12 nautical miles from
the city. Here there are no honking
autos nor exhaust fumes to pollute the
clean sea breezes that mingle freely with
the bouquet of sweet jasmine, oleander,
and a myriad of wild flowers. A modern
hotel, white sand beaches, and pictur-
esque houses skirting the shore make
Taboga one of the favorite resorts.
Bocas del Toro and the San Bias
Islands beckon from the Atlantic side
of the Isthmus. At Bocas, the climate
and beaches are unsurpassed and the
fishing is superb.
On the San Blas Islands, accessible
by air or boat, life goes on much as it
(did when Columbus discovered Amer-
ica. The Cuna Indians live in settlements
scattered through 365 islands and main-
tain their tribal customs and ceremonies.
This is where the mola, a decorated
cotton panel, embroidered, and perfor-
ated to show underlying colors, is worn
by San Bias women. Two molas make
a blouse with the addition of shoulder
pieces and short sleeves. Many Canal
Zone residents own at least one mola, not
for wearing, but framed and displayed
on a wall.
Rare is the American in Panama who
does not partake of the merriment of
Carnival which starts 4 days before Lent
and closes at dawn on Ash Wednesday.
Many persons also attend and partici-
pate in the many rural fairs held on the
Isthmus during the dry season-usually
from mid-December to mid-April.
Night life in Panama is as gay as one
wishes to make it. He may dine under
the stars in one of the many tropical
restaurants, luxury hotels in the city or
at an attractive motel-type inn located
near the airport. Excellent food, both
continental and native dishes are served.
Panamanian dishes and seafood to match
those of any country are served at open-
air restaurants on the shores of Panama
Bay. Home barbecues are popular on
the Isthmus and beach parties are held
frequently during dry season.
For picnics, in the Canal Zone there
is Summit Gardens, which has been
called one of the most remarkable trop-
ical gardens in the world. Here the
visitor can enjoy nature in its fullest
tropical splendor walking through the
300 acres of native and imported tro-
pical plants. The zoo at the gardens
also is an attraction for both children
The pattern of children's lives differs
little from that of those in an average
town in the United States. They attend
schools in the Canal Zone, from kinder-
garten through junior college, which
compare favorably with the finest in the
United States. Plenty of recreational
and character building activities are
provided by Boy Scout and Girl Scout
troops on both sides of the Isthmus.
A summer recreational program spon-
sored by the Schools Division keeps
them busy during the summer months.
So does Scout camp. Several riding clubs
give young horse enthusiasts an oppor-
tunity to display their equestrian skills.
A large number of swimming pools ac-
commodate children of all ages. Teen
clubs serve as a gathering place for
youngsters after school and after ath-
letic events and provide a setting for
evening dances. Courses in SCUBA
diving, judo, swimming, weight-lifting
and ballet are available at the YMCA.
Children's activities include bowling,
roller skating, baseball, football, tennis,
amateur theater productions, .Iriver's
training, soap-box derbies, volunteer
work, Boys' State and Girls' State and
working as student assistants for the
Panama Canal organization. One of the
most exciting events is the ocean-to-
ocean cavuco (native canoe) race by the
Explorer Scouts each April.
AUGUST 15, 1969
" .. ,
-' -.. -, -.
Officially opening the Panama Canal on August 15, 1914, the old SS "Ancon" nears the midway point in her historic 50-mile journey.
The ship had been used as a cement carrier during construction days, and after the Canal opened was converted as a transport for
Panama Canal employees. It took the "Ancon" 9 hours and 40 minutes to make the transit from Cristobal to the Pacific Ocean.
or 'J n
The North German Lloyd cruise ship SS "Bremen," the largest passenger ship ever to transit the Canal, goes south through Gatun Locks
February 15, 1939. At the time, the "Bremen" was the fifth largest ship in the world with an overall length of 939 feet and a beam of
102 feet. She was a tight fit, and there was some concern that the bridge, which extended more than 7 feet beyond the ship's side,
would clear control house platforms. During World War II, the "Bremen" was damaged in a bombing raid while she was moored at
her home port in Bremen, Germany. She was later scrapped. At the left, northbound locks are dry during a periodic overhaul.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW