These photos were taken by Joseph H. Krause during the
construction of the canal and I've included excerpts on the
history of the canal from the official brochure of The
Panama Canal Commission:
Among the great peaceful endeavors of mankind that have contributed
significantly to progress in the world, the construction of the Canal stands as
an awe-inspiring achievement.
The unparalleled engineering triumph was made possible by an international
work force under the leadership of American visionaries, that made the
centuries-old dream of uniting the two great oceans a reality.
In 1534, Charles I of Spain ordered the first survey of a proposed canal
route through the Isthmus of Panama. More than three centuries passed before the
first construction was started. The French labored 20 years, beginning in 1880,
but disease and financial problems defeated them. More than 22,000 brave men,
women and children lay in many cemeteries around the canal path.
Panama and the United States signed a treaty by which the United States
undertook to construct an inter-oceanic ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama.
The following year, the United States purchased from the French Canal Company
its rights and properties for $40 million and began construction. The monumental
project was completed in ten years at a cost of about $387 million. Since 1903
the United States has invested about $3 billion in the Canal enterprise,
approximately two-thirds of which has been recovered.
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