Isthmian Canal Commission (U.S.).

Canal Record (Volume 4 no.1-52) online

. (page 31 of 168)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Santa Marta U. F. C. Thursday Oct. 27

Oruba R.-M.. .Saturday Oct. 29


Prinz Joachim




Prmz Aug. Wilhelm.
Santa Matta

. .U. F. C. Thursday Nov. 3

.H.-A. .. .Saturday Nov. 5

. U. F. C. Thursday Nov. 10

, . R.-M . . . Saturday Nov. 1 2

..U. F. C.Thursday Nov. 17

. . H.-A. . . . Saturday Nov. 19

. .U. F. C.Thursday Nov. 24

Clyde R.-M.... Saturday Nov. 26

Metapan U. F. C. Thursday. . . . Dec. 1

Zacapa U. F. C. Thursday Dec. 8

Atrato R.-M . . . Saturday Dec. 10

Almirante U. F. C. Thursday Dec. 15

Santa Marta U. F. C. Thursday 22


Zacapa U. F. C. Friday Oct. 28

Magdalena R.-M Monday Oct. 31


Prinz Aug. Wilhelm . .

Santa Marta



Prinz Joachim




Prinz Aug. Wilhelm.

Santa Marta


.U. F. C. Friday Nov. 4

.H.-A .. .Tuesday Nov. 8

.U. F. C. Friday Nov. 11

..R.-M. . . Monday Nov. 14

...U. F. C. Friday Nov. 18

..H.-A. . .Tuesday Nov. 22

.U. F. C. Friday Nov. 25

..R.-M. . .Monday Nov. 28

..II. F.C. Friday Dec. 2

..H.-A. Tuesday Dec. 6

. U. F. C. Friday Dec. 9

.R.-M.. .Monday Dec. 12


Turrialba U. F. C. Saturday Oct. 22

Abangarez U. F. C. Saturday Oct. 29

Atenas U. F. C. Saturday Nov. 5

Turrialba U. F. C. Saturday Nov. 12

Abangarez U. F. C. Saturday Nov. 19

Atenas U. F. C. Saturday Nov. 26


Abangarez U. F. C. Thursday Oct. 20

Atenas U. F. C. Thursday Oct. 27

Turrialba U. F. C. Thursday Nov. 3

Abangarez U. F. C. Thuisday Nov. 10

Atenas U. F. C. Thursday Nov. 17

Turrialba U. F. C. Thursday . . . .Nov. 24

Abangarez U. F. C. Thursday Dec. 1


Oruba R.-M . . .Tuesday Nov. 8

Magdalena R.-M . . . Tuesday Nov. 22

Clyde R.-M. . .Tuesday Dec. 6

The next sailing of the Leyland Line will be as fol-
lows: Louisianian, on or about November 13, for New
Orleans, via Kingston, Ja.

Hamburg-American steamers leave for New York at
10 a. m., and for Port Limon every Tuesday or Wednes-

Royal Mail steamers leave for New York on alternate
Mondays at 5 p. m.; for Southampton on alternate
Tuesdays at 10 a. m.

United Fruit Company's ships for New Orleans leave
on Thursday at 3 p. m., and for New York on Friday
at 10 a. m.

Sailings of the French line (Cie Generate Trans-
atlantique) for Venezuelan ports, Martinique and Guad-
eloupe on the 3rd and 20th of each month.




Volume IV.

The Canal Record

Published weekly under the authority and supervision of
the Isthmian Canal Commission.

The Canal Record is issued free of charge, one copy
each, to all employes of the Commission and Panama
Railroad Company whose names are on the gold roll.
Extra copies and back numbers can be obtained from the
news stands of the Panama Railroad Company for five
cents each.

Address all Communications


Ancon, Canal Zone,

Isthmus of Panama.

No communication, either for publication or requesting
information, will receive attention unless signed with the
full name and address of the writer.


Atlantic Entrance Terminal Facilities.

A study is being made of the land and water
near the Atlantic entrance to the Canal on
which to base plans for a terminal harbor and
docks, such as have already been arranged for
at the Pacific entrance. A survey has just
been completed of the territory between
Cristobal Point on the north, Gatun Locks on
the south, the French canal on the east and
the American Canal on the West, an area
approximately four miles long and one in" ?
wide. About 100 wash drill borings ha.j
been made to determine the nature of the
bottom, and dry samples were taken from the
holes at regular intervals. A few extra
borings are being made north and west of
Gatun Locks and when these are completed
the terminal studies will be continued.

Hydraulic Fill of Colon.

The hydraulic fill of the lowlands in the
southern part of the city of Colon will be
begun this week. It forms part of the perma-
nent improvement under the $S00,000 appro-
priation for the further sanitation of the cities
of Colon and Panama, approximately $500,-
000 of which will be spent in Colon. Twenty-
two city blocks will be reclaimed and made
fit for building sites by pumping coral sand
from Manzanillo Bay upon the swampy area
now uninhabitable. Filling will be begun on
the area near Ninth street, between D and E
streets, and about 100,000 cubic yards of the
558,000 of the total fill will be deposited there.
It is estimated that the fill will require five
months in the making, due to the heavy nature
of the material to be pumped and the long
distance it must be forced from the dredge to
the city, most of it over a mile. The total
lift is not over five feet.

The filling will be done by the 20-inch suc-
tion dredge Sandpiper, formerly excavating
at Miraflores Locks, but recently reerected
at Cristobal marine shops for use in the At-
lantic Division. This dredge was towed from
the shops to its position in Manzanillo Bay
on October 29. In its reconstruction all the
ladder machinery was renewed, including a

new cutter head, cutter engine, ladder head,
and the substitution of an 8-inch for the old
6-inch shaft which turns the cutter. The
pump has been rebuilt and the engines
and boilers thoroughly overhauled. An im-
proved spud frame, by means of which the
spuds are lifted and lowered without the
mechanism being under water, has been built
on the rear end, and round spuds have been
substituted for the old square ones. The
quarters for the crew have been refinished,
and the whole upper deck is screened against

Corozal Recreation Hall.

The improvements authorized for the recre-
ation hall at Corozal include an extension
35x60 feet on the north side of the present
building. This will be divided into a recep-
tion and a billiard room, each 25 by 33 feet,
with quarters for the secretary and a toilet
room between them. The building will then
include, besides the rooms mentioned, a sitting
room and lobby, assembly hall, with stage,
kitchen, and ladies' retiring room. The im-
provements will cost about $.3,000.

Tug Miraflores Making Slow Time.

The new Pacific Division tug Miraflores,
which left the shipbuilding yards at Wilming-
ton, Del., on August 12 to voyage around
South America to Balboa under its own steam,
was reported by cable on October 24 as being
off Valparaiso, Chile. The vessel is several
days behind its schedule, as it was originally
expected to arrive at Balboa about October
23. If the same rate of speed is maintained
up the west coast of South America, the boat
will probably not reach port before November

18-Inch Thermit Weld.

The largest piece of process welding ever
done on the Isthmus was turned out this week
from Gorgona shops. It is one of the lS^'-inch
shafts of the rock breaker Vulcan, which is on
subaqueous rock excavation in the Pacific
entrance. This shaft forms a part of the ram
by the weight of which the rock is crushed.
It is made of compressed cast steel, is 56 feet
long and weighs 19 tons. Immediately after
it was broken it was placed on a car and sent
to the shops at Gorgona where a mold was
made for a Thermit weld. The weld was
made last week, 1,000 pounds of Thermit and
200 pounds of wire nails being used. After
the shaft had cooled it was annealed and
dressed, and is now ready for further service.

Pacific Division Telephone Service.

A telephone plant, maintained and oper-
ated independently of the Panama Railroad
Company's system, was installed by the
Pacific Division a few months ago for use of its
various offices and plants at Pedro Miguel,
Miraflores, Corozal, Ancon quarry and Balboa.
The exchange is situated in a wing of the yard
office at Miraflores and about 50 stations are

now served from it. Twenty-one lines have
been strung and most of them are operated
on the party-line system. The switchboard
is wired for 50 lines, but by continuing the
party-line method, it will be able to furnish
service to upward of 100 stations. The appa-
ratus is of the magneto type. Wherever
possible, the poles carrying the transmission
lines from the Miraflores power house have
been utilized in stringing the telephone wires
to stations at a distance. The plant is under
the supervision of the chief electrician of the
Pacific Division, and all repairs to apparatus
are made and line troubles cleared by the force
under him. Service is furnished only during
working hours, and but one operator is em-
ployed. A directory containing the number
of the stations, and their location, will be is-
sued shortly.

Hydraulic Excavation at Miraflores Locks.

The four 7,500-gallon pumps that furnish
water for the hydraulic work in the Pacific
Division are working satisfactorily except that
during the extreme low tides of the week end-
ing October 22, the increased depth to water
caused the pumps to labor and pound heavily.
In order to obviate this difficulty, which occurs
only during the extreme tides, two coffer
dams are being thrown across the tidal chan-
nel, one above the pumping station and the
other at some distance below, which will
form a reservoir where a sufficient quantity
of water can be impounded, so that the pumps
can be kept running at their maximum capac-
ity at all times. The lower coffer dam will be
fitted with regulating gates, which will be
opened at high tide so that the reservoir can
fill. When the tide begins to ebb the gates
will be closed.

All three of the dredging units on the con-
crete barges are in service. One has been
connected through the relay pumping station
near Cocoli Hill, which is intended to aid in
lifting the material into the dam when the
latter is nearing its permanent height of 70
feet. The connection was made at this time
in order that the relay apparatus might be
tested. No auxiliary pressure is required at
present, for the dredging unit on barge No. 2,
which is working through the relay station,
has on recent trials made the lift through the
pipe up and around the face of the hill to the
dam to a height of 75 feet unaided.

The other two barge pumps are pumping
directly into the core of the dam, both work-
ing in the lower lock site at Miraflores, where
a pit of considerable extent has been opened.
The excavation so far made indicates that
this section may have been formerly the bed
of a river, silt and debris having gradually
filled the channel until it was finally diverted.
Numerous limbs and trunks of cocoanut trees
have been encountered in the mud at a depth
of several feet below' the surface of the ground.
These are frequently drawn into and choke
the suction pipes of the barge pumps. When



Vol. IV., No. 10.



this happens a colored workman dives to the
mouth of the pipe and extracts the debris.
The washings have also exposed a large
quantity of gravel, the finer portion of which
is carried 'out through the pipes.

The pit in which the dredging pumps are
working has been unwatered, and is kept as
nearly dry as possible. The plan for deepen-
ing it consists in making sumps beneath the
barges to a depth of 10 feet or more, into which
the material dislodged and disintegrated from
the bottom of the pit can be washed by the
nozzles of the hydraulic giants. A stream of
water from Cocoli Lake finds its way into the
pit and to prevent it from accumulating one
of the pumps is kept at work nights.

Building Notes.

Seven type-15, one-family houses, formerly
located on the street in Culebra, known as
"Steam Shovel Row" have been dismantled
and rebuilt at other points. Four have been
taken to Gatun, two to Corozal, and one has
been reconstructed on a site in front of the
residence of the Chief Engineer. Four more
of these houses are to be moved shortly, two
to Pedro Miguel, one to Corozal, and one to
a new site in Culebra. In reerecting the
houses some modifications in the type are
made, which practically convert them into
type-17, one-family quarters. There has been
an increase in the number of applications for
married and bachelor quarters at Pedro
Miguel and Corozal. On October 1, there
were 10 applications on the No. 1 list and 42
on the No. 2 list for married quarters at
Pedro Miguel and Paraiso, and one applica-
tion on the No. 1 list and 30 on the No. 2 list
for married quarters at Corozal.

The schoolhouse at Corozal will be con-
verted into quarters for two families, with
three bedrooms, a living room, dining room,

dry room, bath and kitchen in each part. An
8-foot veranda surrounds the building on all

The one-story part of house No. 40, located
in the old part of Pedro Miguel, recently used
as a storehouse, is to be converted into
bachelor quarters. This is an old French
building and was used as a hotel in 1905
and 1906, before the Commission hotel on the
east side of the railroad track was built.

Plans have been prepared for fireman's
quarters to be erected on' the north toe of
Gatun Dam, not far from the cement shed.
The main part will be 18 by 20 feet in size,
with a wing 6 by 6 feet. The purpose is to
have a fireman within reach in case of fire, as
the cement shed, power house, storehouse, and
the unloading docks for sand and stone are
all in the immediate vicinity.

House No. 2 at Culebra, situated near the
penitentiary will be converted into a dispen-
sary for the prison. It will be moved a short
distance from its present site, in order that
it may be included within the stockade with-
out the necessity of making an angle which
would be inconvenient to guard. The build-
ing will be provided with a ward for eight or
more beds or cots, and a surgical room fitted
with a medicine closet and the necessary

Nombre de Dios Sand Output.

The output of sand at Nombre de Dios in
October was about 44,000 cubic yards, as
compared with 32,500 cubic yards in Septem-
ber. During the latter part of the month the
output was over 2,000 yards a day, and at this
rate the sand pile at Gatun Locks can be
built up rapidly. The 18-inch suction dredge
No. ■/, which is digging the sand, is now work-
ing on the site of the village where the deposit
is deep and free from clay, and under present
conditions it could excavate 4,000 cubic yards
a day. At present, however, the four barges
in the sand service are working at capacity
in taking away 2,000 cubic yards, but four


Concrete work in Gatun Locks is about 40 per cent completed, 865,524 Vz cubic yards out of a
total of 2,085,000 having been placed at the close of work on October 29. The record of con-
crete placed each day last week, and the total up to and including October 29, is shown in the
statement below. Work has been begun on the concrete cut-off wall, which will extend from the
east side of the upper lock into the hill on which the division office is situated, this hill forming
a part of the Dam. The floor in the middle lock is about 80 per cent completed, and the con-
struction of the wall monoliths is advancing rapidly. On Friday morning, October 28, the
cableways established a new hourly record, when 244 cubic yards of concrete and 28 cubic
yards of hard rock, a total of 272 cubic yards, were placed from 8 to 9 o'clock.

On October 29, in the afternoon between 1 and 2 o'clock, tower No. 4 of the lock cableways
placed 98 cubic yards of concrete, 48 cubic yards on cable A and 50 on cable B. The operators
in the tower were E. C. Connolly and J. Mitchell. The foreman receiving the material was
O. G. Shafer. Sixty-four cubic yards of the above amount were placed during the first 32
minutes, or at the rate of two cubic yards a minute.

Construction Plant.

Auxiliary Plant.





worked .

No. of



No. of


Cu. Yds.




Cu. Yds.



Cu. Yds.
339 i

Cu. Yds.














barges of 500 cubic yards capacity each, now
on order in the States, will be added to the
fleet early next year. With this addition to
the barge service the suction dredge can be
worked at its full capacity and the storage of
sand in large quantities at Gatun may be be-

The method of loading now in use will be
changed within a few weeks by the 'nstalla-
tion of a charging bin on a dock alongside
which the barges may tie up. At present the
suction dredge pumps directly into the barges,
and the operation disturbs the barge on which
the pipe is resting, wastes sand overboard,
and necessitates a large amount of pipe line
work. It is proposed to erect a water-tight
bin of about 200 cubic yards capacity and
with three 20-inch discharge pipes hanging
out over the water, each fitted with a valve.
The dredge will pump into this bin, and the
sand will be discharged into the barges lying
at the dock beneath the discharge pipes. In
this way the loading of the barges may be
continuous, the work of adjusting the pipe
line on each barge will be done away with, and
the waste of sand overboard will be avoided.

Contract for Cement-Carrying Ships.

A contract has been made with the Munson
Line to furnish all the ships necessary to carry
cement to the Isthmus, in addition to that
which can be carried by the steamships
Ancon and Cristobal up to March 31, 1911.
The rate allowed for this service is $1.70 a ton,
while the rate allowed to the Ancon and Cris-
tobal is $1.75 a ton. The contract was en-
tered into after competitive bids had been
received in the usual way, and the offer of the
Munson Line was found to be the best. The
steamer Nordpol, the first vessel to load
under the new arrangement, arrived at Cris-
tobal on October 31. There will be approx-
imately one sailing a month of these steamers.

*The 1-3 yard mixer, installed on the east bank of the locks, began work at 1 o'clock on the afternoon of October 27.

New Rock Crusher at Porto Bello.

The new No. 21 gyratory rock crusher for
the crushing plant at Porto Bello was put in
operation on September 6, and most of the
changes suggested by the "trying out" of the
past two months have been made, or have been
determined upon. It has a capacity of 500
cubic yards an hour, but the barge service is
not sufficient to carry away more than 3,500
yards daily, which is the amount required for
the concrete at Gatun. The average daily
performance, 12 hours a day, in October, was
3,040 cubic yards. This new crusher is
supplementary to the plant of two No. 9 and
four No. 6 crushers already installed at
Porto Bello, which has been furnishing crushed
rock for Gatun Locks and Spillway for over
a year. Its purpose is to lessen the amount
of secondary blasting or "dobeying" necessary
to break the rock as it comes from the quarry
into pieces small enough to be handled by the
No. 9 crushers of the original plant. It does
this work so well that already a saving of 50
per cent in the amount of dynamite used has
been effected. The new crusher takes rock
as it comes from the quarry, and only pieces
that cannot be handled by the steam shovels
now require secondary breaking. The open-
ings on either side of the "spider, "which spans
the top of the crusher, are 42 inches wide and
96 inches long. The new conveyor, which
takes rock from the crushers to the storage
bin, is working satisfactorily and is capable
of handling 400 cubic yards an hour.

November 2, 1910.




Work In this Section of Atlantic Division Resumed
on October 24.

Excavation was resumed in what is known
as the Mindi section of the Atlantic Division
on October 24, when the 20-inch suction
dredge No. S6 t which has been pumping into
the western section of Gatun Dam, was with-
drawn from that work and began operations
at Mindi. This piece of excavation is through
a low hill. It was begun in July, 1907, when a
steam shovel was set at work, and it continued
as a steam shovel job up to the middle of
November, 1909, when the pit was flooded
during heavy rains and work ceased. At
that time, 1,476,821 cubic yards had been
excavated and it was estimated that there
remained about 973,000 cubic yards, more than
half of which is rock.

For some time prior to the flooding of the
pit the steam shovels had been working below
sea level, and one of them began a cut on the
bottom of the Canal at 42 l / z feet below sea
level a few weeks before the suspension of
work. The pit was kept dry by a pumping
plant and, although only a narrow dike
separated the excavation from the French
canal on the north, there was little trouble
from seepage water. At the south end of the
cut along the east side the shovels were exca-
vating a quantity of mud which was sliding
on slick rock into the prism. On the east
side and about midway between the two ends
another mass of loose dirt, which it is said
was pumped from the French canal behind
a row of piling, was moving into the prism.
This loose material, which is more expensive
than rock to excavate by steam shovel, will
be pumped out by the suction dredge now at
work there. After this has been done the
dredge will be withdrawn, the dike between
the excavation pit and the French canal
restored, and the water in the pit pumped
out, in order that the steam shovels may re-
sume their work and remove the remaining

Defective Roof Gutters.

A resolution has been signed by the Gover-
nor of Panama amending decree No. 38 of
1906 relative to defective roof gutters in the
city of Panama. The decree of 1906 em-
powered the Panama Health Office to alter
the gutters to conform to sanitary conditions,
but its operation was not wholly successful.
The resolution which was officially published
on Saturday, October 29, renders it imperative
for all owners having defective gutters to call
on the Health Officer within 48 hours and
consult with him as to the best means of
placing them in repair. Ten days are given
in which to make the necessary changes. If
the property owners fail to comply with these
provisions, the Health Office is empowered to
take steps to repair the defective gutters or
to remove them if they are not indispensable.

The Health Office inspectors are engaged
in making a house to house inspection with
the object of locating all unsanitary roof
gutters and their work in this respect has been
done on all lateral streets in the city up to
Seventh street. Gutters are considered de-
fective when pools of water are found by the
inspectors to have collected in them after
rains, thereby creating favorable breeding
places for mosquitos. The roof gutters
found in good condition are permitted to re-
main, although the gutter is eliminated in all
new construction. There are no roof gutters

on the houses erected in the recently improved
districts of Guachapali, Santa Cruz and Cocoa
Grove; it is only in the old part of the city
that they exist, although even there many were
removed in the city-wide crusade against
mosquitos during the years 1905 and 1906.

Anti-Cigarette League.

Interest in the work of the Boys' Anti-
cigarette League of Gorgona is well sustained,
good membership both in the junior and senior
sections being maintained. The senior sec-
tion, under the leadership of Mrs. A. L.
Hackenberg, has been engaged in the study
of the scout movement, with the object of
organizing for field work as soon as a suitable
leader can be found. The section had a
Hallowe'en party in October, the evening
being spent in story-telling and a candy frolic.

Under the direction of Mrs. J. B. Marsh, the
junior section meets one evening in each week.
Fifteen new books have been added to the
circulating library and a number of games
have been purchased. A prize for bringing
in the largest number of members during
the past year has been awarded to Carl

Visit of the Mining Engineers.

A party of about 120 persons, members of
the American Institute of Mining Engineers