the cities of Colon and Panama, published in
The Canal Record of October 5, 1910, there
is a provision for the proper laying out of
i ^.improved sections of the cities before build-
ings may be erected thereon. In accordance
with this section of the contract, the President
of Panama has made a decree under date of
November 7, 1910, sections 1 and 2 of which,
are as follows:
Sjc. 1. It shall be unlawful for any municipal or
sanitary officer to grant a permit for the erection of a
house, or other structure, in any of the unimproved dis-
tricts, or portions, of the city of Panama, or the city of
Colon, until after such district, or portion, in which such
house, or other structure, is sought to be built, shall have
been laid out and platted in municipal order, and a sys-
tem of water works and sewerage has been duly installed
therein, and the streets properly paved; all of which
work must be installed in conformity with the terms of
the contract above mentioned.
Sec. 2. It shall be unlawful for any person to commence
the erection of any house, or other structure, in any un-
improved district, or portion, of either of said cities,
until after the public improvements required by the
preceding section of this decree shall have been duly
installed therein. Any person thus committing any
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violation shall be fined in any sum. not exceeding five
balboas ( B/5) for each day the structure, or pai t thereof,
may remain on the premises; and should the owner of
the structure refuse to remove it within a reasonable
time, the said structure may be removed by the officials
in charge of sanitation, and the cost of such remova.
shall be a lien on the material in the structure, which
may be sold by the sanitary authorities to reimbir se
them for the cost of tearing down the structure.
The words "unimproved district, or port on, of the
city, "-as used in this decree, shall be heli 1 1 mean a dis-
trict, or part, of the city, in which no houses or buildings
exist at the time of the promulgation of this decree.
Section 1 is a preamble, and sections 3 and
4 provide for the enforcement of the provi-
sions of sections 2 and 3.
Contract for Excavatirn.
The contract for excavating 112 450 cubic
yards of earth from theCana. j^rism, opposite
Gorgona, has been let to Llewellyn Swain n.
Empire at 2H cents a yard. There were 11
bidders. The work will be done for Mr.
Swain by B. B. Duncan of Las Cascadas.
The unusually low price is due to the fact that
about 10,000 yards of the material can be
cast over into the Chagres River; 5,000 can
be so dislodged with dynamite that the river
will carry it away, and the longest haul on the
balance is not over 150 leet.
Empty Cement Bags.
About 90 per cent of the bags in which
cement is shipped to the Isthmus for use in
the Pacific Division locks are saved and re-
turned to the manufacturers, who allow 8|
cents apiece for them. The cement is shipped
in a bag enclosed within another bag, both
made from material of the same grade and
weight, the allowance to each bag of cement,
therefore, representing 17 cents. As fast as
the bags of cement are emptied at the
mixers they are loaded into box cars and
carried to an old building, formerly used
as a storehouse by the Pacific Division, situ-
ated a little north of the yard office at Mira-
flores, where they are sorted and baled. From
20 to 30 men, under a white foreman, are con-
stantly employed in the sorting shed, and at
the present time, a day's work in sorting and
preparing for shipment represents from 25,000
to 35,000 sacks. The good bags are packed
in bales of 100 each, and the torn or other-
wise damaged bags, in bales of 50 each. The
damaged bags are mainly utilized by filling
them with sand for the construction of dikes.
The bags are shaken before they are placed in
the baling press, and the sweepings resulting
therefrom amount to 50, or more, barrels a
day. This cement is in good condition ; is used
in concrete operations in the locks, and the
value of it pays the wages of the force em-
ployed at the sorting shed, including the fore-
man, but does not take into account the cost of
gathering up the bags at the lock sites, and the
haulage to the shed, which amounts to a small
fraction of a cent per bag. Many of the bags
sent to the States months ago are now re-
turning filled the second time, and are still
whole, capable of being used again. A state-
ment of the number of good bags returned to
the manufacturers from the beginning of con-
crete operations at the Pedro Miguel and
Miraflores Locks, and the value thereof, is
shown in the following table:
To April 25. 1910.
No. of bags
The cost of handling, less freight charges, during the
month of October was S983.7 1 for 600.000 bags returned.
The contractor for the lock gates has begun
building an office and warehouse on the east
side of the upper locks at Gatun. In the
machine shop the work of building cranes for
the gates has been begun.
Excavation by steam shovels in the lower
locks is about 95 per cent completed, and at
the present rate, should be completed by the
end of January. This is all the excavation
that remains within the lock chamber, and
the excavation for the north approach walls
will be done by suction dredge. Work has
been begun on the lateral culverts for the
lower locks, and should be completed about
New Commissary at Miraflores.
The new commissary at Miraflores was
opened for business on November 1. It is
housed in building No. 1, an old French type
of quarters, used as an insane ward in the
early days of American canal work, and later,
as married quarters for laborers, situated near
the double-track line of the Panama railroad.
Numerous improvements and alterations were
made in converting it into a commissary,
and it is now a more valuable building than
when it was first erected. It is divided into
two sections, the rear section for use as a store
room, and the front for the display and sale
of goods. The counters are provided with
railings to prevent persons from leaning upon
them, and a new arrangement for serving the
patrons has been established. Instead of
being served inside, the customer enters, gives
his order and receives his bill. He then re-
tires to the veranda outside, hands the bill
with his coupon book to the cashier through
THE CANAL RECORD
Vol. IV., No. 15.
NOTES OF PROGRESS.
an open window, thence walks to the opposite
end of the veranda and receives his goods
through another window opening on the bun-
dle counter. This method eliminates crowd-
ing in the small space allotted to customers,
together with the consequent stuffiness, and
is an aid to expeditious serving. No cold
storage supplies are handled, as the commissary
has no ice box, but orders for this class of
goods are transmitted to the cold storage
plant, Cristobal, by the storekeeper direct.
A wagon road has recently been built from
the commissary to the new railroad station on
the relocated line.
Christmas Goods at the Commissaries.
Toys and other articles suitable for Christ-
mas giving will be placed on sale at the com-
missaries between December 10 and 15. An
order, amounting to about $3,000, was placed
for this class of goods some time ago. It in-
cludes an assortment of mechanical toys,
an extra quantity of cheap toys which
usually sell well, and a large stock of dolls
of different grades and sizes. An order for
Christmas trees has also been placed, but
in order that their freshness may be impaired
as little as possible, the shipment will not
reach the Isthmus until the week before the
25th. There was a comparatively small
amount of Christmas goods left over from
last year, less, in fact, than in any year since
the commissary department has been making
the sale of these goods a feature.
Guayacan Lumber Prices Excessive.
Proposals for furnishing 86,000 feet of
guayacan, or lignum vitse lumber in various
lengths and sizes, for use in repair work at
Gorgona shops, were opened at the office of
the Purchasing Officer at Mount Hope on
November 2. Two bids were received, one
for supplying the lumber at 12 cents, and one
at 10 cents, per foot, board measure, making
the cost at the last named quotation in the
neighborhood of S100 per thousand feet,
board measure. Both bids were rejected as
the prices were considered excessive, and oak
lumber, which can be purchased in the States
at about $35 per thousand feet, board measure,
will be used in place of the guayacan.
Tin and Pipe Shop at Gorgona.
A tin and pipe shop 35 by 88 feet will be
built at Gorgona shops. This will relieve the
boiler shop of the tin and pipe section, and
will add about 3,000 square feet of usable
space for boiler work.
Head Nurse Examination (Female).
Applications will be received up to the close
of business on December 20, for an examina-
tion to .be held shortly thereafter to fill a
vacancy in the position of head nurse (oper-
ating — female), at $480 per annum, together
with board, quarters, and laundry, in the
Frecdmen's Hospital, Washington, D. C, and
vacancies requiring similar qualifications in
that hospital. Following are the subjects,
with relative weights: (1) Anatomy and
physiology, 5; (2) Hygiene of the sick room,
20; (3) General nursing, 20; (4) Surgical
nursing, 20; (5) Obstetrical nursing, 20; (6)
Experience in nursing, 15. Applicants will be
required to show that they are graduates of
recognized schools for trained nurses, which
require a residence of at least two years in a
hospital giving thorough practical and theo-
retical training. In addition, they must have
had at least one year's post-graduate exper-
ience in an operating room, preferably in
Women only will be admitted to this exam-
ination. Applicants must be citizens of the
United States and have reached their twen-
tieth, but not their fortieth birthday, on the
date of the examination. Request should be
made for application form 1312, mentioning
the kind of examination.
John K. Baxter,
Secretary, Isthmian Civil Service Board.
Culebra, C. Z., November 30, 1910.
CONCRETE WORK IN THE LOCKS.
Concrete work in Gatun Locks is about 45 per cent completed, 932,162 cubic yards, out of
a total of 2,085,000, having been placed at the close of work on December 3.
A statement of the amount of concrete placed in the locks each day for the week ending
December 3, and of the total, follows; and a similar statement for the work in the Spillway of
Gatun Dam is published elsewhere in this issue. The construction plant works 12 hours daily,
and the auxiliary plant 9 hours.
2-cubic yard mixers.
2-cubic yard mixers.
Hours No. of Concrete
worked. ' mixers placed.
Hours No. of
*The portable }-yard mixer at work on the wing wall, extending from the east wall of the upper lock into the hill,
produced concrete as follows: November 28th. 26 yards; November 30th, 8 yards; December 1st, 15 yards; Decem-
ber 2d, 20 yards.
PEDRO MIGUEL LOCKS.
Concrete work in the locks at Pedro Miguel is about 52 per cent completed, 441,107 cubic
yards, out of a total of 837,400, having been placed at the close of work on Saturday, Decem-
ber 3. An overflow of water into the locks from the Pedro Miguel River caused a diminunition
in the output of the auxiliary plant on Saturday. The runways for the west chamber crane are
being continued over and past the end sill section, in order that the crane may proceed with the
construction of the center and west side walls to their points of termination. The record of
concrete laid during each of the six 8-hour working days of last week, follows:
2-cubic yard mixers.
2-cubic yard mixers.
17:00 ! 4
18:00 1 4
The record of concrete placed in the upper lock at Miraflores during the six 8-hour working
days of the week ending December 3, follows:
2-cubic yard mixers.
}-cubic yard mixers.
}-cubic yard mixer.
placed. ' worked.
No. of Concrete
Nov. 2.x .
Nov. 29 . . .
Dec. 2... .
December 7, 1910.
THE CANAL RECORD
SLIDES IN CULEBRA CUT.
Preliminary Report of Chief Geologist, U. S. G. S.
A preliminary memorandum relating to
side slopes in Culebra Cut, submitted to the
President, through the Chief Engineer, on
November 15, by Dr. C. W. Hayes, Chief
Geologist of the United States Geological
SECTION OF CANAL AFFECTED.
The practicable side slope depends on (1) depth of
excavation; (2) character of materials, and (3) geologi-
cal structure. Examination of the Cut indicates that
serious difficulty through failure of slopes will be ex-
perienced only in the section between Empire and Pedro
Miguel, or between stations 1720 and 1880. Small
slides occur outside of this section, as at La Pita, but
they are due to exceptional conditions and will be rela-
CHARACTER OF MATERIALS.
Within the section defined above occur four distinct
classes of materials in excavation, viz:
1. Sedimentary Rocks — This class includes: (a) vol-
canic agglomerates composed wholly of material ejected
from volcanoes in the form of angular fragments varying
in size from the finest dust to several inches in diameter;
deposited in water but very imperfectly bedded; gen-
erally bluish green in color; moderately hard when first
exposed, but crumbling rapidly in contact with the air.
(6) Fine grained clays; blue, red or black; composed
largely of fine volcanic dust, which has been transported
and deposited by water and is, therefore, well bedded;
like the agglomerate, moderately hard when first ex-
posed, but crumbling even more rapidly in contact with
(c) Lignitic coal or black carbonaceous clay; beds,
one to three feet thick, in terst ratified with the red and
blue clays of (6).
These beds — (a) . (6) , and (c) — with some unimportant
sandstones and limestones constitute the Culebra forma-
tion of tertiary age.
2. Intrusive Igneous Rocks — These are chiefly large
masses of dark colored andesitic rock, which have been
forced upward into the sedimentary beds, in some cases
in a fluid condition, but more generally after having
solidified. The intrusion was accompanied by tilting
and crushing of the previously horizontal sedimentary
beds. The andesite is generally intersected by numer-
ous joints, but does not disintegrate readily on exposure,
and where supported below will stand in vertical slopes.
Gold Hill and Contractor's Hill are examples of these
andesitic intrusive masses. All the other high hills in
the Culebra section of the Zone are apparently due to
the presence of similar rocks.
3. Lava Flows — A flow of light gray trachytic lava,
20 to 30 feet thick, occurs conformably interbedded
with the Culebra clays throughout the central portion
of the Cut. Its relations are exactly those of a sedi-
mentary bed. The trachyte does not disintegrate
readily, but by reason of its abundant joints, it does not
afford any support to the clays above.
4. Residual Clays — All the rocks in this region are
more or less deeply weathered and the original surface
is even' where covered with a residual deposit, generally
clay, dark red in its upper prtions and varying shades
of red and yellow below. This clay is derived directly
from the rocks on which it rests and is thinnest over the
intrusive andesites, because they decay less rapidly than
the sedimentary rocks. It is thickest over those por-
tions of the sedimentary rocks which have been so
fractured as to permit the easy percolation of surface
waters. It is usually separated from the underlying
unweathered rock by sharp line, indicated by an abrupt
change in color and texture.
FAILURE OF SIDE SLOPES.
The original three on two slopes have failed to stand
at numerous points. Varying conditions have given
rise to tnree classes of failures which may be designated
(1) surface flows; (2) structural breaks, and (3) surface
1. Surface Flows — Wherever the residual clay de-
scribed above rests upon an inclined rock surface and
the lateral support of the mass is removed, as is done
when a trench is excavated, the portion of the mass
lying above the unsupported side tends to flow down the
sloping surface. The material has no cohesion within
itself and very slight adhesion to the underlying rock.
It acts like a viscous fluid and may flow on slopes as low
as one on seven or eight. Having started as a purely
surface flow it may gather sufficient momentum to carry
down portions of the underlying unweathered rock,
particularly if the latter has previously been deeply
fractured. The Cucaracha and Paraiso slides are of
this type. Between Gold Hill and Paraiso. a series of
andesitic intrusions, east of the Canal, have given the
sedimentary beds a westerly dip. They form a series
of troughs pitching down toward the Canal. Moreover,
the sedimentary beds, in addition to being tilted, have
been deeply fractured and "slickensided." so that their
cohesion is greatly reduced and the movement which
started in the surface clays has extended some distance
below the base of the clays and involved the underlying
2. Structural Breaks — Every variety of rock has a
limiting strength and if loaded beyond this limit will be
crushed , or will flow. The crushing strength varies
between very wide limits and is always lowered when
one or more sides of the block are unsupported laterally.
The weakest member in the sedimentary series occur-
ring in the Culebra Cutis the lignite, or lignitic clay.
When the lateral support is removed from a lignite bed
it tends to give way under the weight of the overlying
rocks and a slide results. The same result may occur,
even if the weak bed is not cut through, but merely
unloaded by excavating down nearly to it. In this case
it flows out from under the load and bulges up in the
excavation. This type of slide has occurred at various
points between Empire and Gold Hill, and, in nearly
every case, the immediate cause appears to be the failure
of a lignite bed under the unbalanced pressure due to
This type appears to offer more serious difficulties
than the surface flows, and the obvious prevention is in
making the slopes sufficiently low so that the weakest
rock subjected to the unbalanced pressure shall not be
loaded beyond the limit of its crushing strength. It
seems reasonably certain that in the section of the Canal
threatened by slides of this type less material will have
to be removed if the slopes are lowered before the break
occurs than af tenvards.
3. Surface Disintegration — As previously stated, all
the sedimentary rocks of this region tend to disintegrate
very rapidly when exposed to the air. They first crum-
ble into small angular fragments and eventually into
the finest powder. Slopes cut in such rocks will rapidly
disintegrate and crumble until they reach an angle on
which the products of disintegration will lie and form a
protective mantle. Vegetation will, of course, greatly
assist in this protection. While the failure of the Canal
slopes from this cause will not be a serious matter, it
will involve the removal of a large amount of material
in the aggregate, and constant attention for a long time.
Under certain conditions this surface disintegration
becomes a more serious matter. For example, the con-
tact between the intrusive andesite of Contractor's Hill
and the sedimentary clays dips away from the Canal
at an angle of 55°. The crumbling of the clays below
the contact leaves the andesite mass overhanging, and
the overhang will increase as the Canal is carried to its
full depth and more clay is exposed. With a rock so
much fractured as the andesite. this condition is unsafe
and the exposed surface of the underlying clay should,
therefore, be protected from further disintegration.
1. A competent geologist should be employed on the
Isthmus until the Canal is completed.
2. The geologist should continue the record of geo-
logic facts, as revealed by the excavation, constructing
a series of accurate cross sections. The work already
done along this line by Messrs. Nichols and Raggi is
extremely valuable and their zeal and intelligence can-
not be too highly commended.
3. Additional core drill records should be obtained
under the direction of the geologist, particularly to de-
termine whether, or not. sedimentary beds of exceptional
weakness occur in such position as to cause landslides
of the structural break type.
4. The geologist should afford assistance to the engi-
neers in determining the most economical slope for each
section of the Canal, and the slope should be fixed, not
arbitrarily, but in view of the known geologic condi-
At the annual meeting of the Ancon Base-
ball Park Association held on November 26,
the following officers were elected: President,
Dr. J. C. Perry; vice-president, Dr. A. B.
Herrick; secretary and treasurer, A. McGown;
board of directors, Tom M. Cooke, Dr. \Y.
E. Deeks, S. C. Russell. Provision was made
to place the grounds in condition for the com-
ing season's games.
Fatal Accident at Dock No. 11.
Thomas Brown, check No. 28096, was killed
outright, and Charles Mcintosh, check No.
28106, received injuries from which he died
shortly after his removal to the hospital, in an
accident on Saturday afternoon, December 3.
The men were Jamaican laborers in the
employ of the Panama railroad, and were en-
gaged at the time in dumping cars of rock on
the trestle extending out into the harbor from
dock No. 11 at Cristobal Point. They had
unfastened the chains on one of the cars,
when a powerful wave struck the opposite
side of the car causing it to tilt and overturn
its contents, the mass of falling rock pinning
the men between the body of the car and its
trucks. An inquest was held on the body of
Brown on Saturday night.
Lieut. -Col. H. F. Hodges sailed on the
Parismina for New Orleans on December 1,
on his annual leave of absence.
Gatun Dam Spillway.
Concrete was placed in the Spillway of
Gatun Dam during the week ending Decem-
ber 3, as follows: