Isthmian Canal Commission (U.S.).

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

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Concrete


Large
rock.


Total.




250
216
218
296
286
304


4
16


254




216




234




296




286




304








1.570


20


1.590




107.590












109.180



Obituary.
A. R. Murphy of New York City died at
Ancon Hospital on December 2, after an ill-
ness of about si?( weeks. He was 56 years of
age, employed in the Mechanical Department
at Empire, and had been on the Isthmus four
and a half years. He is survived by a son,
Wm. R. Murphy of New Orleans, La.



November Rainfall for Three Years.












fid


•o


E










C3


a


O


Station.


1908


1909


1910


>
<

e
o




to

W










1i

3


>>










Cfi


>•


«


Pacific Section-


Ins.


Ins.


Ins.


Ins.






Ancon


9.12


15.14


4.29


10.94


14


23


Balboa


7.37


15.99


3.97


9.63


12


23


Miraflores. . .


7.38


22.43


10.20


13.34


3


22


Pedro Miguel


8.65


20,38


10.02


13.02


3


25


Rio Grande..


5.30


JC17


11.22


11.39


6


28


Central Section-














Culebra


5.10/


24.46


10.81


12.52


22


27


Camacho. . . .


6.as


27.07


13.15


14.70


5


Vi


Empire


*H6


20.99


8.85


11.49


6


28


Gamboa ....


/7.32


28.41


16.90


12.54


28


21


Alhajuela. . .


10.55


36.22


14.S7


14.70


12


29


El Vigia. . . .


12.07


35.64


14.20


20.64


3


21






30.24
27.59


11.54
13.15


14.37
15.14


7
4


70


San Pablo . . .


8.90


25


Tabernilla. . .


10.85


30.84


13.04


16.38


4


2 J


Bohio


19.01


35.39


22.37


19.39


17


IV


Trinidad. . . .


14.19


33.28


22.95


23.47


3


29


Monte Lirio.


25.57


34.73


25.60


28.63


3


SO


AtlanticSeclion-














Gatun


21.37


41.10


26.06


24.03


6


30


Brazos Brook


27.12


38.17


29.28


26.43


i


29


Cristobal ....


11.72


42.50


30.04


22.01


40


27


Porto Bello..


41.73


45.03


23.08


31.85


4


2D


Xombrede D




25.62


14.99


20.30


2


21



Tide Table.

The following table shows the time of hign and low
tides at Panama for the week ending December 14, 1910
(75th meridian time) :



Date.


High.


Low.


High.


Low.


High.


December 8


A. M.


A. M.

1.44
2.35

3.35
4.38

5.43

6.44
7.40


A.M.
7.32
8.24
9.27

10.35

11.45

P. M.

12.51

1.50


P. M.
2.06

2. 58
3.58
5.02

6.05

7.05
8.00


P. M.

8.12
9.07






10.07






11.11






A. M.
12.14








December 14. . . .


1.12





116



THE CANAL RECORD



Vol. IV., No. 15.



THE HOURLY MEN.

President Taft Decides They May Have Four
Weeks' Vacation, But No Increase in Pay.

On Board U. S. S. Tennessee,

En route for Hampton Roads,
November 19, 1910.
My Dear Colonel Goethals:

It is important that this decision should
reach you promptly. I send it directly to
you, therefore, and do not transmit it through
the Secretary of War, to whom, however, I
shall send a copy.

The question presented is made by the
so-called hourly "gold" men on the Isthmus.
They ask for a vacation each year of six weeks
with pay, instead of two weeks with pay, which
they now receive. Under the regulations of
the Commission, men who are paid by the
month receive a fixed compensation and enjoy
a vacation of six weeks each year with pay.
Originally no vacation allowance was made
to the hourly gold men at all, and this, on the
ground that they were allowed one and one-
half times their regular compensation for
every hour of overtime, that is, beyond the
regular eight-hour day, while the monthly
employes are not allowed pay for overtime at
all, although under certain exigent conditions
they are required to work beyond the regular
day.

In August, 1908, the Reynolds Commission,
consisting of Mr. James Bronson Reynolds,
Mr. Samuel B. Donnelly, and Mr. Henry
Beach Needham, considered the argument
upon which the allowance of a vacation to
monthly employes was granted and was denied
to hourly gold employes. They recom-
mended that no such distinction be made, but
that the six weeks' vacation for one year be
granted to all employes and a four weeks'
vacation for the second year, with a view of
permitting the employes of all classes to re-
turn to the United States once in two years,
and to spend a month in the intervening year
at a place nearer at hand where a healthful
change of air could be secured. This was
not adopted.

The petition of the employes was renewed
and sent to Secretary Dickinson, and in
September, 1909, he allowed the hourly gold
employes a yearly vacation of two weeks with
pay.

A new petition was filed by the hourly men
during the present year and this was fixed for
a hearing by me on the Isthmus during my
recent visit. Three committees of hourly
employes presented their views, and two of
them argued that the discrimination against
them, and in favor of the monthly men, in the
matter of leave should be made up for, not by
increased leave, but by additional compen-
sation per hour. The consideration of this
question by the Reynolds Commission in-
cludes certain data that are useful in reaching
what seems to be a just conclusion in this case.
They said:

"The ground for declining to allow the hourly
men vacation with pay is that they already are receiving
time and a half for overtime, which the monthly men
are not receiving. The question then is: Do the facts
show that they receive an amount approximately
equivalent to the sum which they would otherwise
receive for the six weeks' vacation with pay?

"Of the time earned in the month of February, 1908,
by shop mechanics, 4.56 per cent was overtime. In
computing this average it was found that the men em-
ployed in the Paraiso shops worked 12 per cent over-
time, and those employed in some other shops had no
overtime at all. In fact, a numerical majority of the
mechanics earned little or no overtime. But since the
principle is made to apply to all. the average benefit must
be considered.

"The total possible earnings of a mechanic paid by



the hour at the rate of 65 cents per hour, at which rate
the greater number of shop mechanics are employed,
and who takes his vacation on his own time, amounts
in a year to SI. 465. 20. Assuming that the overtime of
all amounted to 5 per cent, that being the actual per-
centage of overtime in April, 190S, the total overtime
earnings per capita would be $73.26 for one year. The
regular earnings of hourly men receiving 65 cents an
hour would amount to S187.20 for six weeks. If over-
time work by the mechanics was considered as a sub-
stitute for a vacation with pay, it is evident that the
actual average overtime pay is not a fair offset to a
vacation with pay.

" 'Gold' monthly men during the month of April,
1908. were paid $530,191.04, and 'gold' hourly men
$157,145.26. Considering this month as a basis for
comparison, the cost of the six weeks' vacation granted
to the monthly men amounts to $795,286.56. The cost
of granting an annual vacation with pay to the 'gold'
hourly men, figured on the same basis, would amount
to $235,717.89. On the basis of the month of April, the
total earnings for one year of the 'gold' hourly men
would be $1.8S5.743.12. Estimating overtime for all
on the basis of 5 per cent, the amount representing
overtime would be $94,287.15. This amount certainly
cannot be considered as an offset, or in any way equal,
to the amount of $235,717.89, which would be the cost
of granting them vacations with pay on the same basis
as the monthly men."

While the exact figures as to pay and over-
time differ some from month to month, the
conditions shown by this report are sub-
stantially the same as those which exist today,
except that the overtime between shops is
more equally distributed than it was at that
time. It thus appears that under the order
of Secretary Dickinson and the regulations
for the payment of overtime, the hourly em-
ployes on the average now have the privilege
of working approximately two weeks over-
time, for which they receive 50 per cent more
compensation than the regular rate of pay,
and they also have two weeks' leave, for
which they receive pay and do no work.
For the overtime pay privilege of the hourly
men averaging two weeks, we can find a rough
equivalent in two weeks of the six weeks'
leave of the monthly men who are required to
work overtime, but who receive no pay for it. I n
addition to these equivalent privileges, how-
ever, the hourly men receive only two weeks'
leave with pay, while the monthly men have
four weeks.

The present arrangement with the monthly
employes is fair and I do not wish to change it.
In order to equalize the matter it would seem
just to allow the hourly men four weeks' leave
with pay, instead of two weeks' leave, as at
present. This I have decided to grant be-
ginning January 1, 1911, and further, to per-
mit hourly employes to accumulate leave by
postponing two weeks of it to the following
year, and thus to have six weeks, instead of
four, in the second vear.in order that they may
have the benefit of a more satisfactory visit
to the United States.

In a recent order you permit the monthly
men, when discharged on account of reduction
of force, to accumulate their leave for two
years if they shall have served two years with-
out taking any leave. The same order
should apply in the case of the hourly men.

I cannot grant the request to equalize the
difference in terms of employment between
the hourly men and the monthly men by in-
creasing the wages of the hourly men. This
would disarrange the whole scale of wages
which has been carefully adjusted.

This order will take effect from January 1,
1911. Sincerely yours,

VVm. H. Taft.
Colonel Geo. W. Goethals,

Chairman, Isthmian Canal Commission.
Culebra, C. Z.



FACING CULEBRA CUT.

Recommendations of Board on Revetment and
Retaining Walls.

The board appointed for the purpose of
determining, so far as present conditions per-
mit, whether the faces of Culebra Cut should
be revetted or protected by grouted rubble
or concrete facings has submitted the follow-
ing recommendations, which have been ap-
proved :

(1) The board is of the opinion that it is undesirable
to attempt, under ordinary circumstances, to put in re-
vetment for the purpose of protecting the faces of the
Cut, until the full depth of the Cut has been reached.

(2) For the reason just stated, the board believes
that unless something unforeseen should occur, there is
no necessity, nor is it advisable, to begin any revetment
work, properly so-called during the next dry season.

(3) The board is of the opinion that the preservation
of a maintenance track on the east berm of the Canal is
eminently desirable, if this result can be accomplished
at a reasonable cost, and believes that the progress of
the work up to the present time has not shown con-
clusively that such a track cannot be maintained with-
out undue expense. The board, however, is unwilling
to enter at the present time upon a policy which, in or-
der to maintain the berm, might involve a large expendi-
ture, before the possibility of such maintenance shall be
conclusively established. For this reason, it believes
that during the next dry season, the construction of re-
taining walls, or other supports, to the berm should be
limited to situations where such support is necessary
for construction purposes, and finds as the result of the
Inspection already described, but a single locality where
It is prepared to recommend that measures be taken
during the next dry season to support the berm, to wit:

That portion of the 95-foot level on the east side of
the Canal between stations 1870 and 1880, at the
foot of the old Paraiso slide, where it believes that
construction work requires the preservation of the
track on the 95-ioot level.

(4) The excavation has not yet reached the full
depth at the point just mentioned, and the board sug-
gests the following treatment for this locality, to wit:

That after the dry season has set in a cut be made
to full depth, or perhaps a little deeper than the bot-
tom of the Canal, along the front of the unstable
bank, extending into the bank oiuside of the side
elope of the Canal, a distance sufficient to form the
foundations foi a retaining wall or support, the
actual distance of the cut into the bank being deter-
mined by the manner in which the bank acts when
the cutis being made. If the face of the bank re-
mains reasonably stable and does not slide into the
Cut, it may be possible to take out two shovel cuts
before building the support. If so, the support may
be constructed of riprap stone, with a dry facing,
and probably without the use of concrete or mortar.
If, on the other hand, the bank shows signs of mov-
ing when the first shovel cut is taken, a concrete re-
taining wall, back filled with dry rubble, will proba-
bly better meet the situation. The length of bank
requiring this treatment is about 900 feet.
The board making the report consisted of

Lieut.-Col. H. F. Hodges, Lieut.-Col. D. D.

Gaillard and Civil Engineer (U. S. N.) H.

H. Rousseau.

Band Concert.

A concert will be given by the Isthmian Canal Com-
mission Band at Hotel Tivoli, Ancon, C. Z., on Sunday,
December 11, 1910, at 7.30 p.m. The program follows:

1 March — Monstrat Viatn Joy

2 Selection — The Chocolate Soldier Straus

3 Two-step — Angel Eyes Jergensen

4 Overture — Lusts peit Keler Bela

5 Waltz— TresJolie Waldteufel

6 Medley Selection — Popular Hits. Alford

7 The Rosary (By request) Nevin

8 Concert Piece — Hearts and Flowers Tobani

9 March — Bcrsagleiri Eilenberg

Chas. E. Jennings, Musical Director.
The next concert will be given at Porto Bello on Sun-
day. December IS, at 2 p. m.

The audit of all issues made from Quarter-
master's stores on the Isthmus during the first
six months of 1910 was begun by the Chief
Quartermaster's office force immediately after
July 1 and was completed on October 13.
There were approximately 8,000,000 individ-
ual issues during the period mentioned and to
secure an absolute check each item was passed
on by five different persons.



December 7, 1910.



THE CANAL RECORD



117



RAINS AND FRESHETS.



Canal Work Retarded by Rain and Floods.

Heavy and continuous rains during the past
week caused inconvenience to the Canal work
in all divisions, and affected the railroad serv-
ice across the Isthmus.

A freshet in the Chagres River was reported
from the gaging station at El Vigia at 4 o'clock
on the morning of December 3. It reached
its crest atGamboaat 6 o'clock that evening,
when it was 64.6 feet above sea level; at Bohio
at 7 o'clock the following morning, when it was
30.2 feet above sea level, and at Gatun on the
afternoon of December 5, when it was 26.05
feet above sea level. At its crest the freshet
reached 108.7 feet above sea level at Alhajuela
on the upper Chagres, which is 1.9 feet lower
than the freshet of December 7 to 18, 1909.
A comparison of this freshet with the heaviest
freshets of 1909 at Gamboa and Alhajuela,
follows:

Feet above sea level.
December 3. 1910-Alhajuela 108.7

Gamboa 64.6

November 19, 1909-Alhajuela 111.4

Gamboa 72.6

December 11, 1909-Alhajuela 110.6

Gamboa 67.9

December 26, 1909-Alhajuela 121.

Gamboa 78.2

The stages of the river at various stations
during the past week are shown in the follow-
ing table:





Station.


Day and Date




13


rt








Vigia.




E


o






























<


o


m


OJ


Sun. Nov. 27...


128.9


95.6


51.0


19.7


18.6


Mon. Nov. 28..


127.8


94.3


48.3


19.2


18.6


Tues. Nov. 29..


136.5


100.1


53.8


20.8


19.0


Wed. Nov. 30. .


138.6


101.2


55.9


21.3


19.4


Thurs. Dec. 1 .


133.5


98.6


55.9


22.S


20.5


Fri. Dec. 2


133.2


98.0


53.7


22.9


20.8


Sat. Dec. 3


150.9


108.7


64.6


29.0


22.6


Height of low














125.0


92.0


46.0







A comparison with previous floods is a fair
one only so far as it concerns Alhajuela,
because local conditions have made the records
at Gamboa, Bohio and Gatun incomparable
with those of previous years. Immediately
below the gaging station at Gamboa, the Canal
channel has been completed and the river,
which formerly pursued a tortuous course,
now flows through the broad and straight
channel, thus the water escapes more rapidly
than in previous years. At Gatun, the diver-
sion channel, through which the river flowed
last year at sea level, has been closed and the
water now escapes through the Spillway
channel, the bottom of which i ; 10 feet above
sea level. This flood in forme vears would
have covered the flat land at Gatun with a
few feet of water where under present con-
ditions it raises the surface of the lake formed
by Gatun Dam to a height of 26 feet.

The conditions incident to the flood were
anticipated so far as the valley below Gamboa
was concerned. Last July the occupants in
the lake region, whose buildings were below
the elevation it was believed a flood would
reach, were warned to move to higher ground.
These elevations expressed in feet above sea
level were given as follows: Tabernilla, 40
feet; Frijoles, 35 feet; Bohio, 30 feet; Ahorca
Lagarto, 28 feet; Gatun, 25 feet. The pre-
diction was correct in every case, as the sur-
face of the lake during the flood of last w r eek
corresponded to the heights given in July,
excepting that at Gatun, where the elevation



was affected by a small jam of logs and other
debris at the mouth of the Spillway.

The flooding of the present main line of the
railroad between Gatun and Frijoles w r as anti-
cipated and a schedule for trains over the relo-
cation of the Panama railroad was published
on October 19. With a few delays this sched-
ule was followed.



Central Division.

The rain filled the diversion channel, which
keeps the water from the Obispo River water-
shed on the east side of Culebra Cut from
flowing into the excavation, and on December
1, the diversion bank broke at a point opposite
Empire, immediately south of the place where
the break occurred on May 7, 1910. This
break was filled, but on the 3d the water
forced it out again and the repairs were not
completed until the night of December 4. A
portion of the water from the diversion
flowed into Culebra Cut and flooded it from
LasCascadas to Bas Obispo, so that no work
could be done in that section. Nine steam
shovels were forced to suspend and the hauling
of spoil from the north end of the Cut was
interrupted. The rain accelerated the nu-
merous mud slides, and so interfered with
track work that the output from the south end
of the Cut was also lessened. The shovels
at work at Gorgona and Mamei were forced
to Suspend.

Pedro Miguel Locks Partially Flooded.

A freshet in the Pedro Miguel River, aided
by the back set of the tide, combined to cause
a partial flooding of the locks at Pedro Miguel
on Saturday of last week. The water found
its way into the locks between 8 and 9 o'clock
in the morning and stopped the concrete work
in the end sill section for the remainder of the
day. The work of the permanent handling
plant, however, was uninterrupted, as the
trestles on which the trains run to supply con-
crete to the chamber cranes were well above
the flood level.

A pumping plant was formerly located at
the extreme south end of the Pedro Miguel
lock pit, which discharged water through a
steel pipe culvert laid under the west bank to
the low land beyond. The high water cov-
ered this low section and rose over the mouth
of the pipe, which thus served as a conductor
for the water to enter the lock pit. The earth
arounil the pipe was also undermined and a
torrent of water poured through the opening
and followed the sides of the guide wall toward
the locks. ' Earth dikes were hastily thrown
up, but these failed to stay the flood's progress,
which, when it first entered the locks, resem-
bled a moving wall of water. The opening
was finally filled with bags of sand, but by the
time the dam was completed, the water stood
10 feet deep in the low places, reaching to one
inch above the floor of the present pumping
station, and to a depth of a foot over the higher
floor levels. The pumps were kept going
steadily all of Saturday night and Sunday,
and by Monday, most of the water had been
removed.

"Norther" at Atlantic Entrance.

A "norther" of short duration, but of
sufficient severity to cause all large vessels to
leave their berths at the Colon docks and to
interrupt temporarily the Atlantic Division
water transportation service with Porto Bello
and Nombre de Dios, occurred in Colon on
Friday and Saturday of last week. It was



also responsible for the beaching on the Cok n
water front of a 600-cubic yard steel barge in
•the service of the Atlantic Division, loaded
with rock. The storm arose about midday,
Friday, reached its maximum force Friday
night, and began to abate Saturday afternoon.
During its height, the waves dashed over the
protection levee along Roosevelt avenue,
Cristobal, carrying with them stones and
shore debris, and in places, badly washing out
the road. The steamships San Mateo of the
California and Atlantic Steamship Company,
the Versailles of the French Line, and the U.
S. S. Tacoma rode out the blow in the open
roadstead, while the Santa Maria and Atenas
of the United Fruit Company sought shelter
at dock No. 1 1 . The Santa Marta was due to
leave Friday night, but remained in port until
Saturday night.

The tug Reliance of the Atlantic Division
towing fleet left for Nombre de Dios, with two
barges in tow, on Friday afternoon, reached
there safely, and returned without a tow on
Saturday. No shipments of sand or stone
were received on Saturday, but the regular
service was resumed on Sunday. There was
no communication by boat with Toro Point
on Saturday, and the telephone service was
also interrupted. It was feared at one time
that the high seas would carry away a part of
the breakwater trestle, but it held, and beyond
washing out some of the fill, the damage was
small.

The accident to barge No. 7 occurred about
9 o'clock on Friday night. It was the last of
two barges loaded with crushed rock in tow of
the tug Mariner, which had made the trip
from Porto Bello in safety, and had reached a
point opposite Manzanillo Island, when the
heavy seas caused the hawser to part, and
rapidly carried the barge shoreward. It struck
the reefs in front of the Washington Hotel,
about 300 feet from the shore, broadside on,
and immediately grounded. The captain and
the two barge hands reached land, with the
assistance of some spectators, who swam out
and pulled them in. The men were bruised
and exhausted, especially the captain, who
was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The sea subsided sufficiently to permit the
work of floating the barge to commence ac-
tively on Tuesday morning. A bulkhead has
been built around the boiler room, the room
baled out, steam raised, and siphons started.
The original house was carried away from
the barge by the storm. The extent of the
damage to the hull is not yet known.



Unusually Heavy Rainfall.

There was an unusually heavy rainfall at
Culebra and nearby stations during the noon
hour on December 1. The precipitation was
heaviest at Camacho reservoir, where 3.48
inches were recorded. At Empire, between
11.25 and 12.35 o'clock, 1.40 inches were
recorded; at Culebra, during the 62 minutes
following 11.45 a. m., 2.67 inches, and at Rio
Grande, between 11.50 a. m. and 1 p. m., 2.25
inches.



Steam Shovel Men and Dredgemen.

The next regular meeting of the A. U. of
S. S. and D. M. will be held in the I. C. C.
lodge hall at Culebra on Sunday, December
18, at 2.30 p. m. All brotherhood men are
requested to be present.

Edward Fenstermacher, Secretary.

Culebra, C. Z., December 5, 1910.



118



THE CANAL RECORD



Vol. IV., 'No. 15.



SOCIAL L'FE OF THE ZONE.



Miscellaneous Events. ,

Commissioner and Mrs. M. H. Thatcher
were guests of the Paraiso Woman's Club on
the night of December 2. After dinner at the
Commission hotel, they were entertained at
the home of Mrs. E. H. Ellenwood and then
went to the Commission lodge hall, where a
public meeting was held, with Mrs. H. W.
Coutermarsh presiding. Mr. Thatcher de-
livered an address on the necessity of ideals
in real success. Mrs. Wm. Frazee and Miss