Isthmian Canal Commission (U.S.).

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

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work in agricultural estates, factories, etc.,
operated in other sections of the Republic,

shall be deported from one province of the
Republic to another for the period of time
provided by Section 1 of this Act.



One million cubic yards of concrete had been place'd in Gatun Locks at the close of work on
December 31, and there yet remained to be placed 1,0S5 000 cubic yard?. The work was begun
at Gatun on August 24, 1909, and the mixing and handling plant had not thoroughly found
itself until January 1, 1910. In the year just closed, the average amount placed each month
was over 73,000 cubic yards. All of the wall and floor of the upper lock chambers have
been completed, and the concrete laying is advancing in the upper forebay and the lower gate
abutments. About 80 per cent of the masonry for this pair of locks is already in place. In the
middle locks, the concreteis being placed in the side and center walls, and three of the four
cableways are engaged in this work.

Nearly 50 per cent of the concrete for the whole system of three twin locks has been laid,
the exact amount in place at the close of work on December 31 being 1,002,609} cubic yards,
out of a total of 2,085,000.

A statement of the amount of concrete placed in the locks each day for the week ending
December 31, 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:


Construction Plant. Auxiliary Plant.
2-cubic yard mixers. 2-cubic yard miners.



Concrete Hours
placed, worked.

No. of Concrete Hours No. of
mixers placed, worked, mixers

Cu. Yds.




Cu. Yds.

702 9:40
734 < 9:40
880 ' 11:40
876 11:04
786 9:25


Cu. Yds.

265 J

Cu i'ds.















Concrete work in the locks at Pedro Miguel is 57 per cent completed, 479,290 cubic yards,
out of a total of 837,400, having been placed at the close of work on Saturday, December 31.
The record of concrete laid during each of the five 8-hour working days of last week, follows:


Construction Plant.
2-cubic yard mixers.

Auxiliary Plant.
2-cubic yard mixers.




No. of Concrete Hours
mixersi placed. ! worked.

No. of


Cu. Yds.


Cu. Yds.

S62 14:00
574 14:33
396 10:00
324 6:33
496 13:50


Cu. Yds.

Cu. Yds.














2.352 58:16







The record of concrete placed in the upper lock at Mirafiores, during the five 8-hour working
days of the week ending December 31, follows:




2-cubic yard mixers.

}-cubic yard mixers. }-cubic yard mixer.



plat ed.


No. of Concrete Hours
mixers placed, worked.

No. of Concrete
mixers' placed.


No. of


Dec. 26...
Dec. 27.. .
Dec. 28. . .
Dec. 29. . .
Dec. 30. . .
Dec. 31.. .

Cu. Yds





Cu. Yds.




Cu. Yds.

2 , 54

3 103

4 24
4 80
4 73




Cu. Yds.


Cu. Yds.



Total . .






3.4 334








: ,

January 4, 1911.




All Storehouses of Commission and Panama Rail-
road Now Under One Head.

Effective January 1, 1911, the purchasing,
issuing, and handling of material for the Pana-
ma Railroad Company was turned over to
the Quartermaster's Department, in accord-
ance with the recommendation made by the
costkeeping accountant of the Canal Commis-
sion on December 20, 1910, which was ap-
proved by the Chairman and Chief Engineer
on December 24, 1910.

This completes the consolidation of the
storehouses on the Isthmus, which was begun
on January 1, 1910, when the division store-
houses and the handling of freight at dock
No. 14 in Cristobal were placed under the
Quartermaster's Department. It is expected
to so reduce stock that there will be the least
possible amount in the stores when the work is
completed, and this can best be done by hav-
ing the supplies under one organization. It is
believed that the amount of materials and
spare parts in stock on July 1, 1911, will be 20
percent less than on January 1, 1910, and this
reduction will have been made without incon-
venience to the Canal work.

The method of making settlement, as
adopted, provides that actual payment be
made to the Panama Railroad Company for
the value of all usable material in stock,
such payment to be based on an inventory
taken under the joint supervision of repre-
sentatives of the Panama Railroad Company,
and the Quartermaster's Department. The
plan further provides that only such material
as can be used readily in the work of the
Panama railroad and the Canal Commission
be transferred, and, that a section of the
Panama railroad storehouse in Cristobal be
set aside for the storage of obsolete material,
the ownership of which will remain with the
railroad pending final disposition It was
also determined that all surcharges on mate-
rial used for repair work for the railroad be
eliminated in the future.

The inventory- was begun on December 30,
under the direction of the Panama Railroad
Company's storekeeper, and a representative
of the Depot Quartermaster, the latter to have
charge of all the material transferred. In
making the inventory, stock values are based
on the original invoices, and, in case of material
manufactured at Canal Commission plants,
such as the printing plant, the surcharges are
dropped. It is expected that the stock ta-
king will be concluded within the next ten
days. With the exception of "live" forms
and blanks, and usable stationery, the mate-
rial turned over to the Depot Quartermaster
will be retained at the old Panama railroad
storehouse, which will be handled as an ad-
junct to the Depot in the same manner as
the dry dock store.

The reimbursement feature of the arrange-
ment provides for the payment by the Pana-
ma Railroad Company to the Canal Commis-
sion of the lump sum of $6,000 monthly to
cover the expenses of purchasing, unloading,
handling, and distributing the railroad mate-
rial on the Isthmus. This amount, it is be-
lieved, will compensate the Canal Commission
for the service rendered, and it will result in a
saving to the railroad company of about $750
a month. Added to this saving, will be the
interest on the value of stock formerly carried
by the railroad, which, figured on the basis of
$500,000 at the rate of four per cent, would

amount to $20,000 per annum. The new
arrangement will also result in a reduced
labor cost.



Mr. Elmer Lawrence Corthell, the eminent
American engineer, accompanied by Mrs.
Corthell, has spent about a fortnight on the
Isthmus, during which he has visited all por-
tions of the Canal work. Mr. and Mrs.
Corthell sailed for the States on January 3.

Among the visitors on the Isthmus last
week were: Colonel C. P. Anderson, U. S. A.;
Brig.-Gen. E. S. Godfrey, U. S. A., retired,
and daughter; Brig.-Gen. Charles Morton,
and Mrs. Morton; the Hon. Scott Ferris,
Member of Congress from Oklahoma, and
Mrs. Ferris, and the Hon. Joseph F. O'Con-
nell, Member of Congress from Massachu-
setts, and Mrs. O'Connell.

The Venerable Archdeacon Henry B. Bryan
has resigned from the service of the Isthmian
Canal Commission, and will sail from Colon
on Thursday, January 5, on the Santa Marta,
for Jamaica, where he will spend a month at
Kingston, as the guest of the Archbishop of
the West Indies.

The Rev. J. H. Bicknell, who succeeds
Archdeacon Bryan as Commission chaplain
to Ancon Hospital, and rector of St. Luke's
Church, entered upon his.duties on January 1.


John S. Dabbs, who was in the employ of
the Atlantic Division at Gatun, and who had
been on the Isthmus a little over a year, died
at Colon Hospital on December 24, after a
week's illness. He was 2 1 years of age, single,
and is survived by his father, John S. Dabbs,
Sr., who lives at Quitman, Miss.

The death of Fleming Bremner, a natural-
ized American, who was in the Canal service
on the Isthmus from November, 1905, until
November, 1908, occurred at Cupar-Fife,
Scotland, on November 22, 1910. He was
employed in the old Division of Municipal
Engineering, but his health failing him, he
went to Scotland, where he has since resided.
He was about 4S years of age, and is survived
by a wife and son, who live in California.

John Crawford, an employe of the Mechan-
ical Division, died at Ancon Hospital on
December 26, after an illness extending a
little over two weeks. He was 51 years of
age, married, and had been on the Isthmus
five years, his last residence being at Las
Cascadas. He is survived by his wife.

David C. Simons, employed in the Sub-
sistence Department at Cristobal, died at his
home on Colon beach on December 26. He
was 56 years of age, married, and had been
on the Isthmus nearly three and one-half
years. He is survived by his son, A. E. Si-
mons, who lives on Colon beach.

Band Concert.

A concert will be given by the Isthmian Canal Com-
mission Band at the Hotel Tivoli. Ancon. C. Z., on Sun-
day. January' 8, 1911, at 7.30 p. m. The program fol-
ows :

1 March — Hudson-Fulton Celebration.

Arranged by S. Jorge A.

2 Selection — Madam Sherry Hoschna

3 Caprice — The Whistler and His Dos Pryor

(By request)

4 Overture — Slradella Flotow

5 Medley Selection — My Southern Rose. .YonTilzer

6 March — Tannhauser Wagner

7 Waltz — Wedding of the Winds Hall

8 Selection — Carmen Bizet

9 March — Festal Day Roux

Chas. E. Jennings. Musical Director.
The next concert will be given at Paraiso on Sunday,
January 15, 1911, at 2 p. m.

Women's Clubs — Miscellaneous Events.

The January meeting of the Canal Zone
Federation of Women's Clubs will be held at
the Hotel Tivoli on January 31. The char-
acter of the convention will be as usual —
Business meeting in the morning; program
and addresses in the afternoon. The guest
for the occasion will be Miss Helen Varick
Boswell, organizer of the Canal Zone clubs
and chairman of the child labor and industrial
committee of the General Federation of
Women's Clubs. Miss Boswell will sail from
New York on the steamer Advance on January
21, and will arrive on the Isthmus on the 28th.
Returning, she will sail on February 23.
Mrs. Hiram J. Slifer is also expected to be at
the convention to give her report as delegate
to the biennial convention at Cincinnati, in
June, 1910.

An election of officers was held by the
Daughters of Rebekah on Friday evening,
December 22, the following being chosen:
Noble grand, Mrs. Louise Lots; vice grand,
Mrs. Clara Beetham; financial secretary,
Mr... L. M. Cole; treasurer, Mrs. L. Gerstey.
Mrs. Annie L. Calvit is past noble grand.
An open installation of officers will be held in
the near future.

A Canal Zone chapter of the auxiliary order
of the Eastern Star is to be organized. Any
one wishing to become a member is requested
to forward her name to the official organizer,
Mrs. S. E. Calvit, Gorgona, before January
18. The first list will be closed on that date.
Those eligible to membership are the mothers,
wives, sisters, and daughters of master Masons.

Improved Order of Red Men.

Sunday, January 8, the body of Brother
Murphy, a member of Codes Tribe, No. 3,
will be brought from Ancon Hospital on the
train that leaves Panama at 10 a. m., for
burial in Mount Hope cemetery. Funeral
services will be held immediately upon the
arrival at Mount Hope, about 12 o'clock.
Members of all the tribes, visiting Red Men,
and members of the Degree of Pocahontas, are
requested to attend this funeral in respectful
memory of a beloved member of our order.
The members may wear the regalia of their
ranks, in addition to funeral badges, etc.

The raising of chiefs for the ensuing term,
which was to be held on the above date, will
be postponed until the following Sunday,
January 15. The place and date of meeting
will be made known later.

W. H. Kromer, D. G. I.
Cristobal, C. Z., January 2, 1911.

I. O. P. K.

At the last regular session of Empire Court,
No. 1, I. O. P. K., held at Kangaroo hall,
Empire, the following officers were elected to
serve for the first half of 1911: Judge, the
Rev. W. H. Decker; prosecuting attorney.
F. A. Sickler; defendant attorney, C. L. Wood-
man; chaplain, H. Mitchell; comptroller and
clerk. E. W. Stolberg; sheriff, W. H. Bolen.
The installation of these officers will take
place the second Saturday in January, and all
Kangaroos are requested to attend.

Order of Isthmian Conductors.
The next regular meeting of the O. I. C.
will be held at Las Cascadas lodge hall at 2.30
p. m., Sunday, January 8. All members are
requested to be there.



Vol. IV., No. 19.


Concrete Handling and Mixing Cranes — Method
of Operation.

The construction plant for building the
locks at Pedro Miguel and Miraflores consists
of four berm cranes and four chamber cranes.
It was manufactured by the Wellman-Seaver-
Morgan Company of Cleveland, 0., and was
primarily designed for the lock work at Mira-
flores, although equally suited, with the ex-
ception of certain modifications in the berm
crane structures, to the requirements at
Pedro Miguel. The berm cranes are so-called
from the fact that they are built to travel on
two 5-foot gage tracks, 50 feet from center to
center, located on bcrms outside of, and par-
allel with, the lock walls. On account of the

track. The truss in the upper part of the
tower supports the operating machinery, the
houses enclosing it, and, in conjunction with
the cantilever arms, the underhung trolley
tracks for conveying the sand and crushed
rock. There are two trolleys to each crane
and each trolley carries a 2i-cubic yard
Huiett excavating bucket of the clamshell
type, which supplies sand and crushed rock
from storage piles extending along each side
of the forebay directly beneath the outer
ends of the cantilever arms. Each trolley
has a rated capacity of 50 cubic yards of sand
and 100 cubic yards of crushed rock an hour
delivered to the bins. Each tower is provided
with four bins, two for sand and two for
crushed rock of 15 cubic yards capacity each,
and are so arranged that the buckets will

charges by means of compressed air, and, in
addition, work the gates that admit the
raw material into the mixers from the measur-
ing hoppers. Water is fed into the mixers
from automatic measuring tanks installed
in the towers. A time recording instrument,
operated by electrical contact, has been in-
stalled on one of the berm crane mixers, and
the other mixers will be similarly equipped
shortly. It records the time consumed in
each mixing operation, and also the time
occupied in dumping into the concrete buck-
ets. The data is for use in keeping the rec-
ords in the division office.

The motive power for the machinery on
each of the berm cranes is supplied by seven
Westinghouse 500-volt direct current mo-
tors. Each mixer is belt-driven by a 40-



Key: Key:

B^Ito^fresTleTor rock and sand. D-Operator's cab. G-Two 2-cubic yard concrete mixers.

C — Machinery house containing electrical oper- E — 2J-CU. yd. Hewlett excavating bucket. H — Small flat cars for transferring buckets of con -

ating apparatus. F — Bins for sand and rock. crete from berm to chamber cranes.

height and the insecure character of the banks
on either side of the lock pit at Pedro Miguel,
these cranes could not be placed so as to travel
along berms, but were erected in the north
forebay, just above the lock chambers. The
banks of the upper lock at Miraflores are well
adapted for the purpose, and there, the crane
tracks parallel the lock site. The same
method of installation will obtain when the
lower lock is ready for the cranes.

The work of assembling the permanent
handling plant at Pedro Miguel, consisting
of two berm cranes and four chamber cranes,
was begun in October, 1909. On March 15,
1910, one of the berm cranes and one of the
chamber cranes were placed in service, and
during the following month, the entire west
unit, consisting of one berm crane and two
chamber cranes, was in operation. The re-
presentatives of the contractors on the Isth-
mus fulfilled their promise to have the entire
Pedro Miguel plant ready for service by July
1, 1910, although owing to preliminary trials
and to a delay in the completion of the con-
struction trestle in the east chamber of the
locks, all of the cranes were not in active
service handling concrete until the week be-
ginning July 12.

The berm cranes at Pedro Miguel are of the
balanced cantilever type, 62 feet 6 inches
high from the top of the rail to the bottom of
the cantilever and 90 feet to the top of the
machinery house, equipped with double fixed
cantilevers 150 feet long. The towers which
support the cantilever arms are 40 by 50 feet,
supported by two box girders, each of which
is carried on 16 axles, or 32 wheels per

discharge into them without overlapping in
their travel.

Underneath the rock and sand bins in each
crane is a housed-in platform where the bags
of cement are opened and emptied into hop-
pers. The cement is transferred from box
cars to the platform by mean of an elevator
and a conveyor, with a capacity of 800 bags
an hour. The elevator is operated on a set
of cogs in conjunction with the conveyor, and
is fitted with lifts about three feet apart, each
capable of holding two bags. When the bags
reach the floor of the platform, they are
dropped on the conveyor, a kind of moving
sidewalk, which transports them to bins on
the opposite side. While in transit two men
sever the strings and place the bags in a flat
position convenient for handling by the men
who empty them. The measuring hoppers,
which supply the concrete mixers, are located
directly below the cement room. Each con-
tains three bins, or compartments — for sand,
crushed rock, and cement, respectively, with
a chute leading into each bin from the storage
receptacles above. The chutes are provided
with doors, the doors to the cement and sand
chutes being operated by turning a wheel, and
those to the rock chutes by manipulating a
lever. Each of the Pedro Miguel berm cranes
is provided with two 2-cubic yard cube con-
crete mixers, situated in the tower bases.
They discharge directly into 2-cubic yard
buckets on narrow gage flat cars of two
2-cubic yard buckets capacity each, which
are hauled into the lock chambers by Porter
locomotives of 36-inch gage. Operators on
the mixer platform control the mixer dis-

horsepower shunt wound motor, making 615
r. p. m. The traverse motion for the canti-
lever trolley is operated by a 21-horsepower
compound wound motor at a maximum speed
of 480 feet a minute. The hoist motion for
the cantilever trolley is operated by a 65-
horsepower compound wound motor, capable
o( giving a hoisting speed of 200 feet ; a lower-
ing speed of 250 feet, and a speed of bridge
travel of 25 feet a minute. The cement
elevator and conveyor are driven by a 15-
horsepower compound wound motor, making
815 r. p. m. The hoist and trolley motors
are controlled by Westinghouse type A mag-
netic switch crane controllers, and on both of
these movements dynamic braking is used.
The master switches are located in the oper-
ators' cabs which travel with the buckets along
the bridge. On the hoist motor switch are three
points for hoisting and four points for lowering
the bucket; three of the lowering points are for
dynamic braking, and the fourth point starts
the motor in a downward direction in case
the bucket will not descend unaided. The
trolley master switches have two points for
both forward and reverse movements. Dy-
namic braking occurs only when the master
switch is in the off position and motor is
generating sufficient E. M. F. to operate a
counter E. M. F. coil, which, in turn, con-
trols a dynamic braking switch.

The berm cranes are moved from place to
place along their tracks by means of steel
ropes which pass from the travel drums in the
machinery house over 36-inch deflecting
sheaves in the top and bottom of the tower,
thence to deadmen situated at points on the

January 4, 1911.



tracks, so as to give 700 feet of travel. One
of the hoist motors furnishes the motive power
for the tower movement. This motor can be
disconnected from the hoisting drum and con-
nected to shaft which operates the movement
of the tower, by hand operated clutches. A
change-over switch is mechanically connected
to the lever which controls the clutches, so
that when the motor is connected for tower
movement, the hoist master switch in the
operator's cab is cut out, and a similar one,
situated in the machinery house, is connected
in such a manner that it will work the clapper-
board used in the regular hoisting operation.
The arrangement is such that it is impossible
to have the hoist master switch connected when
the clutches are set for the tower movement,
and vice versa. Stop motion switches are
provided, which can be set to limit hoist and
trolley travel to any point desired.

The chamber cranes are mainly designed to
place the concrete in the lock walls but are
also extensively used in transferring wood and
steel forms from one point to another. Each
crane is 97 feet 6 inches high from the top of
the rail to the bottom of the cantilever, and
about 115 feet high to the top of the machin-
ery house. Each tower is 56 by 40 feet wide,
and is supported by four heavy trucks of four
wheels each, which travel on two 5-foot gage
tracks 40 feet center to center, extending
longitudinally through the lock chambers.
There are two cantilever arms to each tower,
one extended toward the center wall with a
length of 53 feet 6 inches, and one extended

hand operated controller located on the end
of the tower, so as to be accessible from the
operator's cab. The four chamber cranes are
designed to pick up the buckets, deliver them
to the lock walls, dump their contents and
return the empties to the cars at a combined
average rate of 320 cubic yards of concrete an


The present plans contemplate the removal
of the berm and chamber cranes to Miraflores
as soon as all concrete that is massive in
character in the locks at Pedro Miguel has
been placed, which will probably be within
the next four or five months. The arrange-
ment of the chamber cranes at Miraflores
Locks will be similar to that at Pedro Miguel,
but the positions and method of operating the
berm cranes will be quite different. Four
berm cranes will be in service there, consisting
of the two at Pedro Miguel, which are to be
modified when the transfer is made to meet
the changed conditions, and of the two recent-
ly erected at Miraflores, one on either side of
the upper lock. Each crane of the Miraflores
type has one fixed cantilever arm 150 feet long
extended over the storage pile, but on the
side nearest the locks there is a swinging boom
144 feet in length, so hung that it may be
operated under full load in a horizontal posi-
tion; in a position inclined 15 degrees below
the horizontal, and in a position inclined 10
degrees above the horizontal. The upper
position is required for filling the top courses,
or lifts, of the lock walls. The boom can be
raised and lowered to provide clearance in