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Gift of the Panama Canal Museum

Vol.2, No. 3


5 cents



Canal Officials Attend Army

Disaster Control Exercise

OBSERVERS AND ADVISERS at the engineering table for the recent Army exercise were three
Panama Canal Division Chiefs. Frank Lerchen, Municipal Engineer, center, facing the camera, is look-
ing over the situation map. Facing him is Harry Metzler of the Building Division, while J. B. Smith, of
the Electrical Division, has his back to the camera, far right.

Bureau and Division Chiefs of the Pan-
ama Canal Company and Canal Zone
Government whose organizations would
go into action in case of a local disaster
sat in as observers last month on a unified
service exercise, illustrating disaster con-
trol procedure to be followed in the event
of an atomic attack on the Canal Zone.

The exercise was the second of a series
and the first in which a number of Canal
officials have participated.

Purpose in having the Panama Canal
officials on hand for the exercise, in which
an atomic attack on Pedro Miguel Locks
was simulated, was as observers and ad-
visers. In the latter capacity, according
to Lt. Col. John P. Mial, Director of the
Army Disaster Control Center, they could
advise the military staff officers on capa-
bilities of the Panama Canal organization
and coordinate matters so that the needs
of both military and Panama Canal popu-
lations could be met in case of a disaster.

The problem was designed to test re-
sources for handling traffic in the Canal,
the provision of police and fire protection,
treatment of casualties, availability of
water and electrical supply and commun-
ications facilities, and the housing, feed-

ing, and care of refugees from such a

Colonel Mial explained that it is ex-
pected that a third and last drill, which
will be a full-scale exercise, will test the
use of relief teams and equipment on a
large scale.

Attending the military exercise as ob-
servers and advisers were representatives
of the Governor's office, Marine, Civil
Affairs, Supply and Service, and Health
Bureaus; the Municipal, Electrical, Locks
Police, Fire, Clubhouses, and Housing
Divisions; and the Safety Branch.

The observers sat in on the exercise at
Disaster Control Headquarters at Fort
Amador where a critique on the CPX
(Command Post Exercise) was held a
week later.


• Interested in housing? Some of the new
types of quarters to be built here are illus-
trated and described on page 2.

• Fall days and football go together. The
Zone's three school football squads are
pictuied on page 13.

• A trip through the Canal with a pilot is
the waterfront feature in the series on men
who put ships through the interoceanic
waterway, on page 10.

Supply Will Serve
Zone, Panama, Colon

The use of fluoride in Canal Zone water
as a partial control for dental decay will
begin early in the coming calendar year.

A year's supply of fluoride has been
ordered and its use in water at the Mira-
flores and Mount Hope filtration plants
will begin shortly after the arrival of the
necessary chemicals, probably by mid-

The cost of the fluoridation will be
approximately $12,000 per year, or one
mill per thousand gallons of water.

Water so treated will serve the entire
population of the Canal Zone, plus that
of Colon and Panama City and its sub-
urbs as far as Juan Diaz.

Approval of the use of fluoride in the
local water supply concluded months of
experiment by E. W. Zelnick, Chief of
the Municipal Division's Water and Lab-
oratories Branch, and by members of his
staff as to what chemicals would be best
suited for Isthmian use and the develop-
ment of the most suitable method of add-
ing the chemicals to the water.

Of the $5,000 authorized to conduct the
experiments to determine the particular
type of chemical to be used, the method
of applying it and the point of applica-
tion, sufficient funds are left to cover the
cost of manufacturing locally and install-
ing the small amount of equipment re-
quired for the fluoridation.

The method to be used calls for the use
of sodium silicofluoride and is less costly
than methods using another, related,
chemical sodium fluoride.

The sodium silicofluoride is to be added
to the water at a rate sufficient to obtain
a residual fluoride content of 0.7 parts per

Last January, the Water and Labora-
tories Branch was authorized to perform
experimental work to determine the most
economical fluoride compound which
could be used and the most suitable point
of application of the fluoride to the water
at Miraflores and Mount Hope filtration

In other locations where the water sup-
ply has been fluoridated, the chemical is
almost always added to the filtered water
by specially set up feeders.

The Canal Zone chemists experimented
with both the sodium fluoride and sodium
silicofluoride, the latter being found to be
about half the cost of the former.

They developed a small device to
"dump" the selected chemical into exist-
ing solution tanks. This (Seepage!)


November 2, 1951

New Housing — A REVIEW Preview

Ten new housing designs for U. S.-rate
quarters have been approved and are now
being developed by the Engineering Divi-
sion for construction in new and replace-
ment housing areas. Included in the ten
designs are revisions and improvements
to three of the more popular types re-
cently built in Diablo.

On the other end of the living space is
the service wing, which consists of kitchen
maid's toilet, storage space, a clothes dry-
ing area, and a car-port. The plan for this
type is illustrated below. This general
scheme is also adapted to three-bedroom
single apartments and two-bedroom two-
family nouses.

WITH THE addition of new designs to the Housing Project, employees will have the choice of eleven
masonry and six composite off-the-ground types. Above is one of the smaller 3-bedroom houses with several
new features. The lower plan is another new type, providing outdoor living space on a covered terrace.



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Seven new types, covering a range of
two-, three-, and four-bedroom houses
and including single- and double-apart-
ment units, are now in the working draw-
ing stage.

One of the new two-bedroom houses has
a covered terrace or open porch which
runs parallel with the living dining room.
The terrace or porch is practically an out-
door extension of the living space.

This area is also easily available to the
kitchen, which adjoins it on one end,
allowing service directly to the terrace
area. Two bedrooms and the bath open
from the living space on one end.

Another new type of two-bedroom
house has a covered terrace or porch,
opening from the long end of the living
room. This terrace or porch extends the
living space into an adjoining, sheltered
outdoor space. The kitchen in this plan
allows space for breakfast dining. A cov-
ered car-port, a service area, maid's toilet,
and storage room make up the exterior
covered service area.

One of the two new types of three-bed-
room single apartments has the entrance
so arranged to provide access to the living
room, kitchen and bedroom wing from
the entrance hallway. There is also a

large covered porch opening from the
living room area, covered service space,
and a collapsible partition between two
small bedrooms which may be opened to
permit this space to be used as one extra-
large bedroom. The plan and elevation of
this house is illustrated to the left, above.

Another three-bedroom house has the
living and dining space combined for
thorough circulation of air. In this house,
however, the dining space is in an alcove
at one side. The bedroom wing has two
small and one large bedrooms and two
baths. The kitchen can be reached from
the car-port. The car-port and the cov-
ered service area are somewhat larger
than in earlier types.

Quarters in the four-bedroom group are
a modification of the three-bedroom
"breezeway" houses recently built in

Some innovations, such as the use of
natural-finished native woods, for exposed
ceilings in living rooms and other suitable
spaces, and the possible use of some cer-
amic materials are proposed.

Canal Zone housing, the designers point
out, is too often thought of only in terms
of arrangement, size, and appearance of

These are, of course, the ultimate object
of the designs, but costs cannot be ignored
especially since in any housing project
these costs are reflected eventually in
rents paid by the individual occupying
the quarters.

In some of the new houses, the design-
ers have reduced the area to keep rentals
within the financial limits of the average
Canal Zone employee.

Several of the newly approved quarters
have been reduced in size for this reason.

This is particularly true of some of the
three-bedroom types and special thought
has been given to providing some "min-
imum-standard" houses to fit the needs
of the younger employees living on a re-
stricted budget with younger, growing


Continued from page 1) device consists

of a drum holder, mounted on a horizontal
rotating axis inside a small, dust-proof
cabinet, equipped with sprays to wash all
material adhering to the container and
the inside of the cabinet into the main
solution tank.

The proposal to add fluoride to the
local water supply has been recommended
by medical authorities and dental organi-
zations in both the Canal Zone and Pan-
ama, and has received the endorsement
of the Government of Panama.

A continually increasing number of
cities in the United States have fluori-
dated their water supplies— the number
last January was estimated at 65— and
the process has been recommended by
leading national, state, and municipal
dental and health associations.

The immediate objective of the fluori-
dation is the partial control of dental
decay, especially in children who receive
the "greatest benefits of fluoridation in
their early years. This benefit is believed
to continue for life once it is received in
early childhood.

The fluoridation does not affect the
taste, odor, color, or clearness of the
water supply.

November 2, 1951


Office Management
Course At College
Draws 39 Isthmians

Twenty-three employees of the Panama
Canal Company are being trained in
office management in a 17-week course
which is being given at the Canal Zone
Junior College. The Canal employees are
a majority of the 39 students who enrolled
for the 34-hour course.

Statistics compiled by Richard R. Saul,
of the Accounting Policies Division, Office
of the Comptroller for the U. S. Army
Caribbean, instructor for the course, show
that the Canal Company enrollees predom-
inate in the middle-age bracket of the stu-
dents taking the office management course.

The main objective of the course is to
give an over-all view of the entire field
of office management, with the idea that
those taking the course will develop
enough interest in their own special fields
to continue in further specialization.

Mr. Saul is conducting the course in
the forum-seminar type of teaching, to
bring forward as much class discussion as

He plans to use such visual aids as flow
and distribution charts and task analyses
and will bring in outside speakers when
it is possible.

During the 17 weeks the course is in
progress the students will cover such sub-
jects as: forms and form designs, work
simplification, organization, administra-
tion and management, office layouts, busi-
ness machines, and work measurements
and supervision.

Meets Twice Weekly

The class is meeting twice weekly,
Monday and Thursday evenings, at the
Junior College building in Balboa.

Ten of the Canal Company's employee-
students are between 30 and 40 years of
age, 12 are in the 40-50 year age bracket,
and the other is over 50.

Daytimes they work in the Health,
Personnel, or Finance Bureaus, the Store-
houses, Terminals, Electrical, Locks, or
Housing Divisions, the Records or the
License Sections.

Taking the class as a whole, 10 of the
students are women. Seven of the 39 are
from the Air Force, one from the Navy,
three from the Army, one working in pri-
vate business in Cristobal, two employed
by private concerns in Panama City, one
employed by the Panama Government,
the 23 Panama Canal Company employees,
and one who is not presently working.

Two of the Panamanian and two of the
Air Force students as well as the unem-
ployed student are under 20 years old.
Three Air Force students, the Navy stu-
dent, one of the Army pupils, and one of
the private business employees are be-
tween 20 and 30. Ten of the Panama
Canal Company, two of the Air Force
personnel, and one Panamanian are be-
tween 30 and 40; the other two Air Force
personnel and 12 of the remaining 13 Pan-
ama Canal Company employees are in
the next generation, and the last Panama
Canal Company employee is over 50.

Gatun Lake has an area of 163.38
square miles, with a shore line of 1,100
miles when the surface is at its normal
elevation of 85 feet above sea level.

Pay Raises, Income Tax, Houses
Discussed At Employees Conference

No consideration is being given to
closing the Gamboa shops, Governor
F. K. Newcomer told the Governor-
Employee Conference August 26. The
Governor's statement came as an answer
to a question raised by Walter Wagner of
the Central Labor Union-Metal Trades

The conference, which lasted beyond
the usual adjournment time, took up sub-
jects which ranged from housing assign-
ments, the date on which employees
would receive the pay increases recently
authorized by Congress, dispensaries,
fading license plates, post offices, com-
missary prices, and the overall subject of

The first question, raised by Rufus
Lovelady of the A. F. G. E., concerned
the date on which classified employees
could expect to receive the pay increases
voted by Congress last month. F. G.
Dunsmoor, Executive Assistant for the
Governor, told the conference that it is
hoped that the pay increases can be re-
flected in the period which began October

28 and for which payment is due on
November 20. Retroactive payments will
follow soon after.

Payment of the retroactive pay, how-
ever, Mr. Dunsmoor said, presents addi-
tional difficulties, in that each employee's
back pay must be computed individually.
This is especially complicated for those
employees such as nurses and customs
inspectors who have performed night
work during the nine pay periods covered
by the retroactive clause of the pay legis-
lation. He added that this computation
could be simplified by computing ma-
chines which, however, are held up in New
York by the shipping strike.

As far as income tax on the retroactive
pay is concerned, with the tax increase to
be made effective November 1, Mr. Duns-
moor said that income tax personnel here
have as yet received no instructions. If
the procedure to be followed is the same
as that of last year when a tax increase
was made effective toward the end of the
year, the tax for the entire year will be
fixed by a computation (See page 18)

A President Visits The Zone

FORTY-FIVE YEARS ago this month, a President of the United States took the unprecedented
step of leaving the country. The visit was to the Canal Zone. Rain drenched the presidential party
for three days but President Theodore Roosevelt covered the Canal Zone from end to end, stopping at
every town "along the line" and at every major project to see how things were going.

"It is without precedent for a President
to leave the United States, but this is a
work without precedent, "President Theo-
dore Roosevelt told the men who were
building the Panama Canal 45 years ago
this month.

"You are doing the biggest thing of this
kind that has ever been done."

Plans for the President's visit in No-
vember 1906 began as early as June of
that year, as soon as it was definite that
the visit would be made. All during the
summer, Isthmian Canal officials con-
ferred among themselves and with repre-
sentatives of the new Republic of Pan-
ama, and, by mid-September, had a ten-

tative schedule mapped out.

A major problem was a place of lodging
for the Presidential party. The Tivoli
Hotel was under construction, with its
completion date well beyond the week in
November when the President was ex-
pected. Finally it was determined that
at least one wing "could be furnished and
otherwise fitted up in such a manner to
afford appropriate and adequate facilities
for the party's comfort and welfare," and
the alternate offer of an official house for
the Roosevelt party was declined.

On November 15 President Roosevelt
came ashore in the Canal Zone in a steady
rain which, for the next (See page 18)


November 2, 1951

Travellers Return From South Seas


SOUTH SEA islanders have nothing on this Zone trio. Just back from the Marquesas and Society
Islands are Lee Rigby, 14, Richard Harris of the Communications Branch, and Lee's father, Edwin Rigby
of the Storehouses Division. Lee is wearing the grass skirt and what goes with it; Mr. Harris has on shell
beads and a South Sea "Panama," and Mr. Rigby sports his first mate's cap. The material they are holding
is a sarong in its natural form.

"Sure, I'd like to go back to Tahiti,"
14-year-old Lee Rigby of Amador Road
in Balboa told The Panama Canal Re-
view. "It's cool there."

With his father, Edwin, of the Division
of Storehouses, Richard Harris of the
Electrical Division's Communications
Branch, and John McDaniel of the Canal
Zone police force, Lee sailed from Balboa
May 21 on the 72-foot ketch Palmosa.

Lee was signed on, according to the
yacht's papers, as a "cabin buoy," his
father as first mate (he did the cooking,
too) while the other two were able sea-
men. Later, after Lee had climbed 40
feet into the rigging to rescue a halyard
which was about to be carried away in a
squall, he was promoted to able seaman.

Except for the first part of the trip in
the Bay of Panama the weather was good
all the way to the Marquesas Islands,
which they reached July 13. The early
part of the voyage, however, was unpleas-
ant enough to make up for the later per-
fect weather. The yacht was beset by
rain squalls and storms for the entire first
week out, and the Palmosa did not sight
the Galapagos Islands until 27 days after
it cleared Balboa.

The Palmosa did not stop at the Gala-
pagos but swung west toward the Mar-
quesas, crossing the Equator three times
en route as she tacked back and forth.
Whales were fairly frequent sights along
the trip, one of them coming within 40
feet of the yacht and giving rise to some
apprehension that it might overturn the
comparatively small craft. The yachts-
men had several meals of dolphin which
Lee snagged by catching them in the side
with a hook tossed oxer the Palmosa s rail.

The yachtsmen reached Nukuhiva,
capital of the Marquesas, on July 13.
eight weeks after they had left Balboa,
The island was making final preparations
for the celebration of Bastille Day the fol-
lowing day. For the celebration, the
Palmosa group were the guests of the
island's Administrator.

After six days in the Marquesas, the
Pahnosa moved on to Papeete, the capi-
tal of the Society Islands. Arriving there

July 27, the yachting party found that
the July 14 Bastille Day celebration was
still going on.

Mr. McDaniel continued on with the
Palmosa, which is owned and skippered
by Captain Henry V. Hudson, a retired
British Naval officer, but the other three
waited in Papeete for the French Line's
Sagittaire for their homeward passage.

They loaded up with grass skirts,
parens (the same things Dorothy La-

C. Z. Hobby Groups Urged to
'Register' with New Employees

Hobby groups and similar organiza-
tions in the Canal Zone have been urged
to provide information concerning them-
selves for distribution among newly-
arrived U. S.-rate employees, in order
that the new arrivals may associate them-
selves easily with Isthmians of longer
standing who are interested in pastimes
similar to their own.

The information is to be included in a
"List of Organizations"— churches, fra-
ternal groups, social organizations, and
the like— to be issued to each new U. S.-
rate employee at the time of employment
processing in the Personnel Bureau.

Officers of all such employee groups are
invited to provide their organizations'
proper names, addresses, and telephone
numbers for the list by telephoning Em-
ployee Relations, 2-1525, during business

It is hoped that all phases of organized
hobby and pastime activity represented
in the Canal Zone will be represented by
the time the list goes to the printer.

A few such organizations are: The C. Z.
Natural History Society, Orchid Society,
and the stamps and photo groups.

mour wears as sarongs), beads, hats of
palm leaves, grass mats, and other South
Pacific curios.

Mr. Rigby, who had drawn the mid-
watch on the Palmosa was tired out and
thin when the yacht reached the Society
Islands, but after several days rest he
began to regain his lost weight and more.

Yachting, the Zonians agree, is the way
to spend a vacation. Like Lee, they are
all ready to go again, somewhere.

Young Zonian Gets Ham License

THREE OF A KIND: When Carol Louise Combs, 13, was awarded her "ham" radio license on
i Ictober 1-'. she liecame the third licensed operator in her family. Her parents, Mr. and Mr3. Prentiss
Combs of Balboa, shown here iwith Carol in their radio "shack," have been licensed since 1949. Carol
is the youngest "ham" on the Isthmus.

< letting a license to operate a "ham"
radio is not an easy task for a grown-up
and it's understandably harder for a
young lady who is just getting into her
'teens. But 13-year-old Carol Louise
Combs of Calabash Street in Balboa made
the grade and is now the youngest opera-
tor in the Canal Zone. She is also the

third member of her family to chalk up
a "first."

Her mother, Angela, became the first
woman "ham" on the Canal Zone when
she received her license in July 1949, just
a month after Carol's father, Prentiss C.
Combs, was awarded his license. The two
licenses made the Combs (See page it)

November 2,1951










The Panama Canal Company-Canal Zone
Government experienced a frequency rate of
14 for the month of September as a result
of 40 disabling injuries and a man-hour
exposure of .'.821.01.5.

The Civil Affairs Bureat will receive
Honor Roll Award certificates for Best Rec-
ord for the month of September by virtue
of a Freouency Rate of Zero. Congratula-
tions to a four-time winner of this Award
this year.

The following Divisions will receive
Honor Roll Award certificates for No Dis-
abling Injuries for the month of September:
Building, Municipal, Grounds Maintenance,
and a newcomer to the Honor Roll Fratern-
ity, the Commissary Division.


Bureau Award For





Civil Affairs 4

J ndustrial 3

Engineering and Construction 2

Health 1

Community Services 1

Supply and Service


Railroad and Terminals

Division Award For








Motor Transportation 5

Electric al 4

Municipal 4

Grounds Maintenance 4

Railroad 3

Dredging 3

Sanitation 3

Storehouses _ 3

Locks 2

Clubhouses 2

Building 2

Commissary 1

Hospitalization and Clinics 1



We take this means to welcome two new
members to the Panama Canal Company-
Canal Zone Government Safety Board;
they are: Lt. Comdr. W. M. Vincent,
USN, representing the Industrial Director,
and Charles A. Dubbs, representing the
Personnel Director.

L. W. Chambers has been appointed to
the position of Acting Safety Inspector,
Locks Division, made vacant by the resig-

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Online LibraryPanama Canal CompanyThe Panama Canal review (Volume v.2:no.3(1951:Nov. 2)) → online text (page 1 of 6)