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straight up-and-down windshield, she
says, catches too much glare from on-
coming headlights.

Mr. Aspesi, a wireman at Miraflores
Locks, does all of the old car's repair
work. Sometimes he has difficulty get-
ting parts and has often thought that
some of the other old Ford owners
should form an association. Together
they might buy a discarded Model A
or two and cannibalize them.

He should have no difficulty forming a
Model A club. John Terry, of the Per-
sonnel Bureau, drives a 1930 coupe which
he has had for several years. The mileage
indicator shows 88,000 miles, but Mr.
Terry is sure that it is on the third "go-
around" and that the old car has run at
least 288,000 miles.

Richard Abell, of Los Rios, is another
1930 Model A owner. He bought his
coupe from its original owner, John W.
Manush, four years ago and uses it to go
back and forth to work. He has modern-
ized the car somewhat and it now sports
sealed-beam headlights.

Harry Corn, of the Balboa Post Office,
fell heir to his bright and shining 1930
Model A when his son, Donald, decided
that Utah was no place for an open car.
Donald bought the Ford four years ago
when he was a Junior at Balboa High
School and spent the next two years fix-
ing it up. When he left for college, the
car was to follow him, (See page 12)


September 7, 1956


. i-ML




In this question of "accident preven-
tion," often there are so many rules and
regulations printed that the average work-
man and foreman in the field has a tend-
ency to ignore all of them. A workman
in Maplewood, N. J., thought the safety
people were going too far by putting out
safety rules on a lot of familiar chemicals
and gases, some of which had been in


Bureau Award For







Civil Affairs-. 6

Health 6

Supply and Employee Service 2

Engineering and Construction 1

Marine 1

Transportation and Terminals 1

Division Award For

















Aids to Navigation 7

Sanitation 7

Service Center 7

Storehouses 7

Commissary 6

Hospitals and Clinics 6

Industrial 6

Motor Transportation 6

Railroad 6

Dredging 5

Electrical 5

Maintenance 4

Navigation 3

Housing and Grounds (4 raos.l 3

Fire 1

Locks 1

Police 1

Terminals „ 1

common use for years. So he was very
much concerned that nothing had been
written about the most dangerous gas
known to science and suggested the fol-
lowing article for our safety:


This gas is very toxic and forms ex-
tremely explosive mixtures with many
other gases and chemicals. It is fatal in
atmospheric concentration as small as
0.0001 parts per million. Human beings
exposed to such tiny amounts of this gas
die within a few minutes. The symptoms
resemble those of cyanide poisoning (faint-
ing, blue face, etc.). In higher atmos-
pheric concentrations (about 20 percent)
the toxic effect is delayed and it takes
about 2.5 billion inhalations, or 70 years,
before death takes place. In this higher
concentration it apparently contributes to
a crippling disease called senility, of which
very little is known, except that it is al-
ways fatal. Its main disadvantage is that
in concentrations of 160,000 to 200,000
parts per million it is habit-forming and
with the first good whiff, a human being,
and most animals, become rabid addicts
permanently and will fight to the last
breath if deprived of it.

"Pure oxygen taken in small amounts
helps to delay the fatal effect of senility
and produces a feeling of well-being sim-
ilar to alcohol in the healthy human.
Some humans (yogis) practice a form of
self-intoxication by controlled breathing
and it is claimed they can do all sorts of
inhuman feats while under its spell.

"Oxygen is an extreme fire hazard. In
the pure state it will ignite and bum furi-
ously with many forms of greases and hot
metals. All the fires reported in the
United States for a period of the last 50
years were found to be due to the pres-
ence of this gas in the atmosphere sur-
rounding the building in question.

"Oxygen is especially dangerous be-
cause it is odorless, colorless, and taste-
less, so that its presence cannot readily
be detected until it is too late."


Handling materials can rarely be
avoided on any construction job. And
unsafe handling causes plenty of injuries.
So a little know-how is a mighty good

For a starter, here are seven safe-hand-
ling tips which will prevent a lot of
painful accident trouble:

Pile materials so they can't topple

Don't dislodge materials when you're
taking supplies from piles, trucks, or
freight cars.

When you open a nail-keg, remove the
nails which are used to hold the cover.

Never throw materials from heights un-
less the area is roped off or a watchman

Remove protruding nails promptly.

When forms are wrecked, keep the lum-
ber in piles until it can be cleaned and
processed for re-use.

Lift with your legs instead of your
back. Avoid strain. Get help if you need it.


YOU can always remember that in

safety you protect:
Not a camera — hit a human eye
Not a pump — but a human heart
Not a compressor — but a human lung
Not oil and grease — but human blood
Not tires — but human fed
Not a chainfall — but a human back
Not a sling — but human hands

You protect the most important machine

on your job — the human body.

JULY 1956
Civil Affairs

Engineering and Construction



Supply and Employee Service

Transportation and Terminals

Canal Zone Gov't Panama Canal Co.

(Employee-hours worked 2,260,772)


| Frequency Rate this month

I 1 Accumulative Fiequency Rale this Calendar Year

I j 1953-1954-1955 Calendar Year Average

FREQUENCY RATE Disabling injuries per 1,000,000 employee-
hours worked.

Wum ber of I Fre^uenctJ
Injuries I Rate

September 7, 1 956




Panama Canal Company Publication

Published Monthly At

Printed by the Printing Plant
Mount Hope, Canal Zone

W. E. Potter, Governor-President

H. W. Schull, Jr.
Lieutenant Governor

William G. Arey : Jr.
Public Information Officer

J. Rufus Hardy, Editor

Eleanor H. McIlhenny
Assistant Editor

SUBSCRIPTION — $1.00 a year
SINGLE COPIES— S cents each

On sale at all Panama Canal Service Cen-
ters, Commissaries, and Hotels for 10 days
after publication date.

SINGLE COPIES BY MAIL— 10 cents each
BACK COPIES — 10 cents each

On sale, when available, from the Vault
Clerk, Third Floor, Administration Building,
Balboa Heights.

Postal money orders should be made pay-
able to the Treasurer, Panama Canal Com-
pany, and mailed to Editor, The Panama
Canal Review, Balboa Heights, C. Z.


The sale of individual copies of
The Panama Canal Review for
issues prior to August 1955, Vol. 6,
No. 1, will be discontinued effec-
tive October 1, 1956.


DR. CARL B. KOFORD, above, is an important
newcomer to the Canal Zone. He is resident natural-
ist of the Smithsonian Institution's Canal Zone Bio-
logical Area, more familiarly known as Barro Colo-
rado Island. He arrived recently to succeed Dr.
James Zetek, who is now Honorary Research Asso-
ciate of the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Koford
came to the Canal Zone from the University of Cal-
ifornia's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. He is no
stranger to the Canal Zone as he visited Barro Colo-
rado several years ago when he was en route to Peru
and Chile to gather material on animals and rodents
of the high Andes. Dr. and Mrs. Koford and their
four children are living on Jadwin Avenue in Gamboa.

COMPANY officers always have plenty to discuss whenever they get together. George H. Roderick,
Chairman of the Board of the Panama Canal Company, and Gov. W. E. Potter, the Company's Presi-

ident, met here last month.

August was VIP month around the Canal
Zone, for a fact. Oldtimers could not re-
member any month recently when they had
seen so many distinguished visitors from
so many parts of the world. For instance:

From the United States came the Chair-
man of the Panama Canal Company's Board
of Directors, Assistant Secretary of the
Army, George H. Roderick; Maj. Gen.
Charles Holle, acting Chief of Engineers;
Maj. Gen. Silas B. Hays, Army Surgeon-
General; Under Secretary of State Henry
F. Holland; three Senators: W. Kerr Scott
of North Carolina, Robert Humphrey of
Kentucky, and William C. Laird of West
Virginia; two Congressmen, Rep. John J.
Rhodes of Arizona and J. Arthur Younger
of California; and J. Don Kerlin, Clerk for
the Senate Committee on Post Office and
Civil Service.

Also from the United States to spend a
tew days on the Isthmus came the Rev.
Theodore M. Hesburg, C.S.C., President
of the University of Notre Dame.

From all over the Western Hemisphere
including a number of cities in the United
States, came delegates to the Municipal
Congress which was held in Panama. Many
of the delegates spent most of one Sunday
making a partial transit of the Canal, tour-
ing the Locks, and inspecting Miraflores
Filtration Plant.

The long-distance record for Canal Zone
visitors in August was held by several mem-
bers of the Japanese Diet, who are on a
tour of Latin America. They spent part of
one morning at Miraflores Locks.

Division of Schools. They are now offices
for supervisory teachers.

Another change of office for a Civil Affairs
Bureau unit — while not in the Civil Affairs
Building — is the transfer of the Chief of the
Cristobal Fire District, Capt. VV. H. Cass-
well, to Room 104 in the Cristobal Admin-
istration Building.

September and May may be the peak
moving-months in the Linked States but
August turned up here this year as the
month to transfer or rearrange a number of
Company-Government offices.

One of the major reshufflings was in the
Civil Affairs Building following the transfer
of the Postal Division's Financial Unit and
stamp sales to the Balboa Post Office.

The Chief of the Balboa Fire District.
Capt. W. E. Jones, has moved into Rooms
102 and 103, which were formerly occupied
I iy the money-order section of the Postal
Division. Headquarters of the Postal Div-
ision have been transferred to the two rooms
adjacent to Captain Jones' new offices.
These rooms, 104 and 105, had been occu-
pied by the stamp sales unit of the Postal

Two offices on the opposite side of the
lobby which had been occupied by the
Postal Division have been transferred to the

One office move and one major rearrange-
ment took place in August at the Adminis-
tration Building at Balboa Heights. The
Machine Accounting Section of the Account-
ing Division moved downstairs one floor to
the basement of the east wing. This move
involved the physical transfer of n employ-
ees and their machines.

The space which they had occupied on
the first floor of the same wing was taken
over by the Plant Accounting Branch which
had been housed temporarily on a porch
since its move from Diablo Heights the
first of the fiscal year.

The second move, which was really a re-
arrangement of office space, occurred in the
Administrative Branch on the second floor.
Made necessary by the transfer of the
Steamship Ticket Office to the Administra-
tion Building July i, it was accompanied by
a complete new look for the whole Branch.

Mahogany railings divide the offices into
sections and handsome mahogany plywood
and glass partitions provide privacy for a
good part of its personnel.

The employees who deal directly with the
public are now handily near the front of the
big room. These are the personnel of the
Transportation Section and the Steamship
Ticket Office, and the women who handle
vital statistics, authority cards, and Canal
Zone entry permits.

When General Charles de Gaulle,, whose
Free French Forces had much to do with
the liberation of France during World War
II, arrived here August 18 on his way to
Tahiti, he found a welcoming letter from
Gov. William E. Potter awaiting him.

The Governor assured the General that
he had a host of admirers on the Isthmus
"who hold in high regard the record of your
valiant stand at a crucial period in world

General de Gaulle was a passenger aboard
the French Line's SS Caledonia. He was
accompanied by his wife and a party of
three. They did not go ashore during their
brief visit and made the Canal transit
aboard the Caledonia.


September 7, 1956

"What A Change!" Said The President,

And 32 Years Does Make A Difference

U?^^rremSSS^^&^ ~

ESSS ■'■. -

GATUN OF 1924 bears only a general resemblance to the Gatun of today. The railroad station, which has not been moved, is a good orientation mark. In
the left foreground is the commissary and at the lower right the public docks. The clubhouse is one of the larger buildings in the center of the photograph.

Old Canal Zone towns have been razed
and new ones have appeared since 1924.
Hilltops have been levelled off and car-
riage-wide streets rebuilt into broad,
smooth roads. Most of the termite-eaten,
dreary, gray quarters dating back to con-
struction days have given way to pastel-
colored, ranch-type concrete homes or
trim frame houses in attractive surround-
ings. Gardens bloom where, years ago,
no one tried to grow as much as a hibiscus.

No wonder then that President Eisen-
hower exclaimed "What a change!" when
he drove through the Canal Zone with
Gov. W. E. Potter this summer.

Even through the downpour which fell
during most of that drive, the President
could see not only the changes in the
Canal Zone from his last visit here in 1946
but also the terrific difference between
the Canal Zone of today and the Canal
Zone of 1922-24 when he and Mrs. Eisen-
hower were stationed at Camp Gaillard.

Camp Gaillard in those days was a
good-sized Army Post on the west side
of the Canal. Camp Gaillard had
formerly been Culebra, headquarters
town in construction days. Today it is
just a grass-grown memory.

And just what changes would strike the

President of the United States or anyone
else who might be comparing the Canal
Zone of today with the Canal Zone of 32
years ago?

In the first place, of course, there would
be the physical difference — the new towns,
the empty places where towns once stood,
and the changes in the terrain itself.

When Major and Mrs. Eisenhower were
living at Camp Gaillard there was no
Rainbow City, no New Cristobal. Mar-
garita was a hog farm operated by the
Supply Department. A ferry crossed
Limon Bay several times a day between
Cristobal and Fort Sherman, which was
abustle with land-crabs, military person-
nel and their families, and a one-car train
scurried back and forth between Fort
Randolph and Cristobal almost hourly.

Folks River and Silver City were the
main Atlantic side local-rate towns. One
of the landmarks of this two-in-one settle-
ment was a 140-room behemoth known
as "Noah's Ark."

Gatun was a hodge-podge collection
of frame quarters and the Canal Ad-
ministration was talking about aban-
doning it. Its two-story frame commis-
sary stood beside the railroad track and
its big old clubhouse in the center of

town. Gatun youngsters swam in a
curve of the lake, between the public
docks and the lock wing-wall.

Between Gatun and Gamboa there was
nothing but the long stretch of Gatun
Lake, where thousands of dying trees
stretched their orchid-laden branches to
the sky, and the little settlements at
Frijoles and Monte Lirio. At Darien were
the towers of the Navy's radio station,
which would be dwarfed by their modern
counterparts at Summit.

The train rattled across the same steel
trestle of Gamboa that it uses today but
Gamboa was only a few houses, the pen-
itentiary, and a hydrographic station.
The Paraiso of those days was a far cry
from the Paraiso of today. In the early
1920's it was headquarters for the Dredg-
ing Division. There the two great cranes,
Ajax and Hercules, towered at their
moorings beside other cranes and barges
and dredges. The town itself was several
groups of frame quarters, housing local-
rate workers and their families.

Between Paraiso and Pedro Miguel was
a landing for the ferry which plied back
and forth across the Canal. It was the
only means of crossing the waterway ex-
cept for the automobile crossing at the
Locks which was generally limited to
official vehicles, and, on special occasions,
a few private Ford cars. In those days
it was not particularly important to be
able to cross the Canal, as the highway
which today links Panama City with
David, was not much more than a narrow
winding path.

Fort Clayton of the 1920's was a small
collection of buildings, little resembling
the attractive sprawling Post it is today.
There was no Miraflores Bridge, no Cocoli,
and Corozal was a cluster of Army quar-
ters, many of them dating back to the
clays of the French Canal Company.

Some of the enlisted personnel were
still living in boxcars converted to dwel-
lings just as the civilians who built
the Canal had done 20 years before.

There was no Diablo Heights and Al-

TIIIS IS Gamboa, on June 10, 1924. The bridge is

the only familiar thing. Town and highway are


September 7, 1956


brook Field was a swampy fill where
planes from France Field made occasional
trial landings. The road from Corozal to
Ancon ran north of the present airbase,
where Diablo Terrace stands today.

The Balboa Terminal area looked al-
most the same then as it now does, except
that the shops were abuzz with activity,
and the ships of the Navy's Special Serv-
ice Squadron lay at anchor in the basin.
The railroad station, the Balboa Elemen-
tary School, the service center and the
Administration Building could be recog-
nized by a visitor returning after a 32-
year absence.

Balboa Flats, in the 1920's was row
after row of look-alike, gray, frame four-
family buildings. The commissary was
the same concrete building it is today,
but there were no annexes and no parking
lots of the size they now are. The Balboa
movie theater was a wooden, shed-like
structure adjacent to the clubhouse.

Balboa Heights, except for Ridge
Road which was lined with low frame
cottages shadowed by massive trees,
was a collection of second-hand, two-
story official quarters. The big frame
buildings had all been moved, wall-
section by wall-section, from their orig-
inal locations in Culebra and Empire.
Of them all, the only one still standing
is the Governor's House.

Ancon Boulevard, nearest the Admin-
istration Building, ran between two rows
of frame cottages and big, two-family
houses. San Juan Place, where a good
many of the quarters were occupied by
Navy families, still bore the marks of the
days when its buildings had been part of
the Ancon (now Gorgas) Hospital ward
for mental patients. The lower end of
Ancon Boulevard was not much more
than an alley, between solid rows of four-
family houses. They were set so close to
the street that a passerby could tell what
their occupants were having for dinner.
The Ancon Clubhouse was a two-story
building where the concrete bachelor quar-
ters now stand this building was burned
in 1923 and the present Payroll Build-
ing was a restaurant where white-coated
waiters served dinner on Sunday night to
the music of a string orchestra. The Tiv-
oli has changed little in these 32 years
except for its landscaping and its status,
but the Ancon Post Office of the 1920's
was a two-story frame building.

There were no 12-family quarters on
Frangipani Street, but also there was no
such street -just a police station and a
flower garden in that section. There was
no Civil Affairs Building and no Motor
Transportation Division Garage or Main-
tenance Division Field Office on Gaillard
Highway; there was no highway, either.
And what other differences did the
President see in the Canal Zone? More
people, for one thing. In June 1924
three months before the Eisenhowers
left Camp Gaillard the Canal Zone's
civilian population was 27,143. In the
last official census, taken in November
1954, this figure was 38,953.

There are over twice as many children
in the Canal Zone schools today as there
were then. In 1924, 4,005 children were
attending the Zone schools; today's figure
is around 11,000. In June 1924, Balboa
and Cristobal High Schools - the only sec-
ondary schools here in those days - grad-
uated 46 students, one less than the num-
ber of honor graduates from these two

CAMP GAILLARD, where Major and Mrs. Eisenhower were stationed, was formerly the construction-
day town of Culebra. This phctograph, taken in 1924, shows the Army Post on the high west bank of

the Canal not far from the Cut.

schools this year and about one-tenth of
the total who received their diplomas in
1956 from the present four high schools
and the Junior College.

There are a good many more automo-
biles around these days, too, than there
were in 1924, but then there are a good
many more miles of roads and highways
than there were 32 years ago. In fiscal
year 1924, there were 2,852 automobiles
licensed in Panama and the Canal Zone;
today, 13,779 automobiles are licensed in
the Canal Zone alone.

President Eisenhower undoubtedly no-
ticed handsomer post office buildings this
summer than he remembered from the
early 1920's. Of course, when he and
Mrs. Eisenhower lived at Camp Gaillard
all their letters traveled from the Isthmus
by ship mail. Today, between 75 and 80
percent of the Canal Zone's first class
mail is handled by air.

If he had time to visit the Canal com-
missaries he would have seen a number
of differences between today's stores and
the ones in which he and Mrs. Eisenhower
shopped when they lived here. Two ma-
jor changes which undoubtedly would
have struck him would be self-service
practically everywhere and the cash regis-
ters which actually ring up cash pur-
chases instead of those made with com-
missary coupon books.

When the Eisenhowers lived at Camp
Gaillard, a trip to Ancon or Balboa or
Panama City was a much more compli-
cated affair than it is now. In the first
place, they had to get from the Army
Post to a point opposite Pedro Miguel
by automobile. Then they had to put
their Buick on an Army ferry to reach
the east side of the Canal.

Once at Pedro Miguel they had two
choices. They could drive into town or
they could take a motor car which was
known to large and small as the "Toon-
erville Trolley." For many years its con-
ductor was fat, jolly Tom Shirley.

If their ultimate destination was Pan-
ama City, where Mrs. Eisenhower might
buy jade or crystal at Chung King's or
some other Panama City emporium of
those days, they might choose to make
the Balboa-Panama City lap by street-
car. During the 1920's, "trams" ran
every few minutes down Balboa Road
and into the heart of the Panamanian
capital city.

During the 1920's, there was much of
interest to see here, just as there is today.
In January 1924, over 60 ships of the
Pacific Fleet, including five battleships,
made the north to south transit of the
Canal in three days- -about half the time
which had been planned. In July of that
same year, two British (See page w)

WHEN the Eisenhowers drove to town, they crossed

the Canal on this ferry just north of Pedro Miguel




September 7, 1956

Zone Nurses Tell How To Fortify
Your Children For An Operation

A DINING TABLE served as conference headquarters and desk for the Zone's author-nurse team while
they were working on their book. Left to right are Evelyn Koperski, Adelia De Vore, and Henri Skeie.

If one of its authors had continued the
short-story course she started, a book
which is slated for publication this month
might never have been written.

The book, Dede Has Her Tonsils Out,
is the joint effort of three Canal Zone
registered nurses, Mrs. Christian S. Skeie,

2 4

Online LibraryPanama Canal CompanyThe Panama Canal review (Volume v.7:no.2(1956:Sept. 7)) → online text (page 2 of 4)