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Canals
Leonardo's Miter Gate
Languedoc Canal
Caledonian Canal
Panama Canal Zone

The Panama Canal

Panama Canal Zone
French Project
Infrastructure
Gatun Dam and Locks
Culebra Cut
Opening Panama Canal

Centuries of Civil Engineering

Nichols, A.B., Office Engineer, Culebra, Canal Zone, Panama
Panama Canal Notebooks.
Albums of photographs, circa 1882-1920. 3 volumes
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The Panama Canal officially opened on August 15, 1914, only a few days after the outbreak of World War I. A.B. Nichols, who had been involved with the project either directly or indirectly for more than fifteen years, must have witnessed the event. He resigned shortly thereafter from his position as Office Engineer at Culebra, and sailed for the U.S. on the Panama on October 4, 1914.

Another eyewitness to the event was Ernest Hallen, Official Photographer of the Isthmian Canal Commission. Hallen began photographically documenting the construction process in 1907. The Canal Record, an official weekly newsletter, reported in 1908 that employees could buy his pictures by making written application to the "Office Engineer who will authorize or disapprove the issue or sale of such photographs." The unnamed "Office Engineeer" presumably was Nichols, so it not surprising that some of Hallen’s photographs are included in Nichols’s notebooks. These unsigned photographs are probably by Hallen. They show the S.S. Cristobal (top) making a test run through the canal on August 4, 1914, eleven days before the official opening and inaugural passage of the S.S. Ancon (bottom).

 

 

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