The Panama Canal
( Continued from Page 1.)
Under continuous operation the capacity
of the present canal is approximately
48 ships of usual size per
day, or about 17,000 a year.
The Panama Canal has been built
because of the distances it saves
ocean commerce. Between New York
and San Francisco the distance of
13,135 nautical miles by the way of
the straits of Magellan has been l'educed
to 5,262 by the Canal, a saving
of 7,873, or three- fifths.
If the cost of operating a ship be
taken at 20 cents per net ton a day,
the cost of the tolls on laden ships
is about equivalent to six days of operation
During the three year period ending
30 June 1937 the total of ocean
going vessels measuring 300 or more
net tons which passed through the
Canal was 15,949. Tolls paid on them
amounted to $ 69,888,314.26. During
this period the traffic averaged, per
month, 443 vessels. The vessels were
of 34 nationalities, U. S. ships forming
about 24 percent. The average
commercial ship pays approximately
$ 4,400 in tolls for transit.
While the Panama Canal was opened
for traffic in August 1914 the early
years of opel'ation were hampered by
slides and commercial traffic did not
'. reach normal developement until after
the close of the World War era. For
this reason the Canal is not considered
to have been completed until
the year of its official opening in 1920,
and on that basis the cost of constructing
the Canal has been calculated
at $ 510,901,364.
Weather on the Isthmus is continuous
summer. January to April, inclusive,
are the normal dry season
months, during which there is comparatively
little rainfall. May to
December is the normal rainy season
period with about 63 inches of rain
on the Pacific side, and 117 inches
on the Atlantic. One of the oldest
known jokes in captivity is that in
Panama in the wet season it rains
all the time and in the dry season it
rains only eight or ten times a day.
In 1879, the French came to build
a Canal, headed by Count Ferdinand
THE BLUE ! BONNET
de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal.
But a lack of knowledge of tropical
diseases and other causes, imperfect
sanitation methods and other factors
contributed towards the failure
of this effort by the French.
: Meanwhile, discontent in Panama
towal'd the Columbian govemment of
Isthmus had reached the breaking
point. The beginning of the 20th Century
found Columbia negotiating with
the United States for a treaty where
under the latter would be empowered
to buy the French Canal Company's
pl'operties and rights on the Isthmus.
This treaty drawn up and signed by
the plenipotentiaries of the United
States and Columbia, was found satisfactory
by the Panamian people
who saw in it a new hope fOT the future.
But when submitted to the Columbian
Congress for ratification, it
was rejected, in spite of the protests
of Panama's representatives.
The rejection of the treaty spurred
the Panamanians to decisive action,
and on November 3, 1903, the independence
or separation of the Isthmus
from Columbia was proclaimed.
Negotiations were immediately started
with the United States, resulting
in the present Panama Canal Treaty
which grants to the United States
authority over a strip of Isthmian territory
ten miles wide by fifty miles
long wherein to build, maintain and
operate a canal. .......
The Man Who Wins
The man who wins is an average man,
Not built on any particular plan,
Not blessed with any particular luck,
Just steady and earnest and full of
When asked a question he does't guess
He knows the answers ' No' and ' Yes'.
When set to the task the rest can't do,
He buckles right down till he puts it
So he works and waits till one fine day
There is a better job with bigger pay.
And the man who shirked whenever
Is bossed by the man who's work
For the man who wins is the man who
Who neither labor nor trouble shirks,
Who uses his hands, his head, his eyes
The man who wins is the man who
Fort San Lorenzo
Visited by Houston Party
A party composed of camera fans,
would- be fishermen, and sightseers
had the very good fortune to set out
from the Houston last Sunday morning
and joumey to the oldest fort erected
in either of the Americas. Its
history intertwined with intrigue and
bloodshed is g, revelation in suffering
and the fight of man against tropical
jungles and fever ridden waters.
A few following facts from historr
is traced here to give an idea 0f its
early origin. In the year of 1509 La
Cosa and Nicucsa, t. wo Spanish favorites
of King Ferdinand, prepared for
a joint expedition to Hispaniola and
thence to ultimately capture Peru.
Jamaica was placed at their disposal
to serve as a supply base. But Columbus,
a bitter enemy of Nicuesa because
of the latter's popularity with
the King, would not grant permission
to the use of Jamaica as a supply
base so part of the expedition established
a base at the mouth of the Chagres
River. The party, numbering over
700 men at the outset, dwindled
down through famine and disease to
a mere 70 in the December of 1510.
A blockhouse was then constructed.
This was the beginning of the Fort.
Although named " Nombre De Dios"
by the builders it eventually lost
this name through successive constructions,
and the name " Fort San
Lorenzo" was finally applied to it.
o It is interesting to note the ruthlessness
of the Spaniards in applying
their will to the Indian inhabitants
of the country. Indians were
forced to work at the points of guns.
The fort therefore was constructed
entirely by Indian labor under the
guidance of the Spanish conquerors.
Balboa, who came a few years later
to discover the Pacific Ocean by transversing
the Isthmus, also wreaked
great hard hips on the native population
by having them carry his
ships piece by piece to the Pacific
side. In a few years, historians relate.
the Indian population was reduced
from three million down to a bare
The Fort was captured and burned
once by the notorious Pirate Morgan,
then reconstructed no less than four
times. The Fort as it stands during
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