"Ships Passing through the Panama Canal, Gatun Locks"


Keystone View Co.
PANAMA, Panamá, Canal de
circa 1940
overall: 3-1/2 x 7 in.; image: 3 x 6-1/8 in.

Stereograph, albumen print mounted on gray card with rounded corners; bow view of tanker SS H. D. COLLIER (built 1938) on left and bow view of twin screw steamer COMAYAGUA (built 1921) on right passing through the Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal; printed on left "110" and "Keystone View Company/ COPYRIGHTED/ Manufacturers MADE IN THE U.S.A. Publishers"; printed on right "Meadville, Pa., New York, N. Y.,/ Chicago, Ill., London, England"; printed on bottom right "38221 Ships Passing through the Panama Canal,/ Gatun Locks."; printed on back "38232/ SHIPS PASSING THROUGH GATUN/ LOCKS/ The locks at Gatun are the first you enter/ after passing Cristobal. You are traveling/ southeast for the Atlantic end of the Canal is/ farther west than the Pacific end and when a/ ship passes through from the Atlantic to the/ Pacific it completes its journey twenty-seven/ miles farther east than from the starting point./ Thus for you, the sun will rise in the Pacific/ and set in the Atlantic./ There are three flights or steps at Gatun/ Locks which lift your ship 85 feet and permit/ it to enter Gatun Lake. Within the lake is a/ channel that varies from 500 to 1000 feet in/ width. This channel is nearly 24 miles long,/ the distance your ship travels before it reaches/ Galliard Cut. The locks of the Canal System/ are in duplicate and are constructed in the/ same manner, with all lock walls on rock foun-/ dations. At Gatun Locks here are three flights,/ at Pedro Miguel one, and at Miraflores two./ The average time required to pass a vessel/ through the Gatun Locks is one hour. At all/ times during the process of lifting, a vessel is in/ full view of the men who are controlling it and/ it is as safe as if tied to a wharf. The water/ comes in so gently one hardly notices it./ The cost of transiting a vessel through the/ Canal varies with the structure of the ship and/ depends on whether it is laden or with ballast/ as its only load. These are two aspects of transit/ in passing a vessel through the canal, one is/ that of pilotage and the other the functioning of/ the locks. On one occasion when the United/ States Fleet passed through the Canal, the/ entire transit of destroyers, cruisers, aircraft/ carriers and battleships was accomplished in/ thirty-six hours without mishap, a record for/ rapid movement of ships through the Canal."


Related Subjects

Panama Canal (Panama)