USS MISSOURI passing Cucaracha Slide, Panama Canal, July 16, 1915
mount 14 x 17 in.; photograph 10-3/4 x 13-3/8 in.
Photograph, mounted on gray cardboard; starboard view of battleship USS MISSOURI (built 1901) passing through Panama Canal; handwritten in negative at bottom "80-B14 U.S.S. "Missouri" passing Cucaracha Slide Looking norht. Jy. 16, 1915."; photographed by Ernest "Red" Hallen. President Theodore Roosevelt had seen the Panama Canal as an essential artery for the U.S. Navy to provide strategic access between the Atlantic and Pacific. In 1915, the battleship MISSOURI was the first U.S. Navy battleship to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Panama Canal. Commissioned in 1903, the 388-foot MISSOURI traveled around the world to show off U.S. naval power with the "Great White Fleet," 1907-09, but was nearly obsolete by 1915. Ernest "Red" Hallen, the official Panama Canal Company photographer from 1907 to 1937, recorded the ship as it passed through the Gaillard Cut, where dredges worked to clear landslide rubble from the canal. Hallen's perspective is nearly identical to the excavation photo of the cut.