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West India Islands and the Approaches to the Panama Canal
This large folding map, issued by the London Geographical Institute during World War I, shows the islands of the Caribbean Sea and the approaches to the Panama Canal. The canal had opened to traffic in early 1914, shortly before the outbreak of the war. Protection of the canal against possible sabotage by Germany was a concern of U.S. military planners in World War I and, especially, during World War II. The map shows telegraph lines, undersea cables, and the distances in nautical miles of steamer routes from the key ...
West Indies Showing Sovereignty of the Various Islands
This undated map of the West Indies from the first half of the 20th century was produced by the Military Intelligence Division of the General Staff of the U.S. Department of the Army. It shows U.S., British, French, and Dutch possessions in the region, along with principal trade routes, undersea telegraph cables owned by Britain and the United States, and the location of government and privately owned radio stations. Defense of the Caribbean against possible incursions by hostile European powers was a major concern of U.S. military ...
Panama
This map of Panama was published in 1904, the year that construction of the Panama Canal began. The “Profile of the Panama Canal” at the top shows the plan for the canal. In 1881, a French company led by Ferdinand de Lesseps, the builder of the Suez Canal, had begun work on cutting a sea-level channel across the isthmus. The French venture collapsed in 1889 and work was halted. In 1903, the United States and Panama concluded the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty that granted to the United States the right to build ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Panama Canal—West Lirio Slide
This 1923 photograph from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress documents a recent landslide in the West Lirio section of the Panama Canal and its effects on eastbound and westbound shipping. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Winter in Panama with the U.S. Army
This World War I recruitment poster for the U.S. Army features a drawing of a ship transiting the Panama Canal and photographs of training exercises conducted in Panama. Under a treaty concluded with Panama in 1903, the United States was given permanent control over a zone of land 16 kilometers (10 miles) wide and about 64 kilometers (40 miles) long across the Isthmus of Panama, for the purpose of building, operating, and defending the Panama Canal. This strip of land, known as the Panama Canal Zone, was the site ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Pedro Miguel Locks. Auxiliary Crane Dumping Concrete, Panama Canal
This photograph from the George Grantham Bain Collection at the Library of Congress is a scene from the construction of the Panama Canal. The collection contains approximately 40,000 glass plate negatives and 50,000 photographic prints, most dating from the 1900s to the mid-1920s. Bain, who was born in 1865 and died in 1944, founded the New York-based Bain News Service in 1898. Specializing in news about New York City and to a lesser degree the eastern United States, Bain distributed its own pictures, and those purchased from other ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of Central America Including the States of Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the Territories of Belise and Mosquito, with Parts of Mexico, Yucatan and New Granada
John Baily was an Englishman who lived for many years in Central America. He was employed in 1837-38 by the government of Nicaragua to survey a potential canal route from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. This map, published in London in 1850, was accompanied by a book, Central America, published separately, which contained much of the detailed information that Baily gathered to make this map. The map shows four possible canal routes: one surveyed for the government of Costa Rica in 1848 by the Danish engineer Andres Oersted ...
Contributed by Library of Congress