Panama Canal: Scenes of the Finished Canal


This film shows the operation of the Panama Canal in 1919, five years after its completion and opening to ocean-going traffic. The film follows the passage through the canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific by an unidentified ship. The vessel passes by the Panamanian city of Colón on the Atlantic end of the canal and through the channel to Gatun Locks and into Gatún Lake. Views of the Gatun spillway and the Chagres River are shown. From there the ship passes through the Gaillard Cut (Culebra Cut), into the Pedro Miguel Locks, into Miraflores Lake, and then through the Miraflores Locks and into the final portion of the canal, passing the Canal Zone towns of Ancon, Balboa, and Balboa Heights. The final views are of the Ancon Hospital (Gorgas Hospital) and the U.S. administration building at Balboa. The film contains many scenes showing the working of the canal’s enormous locks.

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Physical Description

1 film reel (358 feet) : silent, black and white ; 16 millimeters. Duration: 4:03 (part 1), 4:00 (part 2), 3:56 (part 3), 4:07 (part 4), 0:52 (part 5) at 14 frames per second


  1. Willis J. Abbot, Panama and the Canal in Picture and Prose (New York: Syndicate, 1913).
  2. Ralph E. Avery, America's Triumph at Panama (Chicago: Walter, 1913).

Last updated: April 3, 2015