The Panama Canal :by Tyler Finley
The Panama Canal is a system of locks allowing ships to pass from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean instead of having to go around South America. While building the canal, there were many problems. Among these problems were diseases, tools not working, many casualties, and financial troubles.
While building the canal, many people died .The doctors did not know for sure, but they thought that the swamp water or gas was killing these people .The patients had bowls of water placed under the legs of their beds to prevent ants from invading the hospital room, but little did they know that it was perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. This is told in journals of the French workers. In 1884, 1200 people died and that was up to 200 people a month. In 1906, Yellow fever ,which had been killing all those people was treated with quinine, therefore ending the large number of deaths.
The people who worked on the canal were paid 1.00 dollar a day. That was a lot of money back then. The blacks and whites were separated and the living conditions were very, very poor.
A man from France, named Deliseps, had the idea for building the canal. In 1870 he was admired but by1886 he ran out of money. There were financial scandals involved, and after getting more investors, he ran out of money again in 1888. The French people who invested money lost their life savings. In 1902 Teddy Roosevelt arranged for the USA. to buy the canal. The engineers in America United States decided on a system of locks.
The tools that the French had were old and not very effective. The device used to move dirt was a bunch of carts on train tracks.To unload the dirt and rocks, men had to shovel.After all the rain, mold,moss,and fungi covered everything.
The United States had to invent new tools that would not mold,grow moss,or fungi after the rainy season.They invented the steam shovel that, instead of having to dig with shovels, picks, and ax, now the hydraulic shovel was highly efficient. Then they invented a cart for the dirt that would unload automatically.
In conclusion, the Panama Canal is one of the greatest building stories in history. Throughout the process, all the men kept going and they didn't stop even when the odds were stacked against them. Many people said they would never finish it because of all these problems, but they did! Hats off to the hard working people in the world.