• Collections,  Stories from The Zone

    Sports in the Zone

    The PCMC holds a large number of photographs of sports played in the Canal Zone. What sports did you play in the Zone? What was unique about sports in the Canal Zone? Which sports were the most popular or most competitive? As always, please comment if you have any additional information about the photographs below.

  • Stories from The Zone

    Canal Zone Shopping

    It’s already October, which means holiday season shopping is creeping up again. What do you remember about shopping in the Canal Zone? What types of things did you buy in the commissaries and what was only available outside of the Zone? Did you take trips to Panama to shop? Did you order items from the United States? Where did you go for the most affordable items? The highest quality?

  • Guest Blogger

    Stevenson v. Castles

    In honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing last week, the PCMC would like to acknowledge her impact on the Canal Zone. In 1973, PCC budget analyst June Stevenson took the Panama Canal Company to court due to unequal employee benefits for women and men. Federally employed Canal Zone women whose spouses were privately employed were denied benefits such as eligibility for housing and free schooling for their children. Ruth Bader Ginsburg served as Stevenson’s attorney and won the case in 1978. Stevenson’s daughter, Lori Snow, summarizes: “June A. Stevenson worked originally with a local lawyer who advised her to seek council from the courts of New Orleans once she encountered…

  • Collections

    La Boca Normal Training School

    In a recent oral history interview conducted by Pan Caribbean Sankofa, Inc. in collaboration with the PCMC, an interview participant recalled her experiences attending La Boca Normal Training School after high school to train as a teacher. She would become a second-grade teacher and, later, a school crossing guard in the community. What do you remember about La Boca Normal Training School or other schools in La Boca? La Boca Normal Training School yearbook, The Thinker, 1944, pgs. 79-82

  • Collections

    Hitting the Open Road

    While this collection extensively covers the Panama Railroad, we also have a number of photographs of cars and buses. What do you remember about this form of transportation in the Canal Zone and Panama? Did you own your own car? Did you ride chivas or other public buses? What do you remember about the Pan-American Highway or other roads in the Canal Zone or Panama? Below are photographs of automobiles from the collection – do you recognize anyone in these photos? Two boys posing on an automobile outside of Cristobal High School, 1935. Men outside a chiva at a farmer’s market, 1939. A car on Gaillard Highway near Miraflores, undated.

  • Stories from The Zone

    Nature in the Zone

    In our recent oral history interviews, many participants have noted the natural beauty of the Canal Zone and Panama, remarking on how special it was to grow up in a “tropical paradise.” What do you remember most about Panama’s natural landscape? Did you often travel in Panama to experience different scenery? What were your favorite natural sites or features of the environment? Frank Hill emphasizing the size of a tree, undated. Woman seated under a banana tree looking at a fawn, undated. Back of photograph reads, “Teresa (Hanson) Roseth (Rossetti?) – another excursion into the interior of Panama with friends. A very frequent occurrence, 1920s.”

  • Collections


    In her memoir, Canal Zone Daughter, Judy Haisten describes her childhood memories of exploiting movie theater seats for their “steelies”:   “Broken seats were common because of the ‘steelies’ – steel ball-bearings that would come out of the seat mechanism if you knew how to get one. The steelie was a hot commodity. We played marbles every day at school and nothing, I mean nothing, beat having a steelie in a marble collection. …The best way to get a steelie was from a movie-theater seat. First you had to find an unbroken seat. Next, you had to bounce hard in the seat, over and over, just right until the seat…

  • News and Updates

    We’ve Been Under Construction

    Bucket dredge barge working on the Culebra Cut, 1910. You may have noticed the PCMC Blog has been silent for the past couple months. During that time, we’ve been under construction getting a new look. The blog’s new layout allows for easy navigation and searching and is more mobile-friendly than the previous version. All blog posts and comments from the previous version have been transferred over. Commenting on posts is just as easy as before – simply type your name, email, and comment and click “post comment.” The blog’s URL has changed from ufpcmcollection.wordpress.com to pcmc.domains.uflib.ufl.edu. While the old URL will automatically redirect to the new site for at least…

  • Collections

    Come on in, the Water’s Fine!

    As the weather warms, we’re dreaming of taking a dip in the pool! What community pools were popular in the Canal Zone? Were you on a school or community swim team? Did you prefer to swim in natural bodies of water? As always, any information you have about the photographs below is welcome. Bill Hatchett diving off a springboard, 1950s. Arline Schmidt Winerman in a swim lane, undated. Balboa Pool, undated. Hedvig Seedborg and Janet Potter Cunningham at Chorrera Falls, 1930s. Swimmers playing with a ball at a beach in Portobelo, Panama, undated.

  • Collections

    Canal Zone Clubs

    The collection includes many photographs of the variety of clubs in the Canal Zone. What clubs were you part of and what are your favorite memories from that time? What niche clubs do you remember that we may not have records of in the collection? The photographs below have various amounts of metadata. Please read the captions to help us fill in the missing information! Pedro Miguel Boat Club, undated. Can you identify the people in this photograph? Pacific Sail Fish Club, Balboa Yacht Club, 1939. Can you identify anyone in this photograph? Click on the photograph to enlarge it. Jungle Crews, undated. Do you know what the Jungle Crews…