Object of the Day


The only caption for this image provides us with a date: Nov. 27, 1953. Please help us learn more about this image.
1999.013.001h_0001Does anyone recognize the objects on the table? What were their purpose? Have you ever used them before?

Where are these objects located? What type of building is it? Have you seen or visited this room before?

Please share any information you have in the comments section of this post!


  • William McLaughlin

    This is a photo is inside one of the Panama Canal Locks Control Houses. This is where the lock gates are opened and closed, water let in and out of the lock chambers and at this time to raise the emergency chains. Each one of the L shaped (shinny) knobs are the controling devices. The tall bubble guages are used to see what level the water in the chamber is.

    I have been in the Control House several times in the past as a visitor. Most of all this is computerized now.

  • Carol Meyer

    A visit to the Control House at Miraflores Locks was a treat for distinguished visitors. When I was a resident in Pediatrics in 1968-69 I accompanied Dr. Denton Cooley to the Control House when he was a visiting consultant to the Health Bureau. Somewhere I have a photo of him turning one of the controls!

  • David Hilliard

    This looks like it is in the control house at Miraflores Locks. My wife and I had the opportunity of opening the gates to the lock chambers by turning the controls.

  • Robert Dryja

    The photograph reminds me of a control house table. A set of handles could be turned which in turn controlled the opening and closing of the lock gates. The handles also would control the opening and closing of the culverts that allowed water to enter or leave the lock chambers. These handles can be seen as close to the table top in the photograph.

    The vertical columns are water depth gages. These would show the water depth at the entry/exit to the locks; the depth between the pairs of gates; and the depth in the lock chamber. The gates were built in pairs as a safety feature. If one set of gates failed to close correctly then the second set could be used to stop possible draining of a lock chamber. The layout of the valves and gages represented the layout of the lock.

    A joke stated that the lock chambers filled and emptied faster than the toilets in the control house.

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