Object of the Day

West Indian group outside of tent

Unfortunately, we do not have any extra information on this photograph. Please help us add more to this objects record!


Where and when might this photograph have been taken?

Were tent settlements common within the Canal Zone?

Please share with us in the comments section below!



  • Nina Brown Kosik

    Looks like Colon in the vague background. If so, this tent city is probably the result of one of the City’s many large fires. Pan Canal & the US Army provided food, clothing, shelter, medicine, etc, etc., etc (as always) while Panama scrambled to relocate those burned out. Housing was not well constructed & was easily flammable, so there were a lot of fires, some of them taking out large portions of the City (only to be rebuilt with the same poor materials).

  • Ray Crucet

    Yes, I agree with Nina. I believe this was the aftermath of the huge Colon fire of 1936-38 ? I remember it as we lived in Chritobal at the time. The tent City’s that appeared in many of the City parks were there for some time.

  • Nina Brown Kosik

    It would be helpful if UF gave instructions on how to send photos (which supplement the one in question), so that we could open & view them Would love to see Bob’s picture.

    • ufpcmcollection

      Hi Nina,
      We would need to enable a special plugin to allow users to put images in their comments. We’ll start researching the best plugins to use for this purpose and will certainly post instructions if we enable such a feature.

      • Nina Brown Kosik

        Bob — well, that’s a start. You have much to add to UF (& all of our) knowledge & I’m looking forward to those pictures — -Nina

    • ufpcmcollection

      Hi Diane,
      Thanks so much for commenting! Many of the images in our collection are quite old and we realize that most of our readers will not have a personal memory of these older images. However, it’s often possible to identify a location, building, or activity in these images– even if they’re quite old. So we appreciate everyone’s great comments.
      Thanks again for following the blog!

  • Hugh Stewart

    After the fire in 1940, the US Army provided tents for displaced residents. They lined the boulevard (Paseo del Centanario). As a siz year old, I had to walk along the boulevard from Calle 5 to the school at the water end, past all the tents. The first night of the fire fire we went to watch the Pan Am Clipper land – and all the while kept looking back at the city to see big smoke. my brother and I slept in the car while our parents prepared to evacuate, but it was not necessary – the fire did not cross the boulevard.
    I can only guess that this picture is from that time, but the dresses look like 1940s.

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