• Uncategorized

    Excursion Trains

    Tourism at work sites during the Construction Era is an endlessly fascinating topic, so for our final day of Panama Railroad posts we are featuring some wonderful images of excursion trains. The first is an official government photograph from 1910 and the second is an undated photo postcard showing a closer view of an excursion train loaded with passengers.   These images offer a perfect opportunity to share both descriptive information about the images and stories about your own experiences with railroad travel or even general tourism in the Canal Zone. We hope you have enjoyed this series of posts on the Panama Railroad! Celebrating 160 Years of the Panama Railroad (1855-2015)

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    The Panama R.R. Station, Gatun

    Many official government photographs document the presence and varied workings of the Panama Rail Road, and the featured image today is another great example of this. Let us know if you have any comments related to this image or stories that you would like to share related to your own experiences with travel on the P.R.R. This is also a good time to mention that this is the second to last post in our series featuring Panama Railroad images, which we have focused on leading up to the Panama Canal Society Reunion. If you are attending this event we look forward to seeing you this weekend! Don’t forget to stop by…

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    Trains at Work on the Panama Canal

    The first image featured today is an informal photograph included in an album of film negatives that were taken in 1909 by A.G. Bedell. It shows a work crew standing on the tracks by a locomotive while a steam shovel loads a dirt car in the background. Beyond the year and photographer, we don’t have any additional information about the image. As mentioned in a previous post, there were many photographs taken by laborers during their time working on the Canal. The next two images are from the same series and, like the one pictured above, are informal shots in which the railroad’s role in construction is evident. We have very little information…

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    Relocation of the P.R.R., 1910

    The full title of this government photograph reads Relocation P.R.R. – The Quebrancho Bottom, looking South. This embankment will be 1700 feet long and contain 800,000 cubic yards. June 1910. The Panama Railroad was intricately tied to Canal construction efforts, and many great photographs of the railroad and associated equipment in use document this history. We would love to hear any thoughts or information pertaining to the track relocation as seen here, or to the use of the railroad and other parts of this interesting history.   Celebrating 160 Years of the Panama Railroad (1855-2015)

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    Front Street and Panama R.R. Yard. Colon, 1907

    Today we are featuring the second train-related image in the series of posts celebrating the 160th anniversary of the Panama Railroad and leading up to the Panama Canal Society Reunion. This Construction Era image is part of the extensive photographic documentation undertaken by the U.S. Government during that time period. Please feel free to share any recollections that you might have of seeing old photographs of this area, impressions of how it changed over time, and other thoughts or information you feel like sharing. Later on we will feature more of these official photographs, along with snapshots created by workers and tourists. Celebrating 160 Years of the Panama Railroad (1855-2015)

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    Panama Railroad

    The date of the annual Panama Canal Society Reunion in Orlando is fast-approaching and in anticipation we will be featuring images related to the Panama Railroad between now and July 3rd, commemorating the 160th anniversary of the Panama Railroad (1855-2015). As always, we welcome your input on people, places, dates, events, and other information related to the featured images. Perhaps more importantly, however, we would love to hear about your own stories and family histories that intersect with any aspect of the Panama Railroad–from details about an ancestor who helped to lay the original track to your own recollections of your experiences on a memorable excursion. If you are planning to…

  • Object of the Day

    Coupon Booklet

    We have come across several of these coupon books in the collection, but the records would benefit from some additional information. This coupon book was issued to F. C. Bitter in November of 1943. This coupon book has a $5.00 value. Were there booklets with less or more value?  Was $5.00 a common value for a coupon booklet? What would one buy with these coupons?  The back of the booklet (right) reads “for the purpose of supplies at Panama Railroad Commissaries.”  Can anyone give us more specific information about these commissaries? Did you, your parents or grandparents ever have coupons like these? If you have any knowledge of these coupon booklets,…

  • Object of the Day

    House in Culebra

    We need some additional information for this photograph. Can you help us? Can anyone identify the exact location of this house in Culebra? It looks like there are railroad tracks near the bottom of the photograph. Does anyone recognize this large and beautiful home, or know who used to own it? Perhaps this wasn’t a house at all?  Does anyone know what this building may have been used for?  Or if it still stands today? If you have any information or memories of this house, please share with us in the comments section!

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