Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, & Technology
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Leonardo's Miter Gate
Languedoc Canal
Caledonian Canal
Panama Canal Zone

The Panama Canal

Panama Canal Zone
French Project
Gatun Dam and Locks
Culebra Cut
Opening Panama Canal

Centuries of Civil Engineering

Nichols, A.B., Office Engineer, Culebra, Canal Zone, Panama
Panama Canal Notebooks.
Manuscripts, typescripts, maps, blueprints, and printed materials, circa 1906-1920.
94 volumes
Water Supply
Image Index

In July 1905, less than a year after A.B. Nichols began working on the Panama Canal,. John F. Stevens replaced J.F. Wallace as Chief Engineer. Stevens concentrated on preparatory activities, such as building adequate housing for workers and an extensive railroad system. Everything in the Isthmus moved by rail – steam shovels, cranes, workers, visitors, concrete, and dirt. So it is hardly surprising that A.B. Nichols had an entire notebook devoted to "Rolling Stock Diagrams", with sketches and blueprints of railroad equipment that was supplemented with an album of photographs. Stevens realized that the problem of transportation was perhaps even more important in Panama that the problem of excavation. This notebook hints at the extent of the railroad operations, and the care that was taken in understanding the details of all the equipment that was available for the project.


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