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Manual of Information Concerning Employments for The Panama Canal. Mount Hope, Canal Zone: The Panama Canal Press, 1920.

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Manual of Information

Concerning Employments for the Panama Canal Service

X-11-20-6M Form 151
The Panama Canal
Washington Office



Revised December 1, 1920

Image of seal: "Seal of the Canal Zone Isthmus of Panama
Image of seal: "Seal of the Canal Zone Isthmus of Panama - The Land Divided the World United."


Persons seeking employment with the Panama Canal or the Panama Railroad Company are cautioned not to go on the Isthmus without an appointment secured through the Washington Office of The Panama Canal or through an authorized recruiting agent. Appointments will usually be made from approved applications on file in the Washington Office. Persons who go on the Isthmus without previous appointment, with the hope of obtaining employment with The Panama Canal or the Panama Railroad Company, do so on their own responsibility. The same examination, as regards physical and other qualifications, must be passed on the Isthmus before employment there as is required of those who are appointed through the Washington Office. The appointments made on the Isthmus are principally in minor-grade positions, including unskilled labor, in which the rates of pay are as low as 21 cents an hour. An unauthorized journey to the Isthmus in expectation of receiving work may result in hardships and cause unnecessary expense to the applicant. The Panama Canal desires to discourage such journeys and will accept no responsibility for conditions that may arise therefrom.


Address all inquiries to “Chief of Office, The Panama Canal, Washington, D.C.”


General Information   3
  Civil-Service Examination 3
  Excepted from Civil-Service Examination 4
  Transfers 4
Citizenship   4
Age limits   4
Physical Examination   4
Promotions   5
Working hours   5
Payment of salaries   5
Steamship transportation   5
Positions and wages   6
Tool list   26
Uniforms   28
General Conditions of Employment   29
Conditions of Living:    
  General information 32
  Climate 32
  Health Conditions 32
  Clothing required 32
  Quarters 32
  Meals 32
  Commissary 32
  Community interests and diversions 33
Historical and Statistical   34
Wage Schedule (see Supplement to this Manual) [Note: Supplement is not available.




Section 1.—All work relating to the maintenance and operation of The Panama Canal is to be under Government control.

The conditions of employment are outlined in Executive orders, and will be found in Section 15. Appointees are furnished free steamship transportation and usually sail from New York City, but under certain conditions may sail from New Orleans or San Francisco. They must pay their own railroad fare to the port of sailing. Employees are supplied with furnished bachelor quarters. Appointees are not permitted to take their families with them to the Isthmus on account of the scarcity of family quarters, but if after their arrival they secure quarters in the Republic of Panama at their own expense, they will be granted a reduced rate for the transportation of their families. Meals can be obtained at Government restaurants at about 40 cents per meal and upward. Employees are allowed leave of absence with pay and free medical attendance, as stated in the conditions of employment. Applicants must be in good health and physically sound. Health conditions on the Isthmus are good. Certain employees are required to wear uniforms when on duty. See Section 14.

Only experienced persons, including mechanics who have worked several years as journeymen, receive appointments. The services of person with so-called “all-around” experience cannot be utilized. If a person secures work through false statements as to his experience, or is found to be incompetent, he will be discharged. No appointments are issued in the United States to women for duty on the Isthmus, except to the positions of trained nurse, telephone operator, playground directress, school-teacher, and expert saleswoman. The requirements for these positions are given in Section 12.


Sec. 2. Civil service examination. — Under the Executive order of February 2, 1914, the following positions in The Panama Canal service must be filled through competitive civil-service examination: Clerk (all kinds, including timekeeper and bookkeeper), stenographer, typewriter, surgeon, physician, trained nurse, and draftsman. Requests for information relative to the date, place, and nature of the examination and for the required application form should be addressed to the “United States Civil Service Commission, Washington, D.C.”, or to the local Civil Service Secretary wherever practicable. It is useless to write to The Panama Canal office or the Civil Service Commission inquiring as to the prospects for employment in event a civil service examination is passed, as it is impractical to give this information.

No appointments are made in the United States to subordinate clerical positions paying a salary of $106 a month or less.



Section 3. Excepted from civil-service examination. — Under the same Executive order all positions other than those specified in the preceding paragraphs are excepted from Civil Service requirements and no examination under the Civil Service rules is necessary to become eligible for appointment. For these excepted positions persons are selected in the United States through written application to the Washington Office of the Panama Canal. Persons desiring to apply for an excepted position in which vacancies exist at the time, or are likely to occur in the near future, will be furnished a blank form for that purpose. This form, when properly filled out, should be mailed to “Chief of Office, The Panama Canal, Washington, D.C.” With the application should be sent (1) such letters of recommendation, clearances, or service letters, issued in recent years, as the applicant may have in his possession, covering the kind of work for which he applies and written on the official letterheads of the companies or persons by whom he was employed, and (2) a recent unmounted photograph of himself, a postal card photograph being satisfactory. The photograph is needed for identification.

If an applicant’s qualifications are approved, his name will be entered on the waiting list for the position for which approved, and he will be offered employment in his turn as his services are needed. If they are disapproved his papers can receive no further consideration and his letters of recommendation will be returned to him.

Sect. 4. Transfers. — Transfers from the departmental service, or from the field service at large, or of a person residing outside the continental United States to The Panama Canal are not encouraged. However, applications may be submitted on proper form and the same will be given due consideration.


Sect. 5. All persons employed in The Panama Canal service who receive over $75 a month or over 40 cents an hour must be citizens of the United States or of the Republic of Panama, and such citizens will be given preference for employment at all grades. A foreign-born applicant is required to submit with his application his final certificate of naturalization as an American citizen or a certified copy thereof, which will be returned immediately after inspection. A person claiming citizenship through the naturalization of his father must submit his father’s certificate. A declaration of intention to become a naturalized citizen (first papers) is not sufficient.


Sect. 6. The minimum age limit for all positions, unless otherwise stated, is 20 years. The maximum age limit for female nurse, inexperienced fireman, and hydrographer is 35 years; computer, interne, and physician, 30 years; experienced fireman (fire department), policeman, male nurse, surveyor, 40 years; all other positions, 45 years. Five years may be added to the above maximum age limits of certain positions in the case of persons especially well qualified.


Sec. 7. Before being permitted to sail for the Isthmus, new employees and those reemployed must undergo a rigid physical examination by a designated physician after appointment has been actually issued, but not at the time the application is filed. There will be no charge for this examination, but the appointee must bear


all personal expenses connected with the examination, such as railroad fare and hotel charges. The official physicians are located at the ports of departure and in a number of large cities throughout the United States.

Such diseases as rupture in any form, weak lungs or heart, venereal disease of any kind, aggravated varicocele, varicose veins, and piles, epilepsy, chronic alcoholism, deformed limbs, loss of fingers, defective eyesight and hearing (especially of pilots and railroad men), and other serious bodily defects, will be grounds for rejection. Persons wearing a truss to protect a rupture will be rejected. Persons who have slight defects in eyesight corrected by glasses should wear their glasses when presenting themselves for this examination.

Any concealment of material facts relative to the applicant’s physical condition, past or present, when being examined by a physician, will render him liable to dismissal from the service.


Sec. 8. Vacancies occurring in the higher grades are filled by promotion, except in a few positions filled, under law, by appointment of Army or Navy officers. Efficient service on the Isthmus and the demonstration of ability which will justify advancement, control the making of promotions. Length of service will be considered in connection with promotions only where necessary to facilitate choice between employees equally entitled to a promotion on the basis of efficiency.


Sec. 9. Eight hours constitute the working day for hourly men. Employees paid by the hour receive “time and-a-half” for overtime work. Hourly men on night shifts in the Mechanical Division are paid five per cent more than the day shift rates. This applies only to employees whose compensation is based on navy yard rates. Employees whose compensation is fixed on a monthly basis are not paid for overtime work.


Sec. 10. Salaries and wages are paid once a month. Under no circumstance should a person proceed to the Isthmus without sufficient money to pay his expenses during the first few weeks. An employee can not assign a portion of his salary for payment in the United States to his family. Remittances can be made by postal money orders payable in the United States.


Sec. 11. New employees are furnished free steamship transportation to the Isthmus, which includes meals on the steamer, but must pay the expense of their journey to the port of departure. Railroad transportation to the port of embarkation can not be advanced. See paragraphs 3, 14, and 15 of the General Conditions of Employment (Section 15), for more detailed information regarding transportation.

The Government rate on steamers of the Panama Railroad Steamship Line out of New York City is, at the present time, $30 for each adult; half rates for children between 6 and 11, inclusive; and children under 6 years, free. The above rates include meals on the steamer. This rate, under present regulations, is granted once each year to employees on vacation.


Employees and members of their families are allowed to take on board the steamers of the Panama Railroad Steamship Line not to exceed 250 pounds of baggage free of charge for each adult. Excess baggage on these steamers will be charged for at the rate of 1 cent a pound.

The Government rate on steamers of the United Fruit Company out of New Orleans (direct line) is about $69.00 for each adult; children between 3 and 12 years, one-half of adult fare; one child under three years, free. The rate out of San Francisco to Balboa is a reduction of 25 per cent from tariff rates in favor of Canal employees and their dependents. These rates are subject to change.


Sec. 12. Following is a partial list of positions, together with the specifications of The Panama Canal service, including the Panama Railroad on the Isthmus. See also Schedule of Rates of Pay, published as a supplement to this Manual. The publishing of this list does not mean necessarily that there are vacancies now in any of the positions named. In fact, there may be no further need whatever, or possibly only at rare intervals, for new employees in some of the positions. Information as to whether or not vacancies actually exist in any given position can always be procured by inquiring of the Washington Office of The Panama Canal. Strict attention is called to the requirements of each position, and unless an applicant has had the necessary experience and can satisfactorily prove it, he will not accomplish anything by filing his papers.

The Panama Canal Act, approved August 24, 1912, provides that compensation of employees of The Panama Canal shall not exceed by more than 25 per cent the compensation paid by the Government in continental United States for similar work. Wages have been adjusted on that basis.

The scale for each trade is given in the Schedule of Rates of Pay published as a supplement to this Manual. The rate actually paid will be only the amount which the services of the employee justify.

All mechanics should take with them to the Isthmus the tools of their trade which it is customary for them to carry with them in the States. Tools can not be bought to advantage on the Isthmus. For a partial list of tools required, see Section 13, page 26.

Owing to the distance of the Isthmus from sources of labor supply, it is necessary occasionally to use mechanics in trades other than their own but allied thereto. Employment of mechanics in trades other than their own is avoided wherever possible, but when heads of departments or divisions consider such employment necessary, employees are expected to do the best they can do with the work assigned. In general, such employment will be temporary only, and if the pay of the allied trade is less than that for which one is employed there will be generally no reduction in pay.

Heretofore a large percentage of work done on the Isthmus has been in connection with railroad and railroad-excavating equipment. This work is rapidly diminishing in quantity and the amount to be done on steamships and marine equipment is increasing. For this reason marine experience will frequently be specified in making requisitions for employees, and any experience in this line should be fully set forth in the application. 



Must have had four years’ experience in performing all pipework, cleaning triple valves and cylinders, and testing air brake apparatus on cars.


Must have the qualifications and experience as specified for the position of car air brake man, and also two years’ experience on triple valve test racks.


Must have completed apprenticeship and subsequently had at least three years’ experience in general anglesmith work; bending angles, channels, I-beams, T-irons to different shapes, and making welds in same.


Bread, cake and pastry. Must have had at least five years’ experience in large bakeries.

Master Baker — Must have had at least five years’ experience in charge of large bakeries; and be competent to supervise white and colored labor in the manufacture of bread and all kinds of cake and pastry and to analyze flour and yeast.


General. — One who has served an apprenticeship in a locomotive, railroad, or marine forging shop, who has had experience in forging various classes of light, medium, and fairly heavy work with Bradley hammers and steam hammers from 600 to 3,000 pounds capacity, and who can work from blue print or drawing.

Heavy Forger. — Experienced in and capable of handling heavy forgings by means of cranes and heavy fires or furnaces under heavy power presses and heavy power hammers. General blacksmiths will be considered in the line of promotion to this trade if the quantity and character of the work and their qualifications for the same justify their employment.

Shipsmith. — Should have special experience at ship work, which should be stated on his application; and in order to be competent must have experience in forging all classes of ship work — light, medium, and fairly heavy work, such as stanchions, mast bands, hinges, eyebolts, ring pads, etc.

Shipsmith, heavy forger. — Should have experience in and be cable of handling heavy forgings by means of cranes from heavy fires or furnaces under hammers, such as rudder frames, stern frames, stems, sternposts, main shafts, and large parts of engines.

Springmaker. — This rating is included under the heading “Blacksmith – General,” but special experience along these lines should be given in the application, and should include experience and ability to handle flat spring work of the grade and weight used for driving purposes under locomotives and for cars and other similar purposes.

Tool dresser. — Experience in and capable of forging all kinds of tools for lathes, planers, slotters, etc., and of tempering taps, reamers, dies, metal cut-off tools, bolt headers, and forging tools; also of considerable experience in handling the different makers of steel up to and including modern “blue-chip” or high speed tool steel,. This rating is including under the heading “Blacksmith — General.”



Must have served an apprenticeship or worked at this trade for at least two years.

Must be competent to lay off lines on floor and lay off, repair, and erect framing and planking for small boats of all types.


General. — Must have completed apprenticeship and subsequently had at least three years’ experience in general boiler work in either marine or locomotive shops. Must be thoroughly familiar with all kinds or work on locomotive, stationary, or marine boilers.


Must have several years’ experience in retail meat cutting and selling. Must supervise colored help.


Must have had several years’ experience in candling and grading eggs, and in handling butter and cheese. Must be competent to instruct and supervise colored labor.


Must have had at least two years’ experience in performing all classes of coach and cabinet work in a railroad coach shop or a regular car builder coach shop, or a general cabinetmaker shop; and in addition must have previously worked four years at some branch of the carpenter trade, such as house carpenter, ship carpenter, or car carpenter. Must furnish tools.


Must have had at least four years’ experience (within the last five years) as car repairer in repairing and building steel cars in railroad repair shops, and must also be experienced on truck work.


Car. — Must have had at least four years’ experience (within the last five years) as carpenter in repairing or building freight cars in a regular car shop, and must have had experience on truck work. Must bring own tools.

House and concrete form. — One who has had experience in concrete-form work and in ordinary framing, and can fit, hang, and trim doors and windows, build stairs, etc., and is expert with common carpenter’s tools.

Ship. — See Shipwright.



(a) Bacteriologist. — Must be a graduate of a recognized school, with degree, either in sanitary engineering or chemistry. The course in sanitary engineering must have included sufficient chemistry, bacteriology, and microscopy of water to enable the applicant to prepare the various solutions and make the various analyses included in


latest edition of “Standard Methods of Water Analysis.” The course must also have included the physical testing of cement and the mechanical analysis of sand and gravel.

(b) Bacteriologist. — The training in chemistry must have covered general inorganic and organic chemistry, both qualitative and quantitative, including a special course in the chemistry, bacteriology, and microscopy of water, or sufficient equivalent experience in the latter after graduation.

(c) Research. — In place of (b) the applicant may submit:

(1) Training and experience in the analysis of bituminous road materials as outlined in “Methods for the Examination of Bituminous Road Materials,” Bulletin No. 314, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

(2) Training and experience in the analysis of paint and paint materials.


Must be experienced in chipping and caulking steel plates, with special reference to ship work, including the use of hand and pneumatic tools on water-tight and oil-tight work.


Recorder. — This takes the place of the old rating “Rodman.” The applicant must be an active man not under 18 years of age, with about one year’s experience in the field and possessing the equivalent of a high-school education or graduate of a technical school in the civil-engineering course.

Surveyor. — This includes the former designation of “Levelman,” and “Transitman” (junior). Promotion will be made to this grade from that of a Recorder through examination. The applicant must be a graduate civil engineer or have at least two years’ field experience and be between the ages of 20 and 40 years.

Junior Engineer. — This includes the former designations of “Transitman” (senior) and “Junior Engineer.” Generally, positions of this grade will be filled by promotion, after examination, from grades of Surveyor and Draftsman. However, employees who have passed the Transitman examination given by The Panama Canal and have since been continuously employed on civil engineering work, will be considered eligible for promotion to the grade of junior engineer without further examinations. A larger amount of practical experience than that for “Surveyor” is required.

Assistant Engineer. — This position is filled by selection, generally by promotion.


Male clerks are employed on the Isthmus and in the United States. Female clerks are employed only on the Isthmus. All clerical positions paying more than $106 per month are subject to Civil Service examination. (See Section 2, page 3.) Clerical positions paying $106 a month or less are filled by appointment on the Isthmus. Clerks who pass the typewriting examination will be given preference. Experience along one or more of the following lines is required:

Clerk with knowledge of stenography and typing.

Clerk with knowledge of typewriting.

Clerk with knowledge of bookkeeping or cost accounting.

Clerk with knowledge of time keeping.

Clerk with general business training and experience.


Male eligibles who have had at least three years’ experience in accounting work with large corporations, business concerns, or in government accounting work may be appointed at other than regular entrance salary.

Postal. — Clerks who are experienced in all branches of post-office work. Must have had at least one year’s recent experience as a clerk (not as carrier) in the United States, or one year in Canal Zone post offices, and be familiar with the receipt, distribution, and dispatch of mail matter, the issuance of money orders, registration of mail, and the preparation of the various reports required of postmasters. This position is filled through Civil Service examination for clerks in the Canal Zone office, or by transfer from classified post offices in the United States. Inquiries respecting transfer should be addressed to the “Chief of Office, The Panama Canal, Washington, D.C.” Promotions are made annually, to the highest grade upon satisfactory service. The positions of special clerk, postmaster, and assistant postmaster are filled by the promotion of postal clerks.


Must have had four years’ experience in the operation and management of community clubhouse or Y.M.C.A., operating or promoting, in the building: Billiards, bowling, chess, checkers, dramatics, athletics, study clubs, song services, moving pictures, soda fountain, lunch room, library, reading room, boys’ department, girls’ department, women’s restroom, swimming pool, gymnasium, lectures, entertainments, and dances. Operating and promoting community outside of building: Tennis, baseball, golf, children’s playgrounds, pageants, community celebrations, such as Fourth of July, Christmas celebrations, boat club, automobile club, etc.


Should have had four years’ experience in community clubhouse or Y.M.C.A., as an assistant and office secretary; should have knowledge of bookkeeping, stenography, and typewriting.


Should have had four years’ experience in community clubhouse or Y.M.C.A., and be a graduate of a first-class college of physical education, or its equivalent in summer school.


Must have had not less than five years’ experience in roasting, grinding, and blending coffee, roasting cocoa beans and peanuts, and be competent to supervise and instruct white and colored help. Work in this section includes the packing of rice, sugar, coffee, etc., for sale in the retail stores.


Must have had at least five years’ experience in handling meats, fish, fruits, and vegetables in refrigeration, be competent to determine proper temperature for processing and storage of all meat and meat products, and be competent to handle skilled and unskilled white and colored labor. A man with some packing-house experience is preferred.


Merchandise. — Experienced in the operation of hardware and shoe stores, or in store and handling men’s and women’s furnishings, notions, and dress goods. Specialized knowledge of hardware, dry goods, or boots and shoes is highly desirable. Will be placed in charge, under the store manager, of sections of retail stores. Should understand window dressing, the display of goods and manner of selling, the instruction and discipline of salesmen, the art of merchandizing, etc.

Provisions. — Experienced in the operation of meat, fruit, and vegetable markets and grocery stores. Will be placed in charge, under store manager, of provisions sections in retail stores. Should understand meat cutting, the display of fruits, vegetables, and groceries, the manner of selling such supplies, the discipline of salesmen, etc. It will be their duty to see that patrons are served properly and they will come in contact with the public constantly.

See also “Salesman and Saleswoman.”


Graduate of technical institution or with two years’ experience in the Bureau of Water Resources, Interior Department, or other hydraulic work. Between the ages of 20 and 30 years.


Begin on yard or switch (inside) service, after passing written examination on Standard Book of Rules. Promotion to main-line (road) service as vacancies may occur.


Man with experience in American-plan hotels. One with all-around experience only is qualified, not simply pastry or meat cooks.


Must have had at least three years’ experience as a journeyman coppersmith and must be capable of doing the general coppersmithing of marine, repair, and construction shops. Must be capable of making and handling copper plates of all sizes pertaining to marine work.


Same requirements as given on page 25 for Tracer, and in addition must be able to alter tracings to agree with sketches of work and trace from original work.


Must have qualifications of a male nurse, and be able to do simple drug and clerical work. See “Nurse, Male.”


Diving will ordinarily be done by employees with the rating of rigger, who will be paid diver’s wages only when they are actually employed in diving. Must present certificate showing satisfactory service in water at least 50 feet deep.



All drafting positions are subject to Civil Service examination. See Section 2. Age limits, 20 to 45 years.

Architectural. — These men must have had at least two years’ experience in general architectural drafting and detailing, positions being assigned from the register of the Civil Service Commission for the office of the Supervising Architect, U.S. Treasury Department.

Architectural designers. — Must have had at least three years’ experience in designing wood, brick, and concrete building structures. The applicant must be a graduate of a recognized school of architecture. Positions will be assigned from the Civil Service register for the office of the Supervising Architect, U.S. Treasury Department.

Engineering. — Men for this service must have had at least two years’ experience in detailing and designing reinforced concrete building structures and shall preferably be technical school graduates.

Structural Steel. — These draftsmen will be required to be able to handle the design of light and heavy steel bridges or building structures and shall be technical school graduates with at least two years’ designing experience.

Electrical. — These men must have had at least two years’ drafting room experience in light and power layout work for building construction.

Detail draftsman. — Must be capable of all work required of tracers and have ability to develop and complete drawings of details from completed sketches, information or designs furnished.

Electrical designers. — Must be capable of handling electrical design work on steam or hydro-electric stations, and high or low tension substations. They must have had at least three years’ drafting room experience in this class of work and must be technical school graduates.

Marine. — Men only are desired, and applicants who have had broad experience will be chosen for employment in preference to those possessing extensive knowledge of only one particular branch of the subject. Graduates of technical engineering schools are especially desired, after a year’s experience in a shipyard.

Chargeman. — Man who is in responsible charge of the drafting work on one or more ships and who is supervising its execution. Must have had five years’ experience in marine drafting, or be a graduate of a technical school in the course of engineering or architecture, and, in addition, have had two years’ experience in a shipyard. Rate per hour, $1.25 during the first six months’ service in this class, and to increase five cents per hour at the end of each six months’ period to a maximum of $1.50 per hour.

Marine draftsmen will be of two classes, viz. (a) hull draftsman, (b) marine machinery draftsman.

(a) Hull draftsman. — Must have had experience in general ship construction and repairs, including ship structure, joiner, and rigging plans, hull fittings of metal and wood, ventilation and steering gears, pumping, and drainage. Applicants must state whether they have a theoretical knowledge of ship calculations and strength of material calculations.

(b) Marine machinery draftsman. — Must have had experience in theoretical and practical engine, boiler, and propeller design and construction, and a general knowledge of machinery design, laying out of all types of piping systems and auxiliary machinery. Credit will be given for knowledge of internal combustion and turbine machinery.


Mechanical. — Must be able to handle original design work of power plants. Locomotives, steamshovels, and structural work, and be competent to check detailed shop drawings. Must have good working knowledge of mathematics, and be able to figure stresses and strains in mechanism and in structures. Must have good knowledge of materials used on construction and be acquainted with shop methods and procedure in handling and executing work. Graduates of technical engineering schools are especially desired after experience in drafting and on construction work.

Marine and mechanical draftsmen are graded according to the nature of the work performed, and the requirements are as follows:

Grade “A.” — Man laying out and developing work completely from specifications. Must have had two years’ experience as draftsman in Grade “B,” or five years’ drafting or equivalent experience outside a shipyard; or be a graduate of a technical school in the course of engineering or architecture, and in addition have had one year’s experience in a shipyard.

Grade “B.” — Man designing details. Must have served one year in Grade “C,” or be a graduate of a technical school in the course of engineering or architecture with some shipyard experience; or have had four years’ drafting or equivalent experience outside of a shipyard.

Grade “C.” — Man handling details under supervision. Must have had two years’ experience in a shipyard; or three years’ drafting or equivalent experience outside of a shipyard; or be a graduate of a technical school in the course in engineering or architecture.

First class copyist. — Man who alters tracings to agree with work or sketches of work; or man starting to do detailed work. Must have had six months’ experience in a shipyard or in a drafting room, or in a technical school.

Second class copyist.— Man who traces from original work.

The qualifications specified in the above classifications are minimum requirements.

The practice in making promotions is similar to that of the Navy Department.

Municipal engineering. — The applicant must be capable of handling all classes of municipal engineering work, such as townsite layouts, sewer and water pipeline layouts, design of filtration and pumping plants, concrete roads and bridges, retaining walls and landscape layouts. He must be able to make neat workmanlike drawings. Must have had five years’ experience and must have a civil engineer’s degree from a recognized technical college or university.

Topographical. — Need not be a graduate civil engineer, but must be able to calculate simple problems in algebra and trigonometry. Should be able to plot contour maps from stadia notes, make railroad-track maps and city plats. Should be able to calculate cross sections and reduce them to cubic yards. Should have at least one year’s experience as a draftsman and be able to do fairly good lettering and fairly neat line work. No experience as a designer is necessary. Should be able to run the level and the transit at times when not needed in the office.

Tracer. See also Tracer.


(See also Marine Positions.)

Applicants for deck and engine room positions should forward United States licenses with applications, but, except for self-propelling equipment, experienced men from localities where licenses have not been required may be appointed, it being understood that in such cases that they will be required to secure a license covering the position from the Board of Local Inspectors on the Isthmus within thirty days after arrival.


Dredging work is handled in day and night shifts. A deduction of $20 per month is made when subsistence is furnished.

Senior Master and Master (Towboat). — Must have had experience as master of steam tug and be accustomed to harbor work. Appointee must hold a master’s license for tugs not less than 500 gross tons.

Master (Dredge). — Must be thoroughly experienced in operating and caring for all machinery, including electrical plant, on type of dredge for which appointment is made.

Mate (Pipe-line Dredge). — First Mate: Should have at least one year’s experience in similar position on cutter pipe-line dredge, 16 inches or larger. Second Mate: Should have at least six months’ experience in similar position on cutter pipe-line dredge, 16 inches or larger.

Leverman or Operator (Pipe-line Dredge). — Must be experienced in operating pipe-line dredge.

Craneman (Dipper Dredge, 15-yard). — Should be able to take care of dipper dredge engine and boiler and have craneman’s experience on large dipper dredges. This position is usually filled by promotion of dipper-dredge engineers.

Engineer (Dredge). — Must be thoroughly experienced in operating type of dredge for which appointment is made.

Senior Chief Engineer and Chief Engineer (towboat). — Must hold license as chief engineer for tugs of not less than 500 gross tons.


Drill Barge. — Should be experienced rock driller on drill-barge work.


Must be graduate pharmacist and hold license.


When a particular class of work is not available, wiremen will be expected to perform work required in any or all subratings to the best of their ability. All wiremen must furnish tools. (See Section 13.)

Armature winder. — Experienced in repair shop work and repairs of all classes of electrical apparatus and machinery. Must be capable of winding, taping, and impregnating of motor, transformer, and magnet coils, rewinding and connecting both A.C. and D.C. motors and shop repairs.

Battery Repairmen. — Must have had at least two years’ experience in the maintenance and repair of lead storage batteries for electrical vehicles. Must be familiar with charging apparatus and able to do lead burning. Preference will be given to men who have also had experience in the mechanical repair and adjustment of storage battery vehicles.

Cable Splicer, power. — Experienced in and capable of making splices in single and multiple conductor lead-covered cables. Must be careful and able to make the joint complete, including wiping on and sealing of sleeve. Two years’ experience as a journeyman will be required. Should have had experience in installing underground transmission and distribution systems of potentials from 2,300 volts up. Cable splicers who have had experience in directing cable gangs, rodding ducts, and drawing in cable, will be given preference.


Cable splicer, telephone. — Must be experienced in and competent to make splices on telephone cables of all capacities up to 300 pairs. Must have had at least two years’ experience with some reputable company.

Wireman, electric, general. — One who is experienced and capable of doing open and concealed wiring for electric lighting. He must be thoroughly familiar with the National Electrical Code as comprised in the Regulations of the National Board of Fire Underwriters for Electrical Wiring and Apparatus. General wiremen must also have had two years’ experience in fitting electric conduit and wiring therein.

Wireman, marine. — Must have had at least two years’ experience in marine construction and installation of electric power and lighting systems in seagoing vessels. Should be familiar with the installation of conduit, and basket-weave armored cable, together with the various marine fixtures and fittings. Should also be familiar with the standard requirements of seagoing vessels.

Wireman, motor and control. — Men for this class of work should be experienced in setting of control or contractor panels, including all connections between the motor and feeder system and between the motor and control panel. Experience with the installation of electrical equipment in steel mills, cotton mills, large shops, or similar institutions will be given preference. Most of the equipment consists of three-phase motors and alternating-current control equipment. There is some direct-current control equipment, but men having had direct-current experience only will not be considered suitable.

Signal Maintenance. — At least two years’ experience in construction and maintenance of automatic railway signals. Should have a good general knowledge of direct-current signal apparatus and circuits, and must be able to do all kinds of signal wiring and general repair work. Should have a general knowledge and experience on mechanical interlocking. One experienced in relay inspection, testing and repair work in addition to the other requirements will be given preference. Office experience, drafting, and technical education will be given consideration.

Wireman, station and switchboard. — Men who have had experience in insulating bus bars. Making up high-tension terminal bells and joints assembling and erecting oil switches and transformers for both light and power service. They should also be familiar with the installation of potential and current transformers and incidental wiring for metering the current. Experience with large public-service electrical companies which maintain their own construction departments is desirable for class of work. Also experience with large electrical manufacturing concerns may be suitable, depending upon the detail of the experience. Outside overhead linemen with outdoor transformer experienced are not desired on account of the wide difference in the class of transformer work to be done on the Isthmus. Experience with 4,500 volts up is preferred.

Lineman-Light and power pole line work. — Must be accustomed to stringing both heavy and light wire, hanging and connecting up transformers, and able to work on live wire in 2,300-volt circuits. Must furnish tools.

Linemen, high-tension transmission line. — Men who have had experience on lines of 50,000 volts or over preferred. Must be capable of erecting towers, stringing wires, placing insulators, etc. Must furnish tools.


Wire chief. — Must be capable of testing and locating all classes of telephone and telegraph trouble in a 47-mile quadded and loaded trunk cable, as well as regular routine central office testing and maintenance of a common battery exchange of 3,000 stations.

Combination telephone man. — Must be capable of doing all classes of telephone, telegraph, and call bell circuit work from blue print, and standard wiring without blue print. Must be capable of installing and maintaining all classes of central office apparatus and equipment.

Telephone inspector. — Must be capable of installing and maintaining central and local battery telephone instruments and call bell systems; to test and clear substation and private branch exchange troubles, and to make tests with wire chief.


Must have at least three years’ experience as electroplater, must be thoroughly familiar with mixing and maintaining the following solutions: Nickel, silver, copper, tin, bronze, brass, electro-galvanizing, black, nickel, and instrument finishes. Oxidizing in all finishes. Lacquering in all colors. Must be competent to supervise buffers and polishers, with which trades he must also be proficient.


Must have equivalent of high-school education. Required to read the meters, keep notes, and make simple arithmetical calculations. For work at water purification plants.


Experienced firemen. — Appointees to this position must be white men, between the ages and 20 and 45 years, not less than 5 feet 7 inches nor more than 6 feet 2 inches in height, weighing not less than 140 pounds nor more than 210 pounds (measurement and weight without clothing), and be in good health and sound in body, and must have had at least one year’s experience in a paid fire department in a city of not less than 15,000 inhabitants, or two years’ experience in a fire patrol or salvage corps in a city of not less than 25,000 inhabitants, and have rendered satisfactory service. Appointees must furnish their own uniforms. (See Section 14.) They must agree to serve one year with the fire force on the Isthmus. The positions of sergeant, lieutenant, and captain are filled by promotion of firemen. Experienced firemen are promoted to the next grade pay after three months’ satisfactory service on the Isthmus.

Inexperienced firemen. — Appointees to this position must meet the same physical requirements, except that the maximum age limit is fixed at 35 years, as are required of experienced firemen. They must agree to serve one year with the fire force on the Isthmus. Appointees must furnish their own uniforms. (See Section 14.) Promotion to grade of experienced fireman and the next rate of pay is made after one year’s satisfactory service on this Isthmus. Excellent discharge from the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps is desirable.


Must have completed apprenticeship and subsequently had at least three years’ experience in general flange-turning work, flange on steel or iron plates to different angles.



Must present evidence of actual employment with mechanics of some trade for at least one year, and must have sufficient knowledge of trade to demonstrate clearly superiority to unskilled labor for assisting mechanics. In making application, statement of experience must be given, and employment will depend on character of experience. Few helpers will be sent to the Isthmus from the United States.


Must have experience as a locomotive engineer or not less than two years as a fireman, and must be competent to move engines under steam about shops, yards, etc.


Man, between 20 and 35 years old, who has had good practical hydrographic experience, or is a graduate of a civil engineer, or has a civil service status as a hydrographer or junior engineer.


Must have at least three or four years’ experience in the manufacture of ice cream and water ices where output is not less than 500 gallons daily. Must have experience in pasteurizing and bottling of milk. Must supervise and instruct colored help.


General. — Must have completed apprenticeship and subsequently had at least three years’ experience in general instrument work; capable of operating lathes and milling machines, and repairing and making parts for numbering machines, mimeographs, pressure and vacuum gauges, steam engine indicators, and other small instruments of this class.

For precision instruments. — Must have completed apprenticeship and subsequently had at least three years’ experience in general precision instrument work; capable of repairing and adjusting and making parts for two or more precision instruments such as levels, transits, sextants, compasses, etc., and capable of operating such machines as are necessary on this class of work.


Must be single, between the ages of 22 and 30 years, American citizen, graduate of medical schools whose graduates are eligible for Army commissions class of 1919. Services required as soon as possible after graduation. Internes will be appointed without civil service examination and will require no classified standing. Appointments will be for a period of one year from date of entry into the service. They will receive a compensation of $75 a month for their services, free steamship transportation, to and from the Isthmus, free subsistence lodging and laundry while on the Isthmus, and will be given the status of employee of The Panama Canal, with the leave privileges thereof, except that leave other than to cover sickness or emergency will not be granted until the expiration of their one year’s service.


The work required of internes is the same as that required of large city hospitals in the United States. They will have direct care of patients, under the chiefs of clinic, and if on the surgical side will assist in operations, do dressings, etc. The internes are desired for service in Ancon Hospital, which has a monthly admission rate of about 900; and for Colon Hospital, which has a monthly admission rate of about 200. Appointees will be assigned to duty on the medical or surgical side at the discretion of the superintendents of the respective institutions, and they are liable to duty in any part of the hospital where their services will be useful. The preferences of the internes, as to service, will be given consideration, but the decision will be in the hands of the superintendents. The internes will not be required to serve in the insane departments, except temporarily in an emergency, unless they should desire to do so. The services in Ancon Hospital are very active, including a large variety of tropical diseases, and a valuable experience in surgery. The same may be said of Colon Hospital, but on a smaller scale.


Foreman. — This includes the several branches of large steam laundry work; washers, sorters and markers, ironers, etc. The special qualifications will be stated in requisitions. Must be competent to supervise and instruct colored help.

General foreman. — Must be thoroughly experienced in all lines of steam laundry work and have been in entire charge of large laundries. Several years’ experience in rush steamship, hotel, and personal laundry work is essential.


Begin in yard or switch (inside) service, after written examination on Standard Book of Rules, air, and machinery. Promotion to main line (road) service as vacancies may occur. Hostlers given preference to grade of locomotive engineer.


In applying for any of the following classifications of the position of Machinist the applicant should bring out clearly in his application any experience which he may have had on marine equipment.

Air brake. — Machinists under this heading will generally be rated as machinists (floor and bench). Special experience in repair of locomotive air and driver brakes and car air-brake equipment should be stated in the application.

Brass lathe. — Applicant must show two years’ experience over and above his apprenticeship on brass or Fox lathe, in navy yards or railroad yards.

Floor and bench. — Applicant must be capable of handling work on the floor or at the bench; experience is necessary in all classes of general work on steam engines, pumps, turbines, or other marine machinery in so far as floor and bench work is concerned. It is necessary that the applicant has two years’ experience in addition to having served his apprenticeship.

Gas engines. — Must be familiar with the various designs of Diesel engines and of single and multi-cylinder gas engines of the 2 and 4-cycle types, and be competent to perform any machinist work, floor, bench, or machine, necessary in the erecting and repair of same. Also must be thoroughly familiar with the various methods of ignition and carburation of the ordinary fuels in use, and be competent to handle the ordinary electrical equipment, starting and lighting of the up-to-date gas engine. Must be able to locate gas engine troubles.


General. — An applicant to qualify for general machinist must have served his apprenticeship in a good shop. In addition he must show two years’ experience on floor work in a good shipyard or navy yard, or two years on machine work in a large marine shop.

Machine. — Must be capable of handling all kinds of machine work on lathes, planers, shapers, boring mills, millers, and other types of machines. Must have served an apprenticeship as well as an additional two years on the above machines. This class of men can be drawn from navy yards, railroads, or jobbing shops.

Marine. — Must be experienced in erecting and repairing marine engines, including turbines, must be competent to align shafts and bearings and to do other erecting work on marine equipment. In making selection, only men able to show experience on marine work will be chosen.

Tool makers. — Must have a thorough knowledge of general tool making, such as tape, dies, both threading and blanking reamers, cutters, gauges, jigs, automatic screw machines and turret lathe tools. Master of both bench and machine work is necessary.

Turret lathe operator. — Must have had two years' experience in the last four years setting up and operating modern turret lathes. It is understood that an applicant with only actual operating experience will not meet requirements. Applicant must also be able to show he is capable of making his own set-ups.


(See also Dredging Positions)

Pilot.— Must hold a master’s certificate for unlimited tonnage on seagoing Great Lake steamers, and be experienced in handling ships around walls, through locks, and in narrow waters in general. Must also be proficient in navigation pertaining to pilotage, especially so in all matters relating to the compass. Must be temperate, physically sound, temperamentally suitable, under 45 years of age, and preferably not over 35. May be required to act as master of tugboat pending assignment as regular pilot. Preference, as far as possible, will be given to men employed on floating equipment of The Panama Canal. Requests for information concerning pilots’ positions should be addressed to the Chairman, Board of Pilot Affairs, Balboa Heights, C.Z.

Master, senior and junior (towboat). — Must have master’s license to cover tonnage of the tug on which assigned, and must be experienced in assisting vessels in and out of docks and in close waters in general. He must be accustomed to harbor work. He must be of temperate habits, physically sound, and under 45 years of age, preferably not over 35.

Chief engineer, senior and junior (towboat). — Must have experience as chief engineer on steam tug, must have license to cover assignment as chief engineer of tug, and be accustomed to close and quick work. He must be accustomed to harbor work. Must be of temperate habits and physically sound.

Coxswain-engineer. — Must hold necessary license to cover assignment and be thoroughly experienced in operating and caring for all machinery of gasoline boats. Must be of temperate habits and physically sound.

Marine dispatcher. — Must have had some experience in a steamship office; must be temperate, physically sound, temperamentally suitable, and not over 35 years of age.

Signalman. — Must be proficient in signaling in International code, Morse code, and wigwag. Must be of temperate habits and physically sound.



Men who have had experience in similar ratings in the U.S. Weather Bureau, or Signal Corps, U. S. Army, or Naval Air Service; or who are on the Civil Service list of eligibles for similar positions in the U.S. Weather Bureau.


Iron. — Must have had experience in marine and general jobbing foundry. Must be capable of working in both green and dry sand, and must be accustomed to doing side, floor, and crane work. No bench molder will fit this position.

Brass. — Must have had at least four years’ experience in marine work and steam and water tight fittings.

Loam. — Must have had experience in marine and general jobbing foundry. Must be capable of working on loam and dry sand.

Steel. — Must fill all requirements for an iron molder, and in addition must be experienced in the making of both dry and green sand molds for steel castings. Must be capable of doing crane work.

The rating molder will cover all branches of the trade, including coremaker, but employment will be based on the special experience of the applicant in the branch for which men are wanted.


Must have at least two years’ experience as operator, and two years as house manager, or one year as circuit manager, and be competent to train operators, and repair any kind of moving picture machine.


Female. — Applicants must be between the ages of 20 and 35 years, graduates of schools for trained nurses having at least a two years’ course, and have had at least one year’s subsequent experience in a modern and well-equipped hospital. All female nurses will be furnished subsistence when present for duty, for which a deduction of $20 a month from their salaries will be made. This position is subject to Civil Service examinations. See Sections 2 and 14.

Male. — Applicants must be between the ages of 20 and 40 years, graduates of schools for trained nurses having at least a two years’ course, and have had at least one year’s subsequent experience in a modern and well-equipped hospital or have served at least one enlistment in the Hospital Corps of the United States Army or Navy. This position is subject to Civil Service examination. See Section 2. All male nurses will be furnished subsistence when present for duty for which a deduction of $20 a month for their salaries will be made.

Care of Insane. — Male and female nurses to care for the insane may be graduates of either general hospitals or hospitals for the insane, and must have had at least one year’s experience in a hospital for the care of the insane.


Man who has had one year’s experience on meteorological work with U.S. Weather Bureau, Naval Air Service, or Signal Corps, U.S. Army; or has a college course with meteorological work electives.



House. — Must be a good brush man who can mix ordinary colors. Preference will be given to men experienced in handling gangs. Experience must cover all the work usually performed in houses.

Car. — Must be experienced in coating, varnishing, and finishing locomotive and coach work, in addition to straight painting, and must have had at least three years’ service in either railway or car shops.

Ship. — Must have had at least two years’ experience in a shipyard and be capable of performing all painting, glossing, etc., required on shipboard.

The foregoing will be rated as painters.

Letterer and grainer. — Must be competent to do all kinds of lettering and graining, including gold, silver, and bronze leaf work, except high-grade free-hand sign painting. Must be capable of laying off stencils for letters.

Sign. — Must be capable of performing all the work required of letterer and grainer, and in addition, must be capable of doing the highest class free-hand lettering and sign painting.


Must have had four years’ experience as a journeyman patternmaker and must be capable of making light and heavy patterns for marine, locomotive, and general jobbing work, including gearing.


Must be a graduate of a recognized medical school, whose graduates are eligible for commission in the United States Army, and must have had at least one year’s experience in a hospital since graduation. Age limits, 22 to 30 years. This position is subject to Civil Service examination. See Section 2; see also Interne.


Must be experienced and capable of handling, working and building all kinds of wrought-iron pipe, from smallest size to 10 inches in diameter, and experienced in locomotives and car steam and air piping, and ammonia piping for refrigerating plants.

Marine. — Must be thoroughly experienced in marine work, and capable of handling, working and bending steel tubing for expanded flanges, and all kinds of wrought iron and brass pipe, from the smallest size to 10 inches in diameter. Must have had at least four years’ experience as a journeyman pipefitter on marine work, and ammonia piping for refrigerator plants applied to ships.


Must have had four years’ experience as a journeyman mill hand, qualified for working from blueprints, and capable of operating heavy woodworking machinery, including planers, shapers, surfacers, matchers, rip and cut-off saws, and mortising and boring machines, on general milling work.


Must be thoroughly experienced in both plain and ornamental plaster work and experienced in the application of lime, Portland cement, and Keene’s cement plaster.



Applicants for this position must have completed a four-year high school or academic course, or its equivalent. In addition, applicants must show special school training in playground or physical culture work and not less than two years’ active work as a playground directress or teacher. A full detailed statement of school training and actual work performed on playgrounds is desired.


Construction plumber. — Must be qualified to install sanitary plumbing in all types of buildings; including brass, nickel, and lead work. Must be able to wipe joints, do lead burning, and line up piping and fittings. Must have had at least four years’ experience as a journeyman.

Ship plumber. — Must be qualified to install all ship plumbing in all its branches, including brass, nickel, and lead work. Must be able to wipe joints, and do lead burning and line up piping and fittings. Must have had at least four years’ experience as a journeyman.


First Class.— White man, between the ages of 21 and 40 years, at least 5 feet 8 inches in height, with a minimum weight of 140 pounds (measurement and weight without clothing); sound physique and clear intellect, good moral character and correct habits, and be able to read and write the English language. A knowledge of Spanish is desirable, and also an excellent discharge from the United States Army, Navy, or Marine Corps or record of satisfactory experience in police work. Appointees to this position are required to furnish their own uniforms. See Section 14. They must agree to serve one year with the police force on the Isthmus. Promotions to the rank of sergeant, lieutenant, and captain are made from the ranks.


Must have had at least five years’ experience in ice making and around motor-driven refrigerating machinery in large refrigerating plants. One who has mechanical ability to make emergency repairs preferable. State whether steam-driven or motor-driven experience.


Must have had experience both in dining room supervision and in kitchen management. Should have rudimentary knowledge of accounts and should be able to direct and train cooks and waiters in all their duties.


Weight handling. — Must have had experience of at least two years in handling weights; must know how to pass straps for safe handling of weights, have a good idea of size of straps and number and character of turns for different kinds of weights, and must be competent to supervise a gang of laborers.


Fitting riggers. — Riggers for work on fitting rigging must be competent to splice wire, hemp, and manila rope with all styles of splicing, to make eyes and seizings, and to worm, parcel, and serve rigging, and to fit and set up the same on ships.


Should be capable of driving rivets by pneumatic hammer for oil-tight and water-tight work on ship’s deck, shell, bulkheads, and inner bottom.


Must have had at least two years’ experience as a journeyman blacksmith, and two years’ experience within the last four years, in adjusting and operating the Ajax reclaiming rolls.


Head Salesman. — Must have several years’ experience in stores handling men’s furnishings, hardware, or boots and shoes. Should understand the display of good and manner of selling, the instruction and discipline of salesmen, the art of merchandising, etc. It will be their duty to see that patrons are served properly and they will come in constant contact with the public.

Saleswoman. — Must have at least five years’ experience in prominent retail stores of large cities. Those possessing all-around experience in the dry goods line, including notions, ribbons, laces, yardage, and ready-to-wear, are preferred.


Applicants who are graduates of technical schools in civil or sanitary engineering, and those who have had experience under tropical conditions, are given preference. Applications should be addressed to the "Chief Health Officer, Balboa Heights, Canal Zone."


Must have at least five years’ experience with large sausage-making establishments. Must be familiar with all details of sausage making and be competent to instruct others.


Grade teachers must have completed a regular four-year high school or academy course, and must have had at least two years’ training in standard normal school or college, and at least two years’ successful experience in the public schools of the United States. In place of the two years’ normal school or college training required for grade positions, high-school teachers must have had four years’ college or university training. Applications should be addressed to the “Superintendent of Schools, Balboa Heights, Canal Zone,” who will furnish all information. Appointments are made for the school year of nine months, beginning October 1. Sick leave up to 24 days in the school year, when sickness is certified to by a Government physician, is allowed. Teachers employed only during school months from October to June, inclusive, may be granted not to exceed twenty-four days’ leave within those


months to cover illness or emergency, but will not be entitled to any other leave with pay and will be entitled to no leave with pay from July to September, inclusive. Married women are not eligible for this position.


Must be capable of working all classes of sheet metal of No. 10 gauge and lighter, including galvanized iron, tin, and sheet copper and installing copper flashing. Must be able to lay out and construct cornices, ventilators, skylights, piping, and elbows, etc., and to make tanks and containers for liquids; and to apply roofing tile and Barrett specifications roofing. He must also be able to work from drawings covering the manufacture and laying out of all classes of marine work.


Must be capable of laying out and doing all kinds of ironwork on hulls, decks, bulkheads, and water-tight compartments, and of laying out and doing all kinds of sheet-iron work usually found in a shipyard.


Must be capable of laying out and doing all kinds of joiner and cabinet work on steamboats of any description.


Must be capable of doing all shipwright or ship carpenter’s work on wood and steel vessels, including laying off and shaping frames and planking, construction of small boats, fastenings, scarfing, beveling, etc.


Must be competent to supervise the slaughtering of cattle, actually perform the work connected therewith, and of sufficient training and experience to train inexperienced colored men in the performance of the various duties connected with the work.

Foreman, edible and inedible grease department. — Must have had at least five years’ experience and have thorough, practical knowledge necessary to render him competent to supervise and control the manufacture of oleo oil, stearine, lard compound, prime steam lard, inedible grease, and fertilizer.


The rating “steam engineer” covers locomotive-crane engineer, compressor engineer, drill barge engineer, dynamo engineer, hoisting engineer, Lidgerwood engineer, operator of clamshell or orange-peel dredge, pile-driver engineer, stationary engineer, and track-shifting engineer. An applicant should indicate for which of the above classifications he considers himself best qualified by experience. If he holds an American license the same or a certified copy thereof should be submitted with the application and will be returned immediately.



He should hold a second mate’s certificate, have a good all-around knowledge of a ship, such as reeving off necessary gear, placing derricks, etc., in order, rigging up purchases for taking out of putting in heavy weights, know what working strain the different purchases, gear, chain, wire slings, and lashings will stand; how to load a ship with regard to different commodities stowed together, placing of dunnage, stability of vessel, draft, etc. Should be able to stow ship when same is loaded for several ports so that when ship leaves one port for another she will be evenly trimmed, sand upright, with cargo secure; know how to stow cargoes so as to comply with all underwriters’ and boards of trade rules; measure off hold space, give correct account of how much cargo vessel can take, either when empty or partially loaded, to complete.


Must be able to keep simple accounts and have sufficient knowledge of cooking to be able actually to do the cooking if necessary.


Applicant for this position must be over 24 years of age, and must have had a high-school education, or its equivalent. Must be able to demonstrate his practical ability as a teacher of swimming, and show personal efficiency at a time and place set. Applicants must have a practical knowledge of first aid and first aid to the near drowned, ample theoretical and practical knowledge of all known swimming strokes, water polo, baseball, and other games, and be able to stage water carnivals and other events.


Tailor (cutter). — Must have had several years’ experience in cutting and fitting men’s high grade clothes, and be capable of supervising every detail of the tailoring business, including garment making.


Capable railroad operator with clerical experience.


Applicants must have had at least two years’ experience on central energy light system of not less than 3,000-line multiple. Private branch exchange experience alone is not to be considered as satisfactory qualification.


Must have a general knowledge of the handling of railroad passenger transportation terms, preferably one who has had at least one year’s experience as ticket agent or ticket collector in railroad service.


The principal requisites of this position are ability to use drawing instruments with precision and neatness, together with a neat style of lettering. The applicant


need have no designing ability, but should be able to take simple pencil sketches and make workmanlike drawings. Tracers are expected to furnish their own drawing instruments.


One experienced in repairing different makes of adding machines and typewriters, including the Underwood machine. Must furnish all tools necessary in this work.


Acetylene. — Must have had at least two years’ experience with acetylene torches; must be capable of doing all classes of cutting and welding, including welding castings and light plates.

Electric. — Must have had at least two years’ experience at electric welding with the carbon-arc type of apparatus and must be proficient in welding castings and plates.


Sec. 13. All mechanics should take with them to the Isthmus the tools of their trade which it is customary for them to carry with them in the States. Tools can not be bought to advantage on the Isthmus. The following list of tools needed in certain crafts is given merely as a guide to new employees of what is expected in this line. It will be understood, however, that mechanics in other crafts will be required to provide themselves with appropriate tools.

Blacksmiths.— Calipers, rule, dividers, square.

Boilermakers. — Steel rule, dividers, calipers, square, spud wrenches, chipping hammers.

Cabinetmakers. — Same as carpenters, with addition of one set of hand-carving tools.

Caulkers, wood.— Caulking mallet, a complete set of caulking tools, stool.

Carpenters. — Cross-cut saw, rip saw, compass saw, tenon saw, drawknife, spoke shave, scraper, ratchet brace, extension bit, set of auger bits, spiral screw driver, set of standard drills and stock, jack plane, smooth plane, fore plane, adz, claw hammer, hatchet, steel square, small square, 2-foot rule, try-square, set of chisels, set of gouges, mallet, pair of compasses, level, oilstone, 6 and 12-inch ordinary screw drivers, block plane, countersink and screw-driver bits for brace, marking gauge.

Car repairers and inspectors. — Claw hammer, hatchet or small hand ax, oilstone, 2 handsaws (cross cut), 2-foot steel square, try-square, bevel square, smoothing plane, jack plane, set of chisels ½ to 2 inches, brace not less than 12-inch sweep, set of three different sized screw-driver bits for brace, set of ship auger bits from 9/16 to 1 1/16 inch.

Coppersmiths.— B. P. hammer, set of chisels, set of solid punches, pair of 10-inch dividers, circular snips No. 8, straight snips No. 7, pocketknife, set of beating hammers, 24-inch steel rule, center punch.

Coremakers. — Trowel, lifter, double ender, set slickers.

Draftsmen. — One set of drawing instruments, T-square, bevel square, splines, curves.

Instrument makers. — Same as typewriter repairmen, and in addition special tools for watchmaking.

Ironworkers. — Same as for ship fitters.

Joiners. — Same as for carpenters.


Linemen. — Tool bag, belt, ratchet brace, 2-inch wood chisel, Haven clamp, pair of climbers, claw hammer, pair of 8-inch side-cutting pliers, 6-foot rule, hand cross-cut saw, 6 and 10-inch screw drivers, safety strap, jack strap, lag screw wrench, monkey wrench, hacksaw frame, B. P. hammer, carpenter’s square, pocketknife, gasoline blow torch.

Machinists. — One each of the following: 3, 6 and 12-inch scales, 1 pair each inside and outside calipers (6 and 12-inch), pair 6-inch dividers, center gauge, surface gauge, depth gauge, scratch gauge, thickness gauge, USS thread gauge, tool box, box square, 12-inch square and bevel protractor, 8-inch hermaphrodite, screw driver, plumb bob, combination square, 2 or 3-inch outside micrometer, 6, 10 and 14-inch monkey wrenches.

Molders. — Towels, flange tools, lifters of all sizes, pipe slickers, double enders, half-round corners, inside square corners, hub tool, bead tool, hammer, 2-foot rule, square corners.

Pattern makers. — No. 7 or No. 8 joiner, jack plate, block plane, set of paring chisels, set of pairing gouges, set of Adis carving gouges, router with set bits, rabbet plane, sole plane with set bits, handsaw, tenon saw, compass saw, pair pliers, combination try-square with center head, 4-inch try-square, 4 and 12-inch combination square, 24-inch framing square, 14-inch try-square, set of nail sets, set of oilstones, set of calipers, set of turning tools, set of shrink rules (3/16, 1/8, and 1/16-inch shrink per foot), set Russell Jennings bits, set brace screw-driver bits, brace, hand screw driver, 10-inch bevel square, set spoke shaves for curved and straight work, set of dividers, pair trammels, 2 scratch gauges (large and small), claw hammer, and one upholsterer’s hammer, set round-bottom planes, 2-foot rule, set firmer chisels, expansion bit, set twist drills and brace.

Pipefitters. — Pair 10-inch dividers, 6-foot rule, pair 6-inch gas pliers, 50-foot steel tape, 6, 8, and 10-inch Stillson wrenches.

Plumbers.— Hammer screw driver, pair cutting pliers, compass saw, set brace, bits and drills, wood chisel and gouge, ½ and 2-inch bending springs, turnpin, compasses, shave hook, bending irons, calking irons, soldering irons, cold chisel, joint runner, file, brass pipe wrench, 10 and 14-inch Stillson wrenches, 12-inch monkey wrench, ½ and 2-inch drift plugs, ladle, wiping cloths, rasp, tap borer, 6-foot rule, basin wrench, hack saw and 8-inch Stillson wrench.

Sheet-metal workers. — Circular snips No. 8, straight snips No. 7, pair 10-inch dividers, pair 6-inch wire pliers, one small and one large tinner’s hammer, Nos. 4 and 7 rivet sets, 50-foot steel tape, center punch, 6-foot rule, mallet, soldering irons, scratch awl, monkey wrench, breast, drill and bits.

Shipfitters. — Two-foot rule, chalk line and reel, center punch, B. P. hammer, square, dividers, spud wrenches.

Shipjoiners. — Screw driver (6-inch), screw driver (12-inch), screw-driver bit, adz, smooth plane, joiner plane, jack plane, spokeshave, 2-foot rule, set of gouges, set of wood chisels, bevel, set wood bits, hand drill and bits, ratchet brace, 24-inch carpenter’s square, oilstone, try-square, marking gauge, claw hammer, hatchet, drawknife, handsaw, pair dividers, chalk line, mallet, spirit level, calipers, monkey wrench, angle brace, block plane, 50-foot steel tape.


Shipwrights. — Broadax, screw drivers (6 and 12-inch), adz, spike maul, screw-driver bit, set of wood bits, set of wood chisels, set of gouges, ratchet brace, 24-inch carpenter’s square, bevel, oilstone, race knife, try-square, smoothing plane, jack plane, marking gauge, claw hammer, light riveting hammer, 2-foot rule, 50-foot steel tape, pair dividers, spokeshave, cold chisels, saws (cut-off and rip), spirit level, chalk line and reel, fore plane, calipers, expansion bit, plumb bob, angle brace.

Toolmakers. — Three-fourths-pound B. P. hammer, 1-inch micrometer, 2-inch micrometer, 3-inch micrometer, inside micrometer, 4, 6, and 10-inch inside calipers, 4, 6, and 10-inch outside calipers, surface gauge, USS screw pitch gauge, universal bevel protractor, 4, 6, 12, 18-inch steel rules, 6-inch flexible steel rule, 6-inch narrow hook rule, center punch, 3-inch dividers, 9-inch dividers, 4-inch hermaphrodite caliper, 5-inch inside-thread caliper, 5-inch outside-thread caliper, 60 degree center gauge, depth gauge, 6-inch solid steel square, test indicator, 3-inch screw driver, 6-inch screw driver, oil stone, thickness gauge, magnifying glass, scriber, straight edge (4 to 12-inch), feelers, 2-foot rule, surface gauge, tool gauge, thread gauge.

Typewriter repairmen. — Twelve-inch screw driver, 7-inch (3/16-inch bit) screw driver, 6 ½ inch Champion screw driver, 6-inch (3/16-inch bit) Champion screw driver, small steel hammer, small copper hammer, pair Starett’s pliers (for music wire), pair 3-prong pliers, pair flat-nose pliers (4 ½-inch), pair round-nose pliers, pair parallel pliers (4 ½-inch), pair parallel pliers (6-inch), pair side-aligning pliers for Underwood typewriter, pair ring-detaching pliers for Underwood typewriter, shift-rail twister for Underwood typewriter, trip wrench for Underwood typewriter, hexagon nut wrench for Underwood typewriter, soldering gauge, alcohol torch, oilstone.

Wireman. — Tool bag or box, set of wood bits, ratchet brace, soldering copper (2 pounds), claw hammer, pair gas pliers, 1 pair side-cutting pliers (6 or 8-inch), 6-foot rule, 3 screw drivers (3, 6, and 10-inch), blow torch, 8-inch monkey wrench, 2 14-inch pipe wrenches, hacksaw frame, cross-cut hand saw, 2 wood chisels (1/2 and 1-inch).

Wireman (telephone). — Tool bag or box, set of wood bits, ratchet brace, soldering copper, claw hammer, one pair pliers (S. C. 6-inch), one pair diagonal pliers (4-inch), 2 screw drivers (3 and 6-inch), blow torch.

Cable splicers (telephone and power).—Cable splitter, cable splicer, turning pin, one pair pliers (6-inch), soldering copper, blow torch, shave hook, boxwood dresser, bossing stick, wiping cloth, melting pot, ladle, hack saw frame.


Sec. 14. Uniforms are required as follows:

Female nurses. — Nurses should provide themselves with uniforms before leaving the United States. They will require at least 8 uniform dresses, 3 caps, and if separate collars are worn, about 1 ½ dozen. Skirt: Material, Indian Head. Perfectly plain gored skirt, opened on one side of the front seam; buttons or invisible fasteners, hem four inches deep, belt attached to skirt. Shirtwaist: Tailored, plain, small pocket on left side; buttoned in front with three medium-sized pearl buttons; straight shirt sleeves with cuffs; collars, choice between “Bishop” and “Eton.” Cap: Modified “Priscilla” of wash material, to be worn only while on duty, never in public. The cap will have a black velvet band ¼ inch wide for ward nurses, ½ inch wide for section nurses, and ¾ inch wide for special nurses. Shoes: Shoes worn in the wards must be provided with rubber heels. Ornaments: No fancy buttons, trimmings, neckties, jewelry (except hospital or class pin), or colors of any kind may be worn.


Male nurses and internes. — These employees are not required to wear uniforms.

Panama Railroad employees.— Conductors, collectors, brakemen, and baggagemen of passenger trains are required to wear uniforms and to furnish them at their own expense. The Company furnishes a hat badge and uniform buttons. These uniforms should be purchased on the Isthmus when cloth is sold at the Commissaries at a relatively low price. Caps are also furnished at cost price. Conductor’s and brakeman’s uniforms are about $16.00 a suit, caps from 90 cents to $1.20 each.

Firemen. — Uniforms must be furnished by the employee. The uniform consists of blue serge single-breasted 5-button coat, blue serge pants, blue serge fireman’s summer New York style cap, black shoes, black bow tie, and blue percale single-breasted shirts, Globe service suit or equivalent and regulation knee rubber boots. Helmets, buttons, and badges are furnished free. Service suits and boots should be procured by the employee in the States before he leaves; uniforms, shirts, and caps should be purchased on the Isthmus only. The approximate cost is: Blue serge suit, $30; cap, $2.50; shoes, $8; shirts, each, $2.25; neckties, 50 cents; Globe service suit or equivalent, $17; rubber boots, $7.

Policemen.— Employees must furnish uniforms at their own expense, except buttons and insignia.

Items required are: One blouse, khaki cloth, Zone police model; 1 breeches, khaki cloth, riding; 1 hat, Stetson, wide, stiff brim, and leather wind band; 1 pair leggings, puttee, tan leather; 1 pair shoes, lace, tan leather.

Not less than three blouses and four breeches should be on hand at all times, at the uniform cloth requires frequent laundering. Uniforms should be purchased on the Isthmus. Approximate cost of one outfit: Blouse and breeches, suit, $12; hat, $7; leggings, $9; shoes, $8.

Pilots. — Men in this position are required to furnish uniforms at their own expense, but The Panama Canal furnishes cap device and detachable buttons free. The uniform requires 3 ½ yards of double-width Palm Beach, khaki or linen cloth of a special grade prescribed by the Canal authorities and carried in stock at Canal commissaries; Navy Department regulation chief petty officer’s cap fitted with detachable Palm Beach khaki or linen cover; coat similar to U. S. Navy officer’s white service coat, omitting the sword slits; trousers made with all seams plain. Should be procured on the Isthmus. Cost about $15.00 for each uniform complete. It is desirable to have three uniforms to permit necessary laundering.


Sec. 15. By Executive orders the following general conditions of employment have been made for The Panama Canal:


1. The salaries or compensation of employees shall in no instance exceed by more than 25 per cent the salaries or compensation paid for the same or similar services to persons employed by the Government in the Continental United States, as determined by the Governor of The Panama Canal.

2. Service must be satisfactory to the head of the department in which employed and employees are subject to the regulations of the Governor.

3. The compensation and conditions of employment of persons employed in the United States will be specified in provisional appointments. The compensation of such persons will begin on the date of embarkation at port of departure from the United States, and they will be granted free transportation from port of departure, including meals on the steamer, but no compensation or expenses for the journey to the port; but former employees from the United States whose services were terminated other than on account of reduction in force, and whose next preceding employment with The Panama Canal was less than one year shall be paid only from the date of entry into service on the Isthmus, and will be allowed only such reduced rates of transportation to the Isthmus as may be available for Government employees. Employees appointed at an hourly rate will be paid for the period of transit to the Isthmus on the


basis of an eight-hour day, exclusive of Sundays. Except in the case of discharge or other separation from service beyond the employee’s control, payment of salary from the date of embarkation to the date of arrival on the Isthmus will not be made unless service on the Isthmus continues for 30 days.

4. All officers and employees in the service of The Panama Canal, except those who are to perform the duties of clerk, bookkeeper, stenographer, typewriter, surgeon, physician, trained nurse, or draftsman, shall be exempt from examination under civil-service rules and appointments to clerical positions on the Isthmus of Panama paying $106 or less may also be made without examination. Officers and employees now in the service of the Panama Railroad Co. on the Isthmus may be transferred to and retained in the service of The Panama Canal without examination, whenever any work now performed independently by the Panama Railroad is consolidated with similar work performed by The Panama Canal.

5. When employees in the present organization are transferred to the permanent organization, they shall retain their seniority as regards questions of civil service, quarters, and other privileges or considerations; Provided, however, That the seniority granted to employees by this order shall not be operative in any case so as to form any claim involving the payment of funds of the United States.

6. All employees who receive compensation at the rate of more than $960 a year, or 40 cents an hour must be citizens of the United States or the Republic of Panama, and such citizens will be given preference for employment in all grades. Aliens may not be employed in such grades unless (a) they have occupied similar positions in the construction of the Canal for two years or more, or (b) in case of emergency, in which latter case they must be replaced by citizens of the United States or Republic of Panama as early as practicable.

7. The Governor shall prescribe regulations when not otherwise fixed in this order, setting forth the qualifications necessary for appointment to the various classes of employees, including physical fitness for work on the Isthmus. The age limit shall in all cases be under 45 years, but the Governor may waive this limit when in his judgment such action is for the good of the service.

8. All appointments shall be made by the Governor of The Panama Canal, or by his authority, except the district judge, district attorney, marshal, clerk of district court, and his assistant.

9. Assignment to duty is vested in the respective heads of the departments, and employees will be expected to perform such duties as may properly be assigned to them. The Governor may discharge an employee at any time for cause, and terminate a provisional appointment when the exigencies of the service so require.

10. The Government reserves the right to pay in any money the value or parity of that which is guaranteed by the United States.

11. Employees whose salaries are fixed on a month or annual basis will receive no pay for overtime work.

12. Employees above the grade of laborer, appointed with rates of pay per hour or per day, will not be employed over eight hours in any one calendar day, except in the case of emergency. The time such employees work over eight hours in one calendar day, and time worked on Sundays and regularly authorized holidays, including January 1, February 22, May 30, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25, shall be considered overtime for which time and one-half will be allowed. Such employees who worked on the days prior and subsequent to the holidays specifically named above will be allowed their regular pay for eight hours for such days, in addition to pay for any work performed.

13. An employee whose compensation while on duty carries with it subsistence will not be entitled to same or commutation thereof while on leave of absence, and no commutation of quarters shall be paid.


14. Employees and dependent members of their families will be granted the regular Government rate upon commercial steamship lines with which arrangements for such rates can be made. While the United States operates a steamship line, either directly or indirectly through the Panama Railroad Co., employees and the dependent members of their families will be granted transportation at the same rates and under the same conditions as are at present in effect. The rates and conditions are subject to change at any time in the discretion of the Governor.

15. After three years’ service employees who are citizens of the United States will be entitled to free transportation for themselves only, on termination of service, to any port of the United States, except that when such transportation costs the Government more than $40 the employee must pay the excess.

16. Employees on the gold roll will be granted one complimentary round-trip pass on the Panama Railroad each calendar month. Tickets and mileage books for use of such employees and dependent members of their families, or relatives temporarily residing with them, will be furnished at one-half regular tariff rate.


17. Where practicable, such bachelor quarters on the Isthmus as may be available from time to time will be assigned all employees desiring them. Family quarters, when available, will be assigned under such rules as may be prescribed by the Governor.


18. Employees injured will be compensated in accordance with such regulations as are prescribed by law.

19. All employees in cases of illness or injury will receive full medical care and attendance in the hospital, except in the case of alcoholism and venereal disease. If medical attendance is furnished in quarters, a charge may be made under regulations to be prescribed by the Governor. Employees will be charged for medical care and attendance furnished members of their families at the hospital and at their quarters at such rates and under such regulations as may be prescribed by the Governor.


20. All employees who are citizens of the United States and whose compensation is at a rate of more than $960 a year or 40 cents an hour, shall be entitled to leave privileges.

21. Leave will be divided into three classes, viz. (1) annual leave, (2) cumulative leave, and (3) travel leave.



22. Twenty-four days’ annual leave will be allowed each employee for each year after entry into service and for any annual leave not used prior to the end of the service year in which it is earned shall be thereafter in the same status and subject to the same rules as cumulative leave.

23. The service year shall date from the day on which an employee’s pay in the permanent organization begins.

24. Absence of one-half day or more, when regularly authorized, will be charged against annual leave; also absence on account of illness or injury, upon the certificate of an authorized physician in the service of The Panama Canal, except that in the following classes of cases no payment shall be made for time lost, but time shall be charged against annual leave:

(a) Illness due to the fault of the employee, as venereal disease and alcoholism.

(b) Injury due to the employee’s willful intention to bring about the injury or death of himself or another.

(c) Elective surgical operations to relieve conditions existing prior to service on the Isthmus.

25. Teachers employed only during school months, from October to June, inclusive, may be granted not to exceed twenty-four days’ leave within those months to cover illness or emergency, but will not be entitled to any other leave with pay and will be entitled to no leave with pay from July to September, inclusive.

26. In the cases of hourly or per diem employees annual leave on account of sickness or injury shall be based upon a day of eight hours.

27. Not more than fourteen days’ annual leave may be taken during the first six months of a service year. In case of illness or injury in the first six months, to cover which no annual leave remains to the employee’s credit, the time lost will be charged against the annual leave remaining for the year, and payment will be made upon completing ten months of the service year. After the entire twenty-four days’ annual leave has been used, additional leave in that service year on account of illness or injury will be deducted from the cumulative leave for that year and when the cumulative leave becomes due the employee will be paid.

28. After exhausting both annual and cumulative leave for that year, additional absence on account of illness or injury will be without pay, except such compensation as may be prescribed by law for employees receiving personal injuries.


29. Thirty days’ cumulative leave will be allowed each employee paid on a monthly or annual basis for each year of his service, and twenty days to each employee paid on an hourly basis. This leave will be due after completing ten months’ service each year and may be taken when the employee’s service can be spared. It may be taken annually or left to accumulate to the credit of the employee, provided, however, that the maximum number of days leave with pay of all kinds which may be granted at any one which or which may be commuted into a cash payment at termination is 120.

30. After cumulative or annual leave is earned and due it may be taken at such times and in such numbers of days as may be satisfactory to the Governor.

31. Leave taken after the close of the service year in which it was earned shall be paid for at the rate of pay received at the end of the tenth month of the service year in which the leave was earned. When an employee enters on a leave of absence which consists of or includes annual leave earned in the same year in which he enters on the leave, such annual leave shall be paid for at the rate received by the employee when he entered on the leave.

32. In case an employee serves part of a year on the monthly or annual basis and part on the hourly basis, he will be allowed twenty days’ cumulative leave, except that if he has served eight months or more on the monthly or annual basis during the year he will be granted thirty days’ cumulative leave.


33. Employees who travel to points outside the tropics, when on cumulative leave, will be allowed seven days additional leave (or travel leave) with full pay, provided the total of all leave with pay granted shall not exceed 120 days.

34. Employees will be compensated for travel leave at the rate earned when cumulative leave last became due.


35. After accumulating leave of all kinds amounting to 120 days, an employee ceases to earn additional cumulative leave until he is granted all or part of the cumulative leave already earned, unless he shall enter on cumulative leave within two months thereafter, or be ordered by the Governor to defer taking leave for official reasons.

36. When an employee’s service is terminated, a cash payment in commutation of leave will be made to him for the number of days cumulative leave due, plus annual leave due. In the event of his death his estate will be paid the sum due.

37. Employees must report from leave within one week after the authorized leave expires or forfeit pay for the leave. In case of unavoidable delay, the Governor will decide whether the circumstances warrant an exception to this rule.

38. No restrictions are placed on the localities where leave may be spent.

39. Any employee transferred from the present force to the permanent operating force will be paid at the time of transfer, in addition to his regular compensation, the amount he would have received in payment for leave had he been separated from the service at the time of the transfer.

40. Leave may be taken only at the convenience of the heads of the departments, who may direct an employee to accumulate his leave if necessary for the conduct of the work.

41. Leave without pay may be granted by the Governor to all employees, including laborers, for such period as may be prescribed by him.


42. Office hours and hours of labor will be fixed by the Governor within the limits prescribed by laws.



Sec. 16. General Information. — The Canal Zone is a strip of land extending from deep water to deep water, 5 miles on either side of the axis of the Canal, and containing 441 ½ square miles of varied country. The highest point is 1,151 feet above sea level. The country is hilly and for the greater part covered with jungle. It is under the jurisdiction of the United States and a civil government is in operation. All land is owned by the Government, and no one may purchase land to develop or live upon it, as he can in the United States. The population of the Canal Zone as of January, 1920, was 17,964; the population of the city of Panama is approximately 61,400 and of Colon about 26,000. The hospital and medical service is excellent. The water is pure and the supply abundant. The settlements are as clean and wholesome as modern methods of municipal engineering can make them.

Sec. 17. Climate. — The Canal Zone has a tropical climate with an average temperature of approximately 80 F. and with little variation between summer and winter, the wet and the dry seasons. Though the air is damp and muggy during parts of the rainy season, the nights are generally cool and comfortable. The annual rainfall varies from 129 inches at Colon to 71 inches at Ancon, most of the precipitation occurring during the rainy season of about eight months, extending from April to December. During the rainy season, the rain is by no means continuous, the time during which it is actually raining averaging about an hour and a quarter per day, as distributed through the season.

Sec. 18. Health Conditions. — Health conditions on the Isthmus are excellent. The death and sick rates among American employees and members of their families are low. Yellow fever has been extirpated and malaria controlled.

Sec. 19. Clothing required.—Warm weather is continuous, and a good supply of light-weight summer underclothing is advisable. Additional articles may be procured on the Isthmus at any time, either from the Government commissaries or from private dealers. Any clothing of light summer weight will be found serviceable. Clothing of khaki, linen, alpaca, and “duck” or light woolens is usually worn.

Sec. 20. Quarters. Bachelor. — Employees are supplied with bachelor quarters which contain all necessary articles of furniture, such as bed, mattress, chairs, etc., but the bed linen and similar articles must be supplied by the employee and can be purchased at commissaries on the Isthmus.

Family. — Employees are advised not to take their families with them on the first trip to Panama on account of the scarcity of family quarters. No promise is made to furnish family quarters. However, such family quarters as are available are assigned upon application to employees in order of length of service, within classes based on salary, but on account of the large demand for such quarters an employee must wait an indefinite length of time before his name will be reached for assignment. Family quarters contain all necessary articles of furniture, such as beds, mattresses, range, refrigerator, tables, chairs, etc., but the bed and table linen, dishes, kitchen utensils and similar articles must be supplied by the employee and can be purchased at the commissaries on the Isthmus.

Sec. 21. Meals Restaurants are maintained where good board may be purchased at an average of 40 cents a meal and upward.

Sec. 22. Commissary.— General stores are operated by the Government where employees may purchase all necessary supplies, including cold storage articles and other food, and clothing, at about prices current in the United States. Beef costs


less than in the United States because The Panama Canal maintains its own supply. Payment for these articles is made by use of coupon books, which may be purchased for cash, or by charge against the employee’s salary.

Sec. 23. Community interests and diversions.—Society in the Canal Zone differs from that in the United States in that land and home ownership is lacking, the citizen does not vote, and there is only one employer and therefore no opportunity outside Government service. On the other hand there are many compensations, such as villages that are always clean, houses well kept up, and freedom from local taxation. With these fundamental differences in view, one can visualize the life of a Canal worker as that of a citizen with steady work, and is living in a model community.

Schools.— The school system provides elementary instruction for white and colored children in different schools. For the American children a good high school course is provided, graduates from which have college entrance qualifications. Among regular features are music, gymnastics, manual training, and domestic science courses. An apprentice school is conducted at Balboa shops, in which boys are given opportunity to learn the metal and shop trades under careful manual and mental instruction. In Panama city is an excellent school of music supported by the Government of Panama.

Clubhouses and playgrounds. — In each village the Government maintains a clubhouse, which is the community center. Here are held moving picture shows, Sunday singing meetings, both amateur and professional plays and concerts, dances and such other public meetings as the community may wish to hold. The clubhouses resemble Y. M. C. A. establishments in the United States, in that each has reading and recreation rooms, gymnasium, library, lunch counter, and each promotes athletic and social interests of the community. They have no church affiliations and are used equally by both sexes.

In each community are public playgrounds where children are directed and cared for in their play by professional instructors.

Churches. —The Baptist, Catholic, Christian Science, Episcopal, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, and the Union Church are well established on the Isthmus. The Union Church is purely a Canal Zone institution. It is organized on the idea that the so-called “evangelical churches” have so much in common that their members can meet in a common church for worship and can carry on ethical in common. The plan has worked well, and therefore no American need feel that he will be without church affiliation on the Isthmus even though his particular church may not be represented by a separate organization.

Baseball.— A baseball league with clubs representing the various villages and Army posts has a regular series of games each dry season. The league teams play good ball; as high grade in fact as Class C teams in the United States. In addition to the “big league” there are several minor leagues so that one who cares for baseball can find outlet for his ability either as a player or a “rooter.” The diamonds are peeled and well-drained; and good grandstands accommodate from 500 to 3,000 persons.

Tennis. — Good courts in each village furnish opportunity for tennis. At various times in the year tournaments are held in which competitors from all parts of the Isthmus take part.

Golf. — Two golf links at the Pacific side of the Isthmus, and on at Gatun on the Atlantic side, give opportunity for golfing.

Swimming. — A sandy beach stretches along the bay at Panama City affording excellent opportunity for sea bathing and swimming. There is a pool of fresh water


at Balboa clubhouse in which instruction is given by an expert swimmer. On the Atlantic side salt water bathing is afforded in the pool at Hotel Washington. The Canal offers fresh swimming opportunities at the inland villages.

Dancing.— Notwithstanding the constant warmth, dancing is one of the most common diversions. Good floors for dancing are found at all of the clubhouses, and at the Hotels Washington and Tivoli. American employees also belong to clubs in Colon and Panama where dances are held frequently. On account of the constant flow of employees and tourists from the United States, the type of dancing is always what is called “up-to-date.”

Automobiling. —At and near the Atlantic terminus of the Canal are about 15 miles of road good for automobiling, and at the Pacific terminus about 50 miles.

Fishing. — No part of the Canal Zone is more than 25 miles from an ocean, and in consequence deep water fishing is well-developed as a recreation. In Panama Bay good “catches” of edible fish can be depended on as reward for a day’s fishing. Tarpon fishing in the Chagres River at Gatun attracts many employees and visitors.

Hunting. — Several hunting clubs with trained dogs go regularly into the pasture clearings and the jungle after deer. No party of hunters need come back from a day’s sport without a deer or two. Since the Canal pastures have been cleared, the wild cats have gone deeper into the jungle, giving the deer a chance to multiply; and the laws against trapping, licking, and jacking have also afforded them protection. Hunters also find wild pig, a kind of rabbit, wild cat, tapir, turkey, and various game birds in the jungle.

Recreation trips. — It is possible without great effort or expense for employees to visit ruins of old Spanish towns and forts at Old Panama, Fort San Lorenzo, and Porto Bello. A launch trip of two days suffices for a visit to the Pearl Islands, and the Bayano River. An inland excursion made easy by the canoe navigation on the Chagres River takes one in three days into mountain and jungle country untouched by civilization. Trips into the interior of Panama are not difficult and in the course of two weeks one may obtain a superficial idea of the country and its people. A regular launch service from Balboa is maintained to take employees to and from Hotel Aspinwall on Taboga Island. This island is about 15 miles from the Pacific terminus of the Canal, and is sought by employees who wish a short rest and recreation. It is not so warm at Taboga as on the mainland.

The cities. — Colon offers little diversion except that of moving picture places, occasional boxing matches, poor cabarets, and the interest that attaches to a closely inhabited town of diverse people. Panama, on the contrary, has the charm with which only tradition and age can invest a place. Some old churches, fragments of the wall that once girt the city, narrow streets with overhanging balconies, all speak of the “middle age,” and give a mellow background to the garishness that seems inseparable from the modern business city, which Panama also is. The more modern aspects of Panama are not so engaging, but many of them are good. Once a week excellent music may be heard at the Conservatory concerts in the city, and about once or twice a year good opera is well sung at the Panama National Theatre by celebrated artists. Every Sunday night the Panama National band gives an excellent concert in Central Plaza.

Sec. 24. Historical and statistical. — Christopher Columbus was here on his fourth voyage, in 1502. It was in 1513 that Balboa crossed the Isthmus and discovered the Pacific Ocean, and it was one of Balboa’s companions who first broached the idea of cutting a canal. Reports and projects, surveys and concessions, followed through the centuries, but the first actual work on the Canal was started by


the French on January 20, 1882. American occupation of the Canal Zone began on May 4, 1904, and the first ocean steamer passed through the Canal on August 3, 1914. On August 15, 1914, the Canal was informally open to commerce.

On April 1, 1914, the organization for the operation and maintenance of the Canal and the government of the Canal Zone was established by the President in conformity with the provisions of the Panama Canal Act of August 24, 1912.

The Canal was built at the narrowest part but one of the Isthmus, and the saddle through which it crosses the continental divide was originally about 400 feet above sea level. The Isthmus lies on a northeast to southwest axis and the Canal, crossing almost at right angles to the axis, runs from northwest to southeast. The Atlantic entrance is west of the Pacific.

The Canal extends at sea level from its starting point at Limon Bay to Gatun, 5.77 nautical miles. At Gatun the sea level section ends in a flight of three pairs of locks, forming the steps to Gatun Lake, with its normal elevation 85 feet above the sea.

Gatun Lake was formed by damming the Chagres valley, and excess water, wasted through the spillway, finds its way to sea through the old course of the lower Chagres.

The Canal proceeds up the valley of the Chagres 20.55 miles to Gamboa, and in this section relatively little excavation was required. At Gamboa begins the real drive through the divide, the famous Culebra Cut. It is 6.97 nautical miles (about 8 statute miles) long, 300 feet at the bottom and extends to Pedro Miguel Lock and dam, on the Pacific slope of the divide. Here one lock lowers the ship to Miraflores Lake, a small body about a mile long, with its surface 55 feet above the sea. At the south end of this lake are Miraflores Locks, which, in two steps, lower the ship to the Pacific. A sea-level channel 7miles long carries past Balboa and out into the Pacific.

The Panama Railroad extends between Colon and Panama on the eastern side of the Canal. A branch line extends from Pedro Miguel to Las Cascadas, crossing the Canal on a swinging pontoon bridge at Paraiso. The railroad formerly followed the course of the Chagres from Gatun to Gamboa, and was for the most part of the west route of the Canal. With the building of the Canal, which involved the formation of Gatun Lake and flooding the lower Chagres valley, and made it desirable to have the main line on only the eastern side of the channel, it was necessary to relocate the railroad throughout practically its whole length. The railroad was first built by an American company in the years 1850 to 1855.




  Guanatamo Bay


New York


  La Guaira






New Orleans




Key West


  Rio de Janeiro






Vera Cruz




St. Thomas


  San Francisco




  Acapulco, Mexico




  La Union, Salvador




  Buenaventura, Columbia




  Galapagos Islands
















Punta Arena, Chile


  Wellington, New Zealand






Between New York and San Francisco the distance of 13,135 miles by way of the Strait of Magellan has been reduced to 5,262 miles by the Canal, a reduction of three-fifths.


Length of Canal, deep water to deep water, 43.84 nautical miles

Length of sea-level sections, 12.76 nautical miles/

Length of sections of lakes and locks, 31.08 nautical miles.

Distance by air between original shores, 34 statute miles.

Latitude and longitude of Atlantic end, 9 degrees 23’ N. by 79 degrees 56’ W.

Latitude and longitude of Pacific end. 8 degrees 54’ N. by 79 degrees 32’ W.

Width of channel at sea-level sections, 500 feet.

Width of Gatun Lake section, 500 to 1,000 feet.

Width in Cut (bottom), 300 feet, 600 feet at north approach to Pedro Miguel Lock.

Width across Cut, between outer edges of slides at widest point, about 3,000 feet.

Width of lock chambers, 110 feet.

Length of lock chambers, 1,000 feet.

Height of walls, approximately, 50 to 81 feet.

Width of center walls, 60 feet.

Number of lock gates, 46. Number of leaves in lock gates, 92.

Length of each lock gate leaf, 65 feet. Thickness of leaf, 7 feet.

Height of lock operating gate leaves, 64 feet 8 inches to 82 feet.

Height of guard gates, 47 feet 4 inches.

Weight per leaf, 390 to 730 tons; of all leaves, 60,000 tons.

Concrete used in the locks, 4,500,000 cubic yards.

Length of Gatun Locks, overall, 5,490 feet.

Depth of water in Atlantic section, 41 feet at mean tide.

Depth of water in Pacific section, 45 feet at mean tide.

Depth of water in Lake and Cut sections, 45 to 85 feet.

Elevation of bottom of Cut above sea level, 40 feet.

Area of Gatun Lake at elevation 85 feet, 164 square miles.

Area of Gatun Lake watershed, 1,320 square miles.

Average time required for transit of Canal, 8 hours.

Area of Miraflores Lake at elevation 55 feet, 1.88 square miles.

Length of Gatun Dam, 1 ½ miles.

Width of Gatun Dam at bottom, ½ mile.

Width of Gatun Dam at top, 100 feet.

Elevation of top of Gatun Dam, 105 feet.

Fill placed in building Gatun Dam, 22,958,069 cubic yards.

Width of spillway discharge channel, 285 feet.

Length of spillway dam, 808 feet.

Capacity for discharge of the 14 gates of spillway, 187,572 cubic feet per second.

Length of Panama Railroad, Colon-Panama, 47.61 miles.


Length of branch, Pedro Miguel-Las Cascadas, 7.69 miles.

Highest point above sea level on railroad, 271 feet.

Cost of Canal, approximately $373,000,000.

Value acquired from French, $42,799,826.

Value of excavation by French, $25,389,240.

Aggregate cargo carried by above, 32,469,000 tons.


Published: Mon Nov 23 08:52:38 EST 2020