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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/468

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452
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

The following table shows the total excavation in both canal and derivations. The figures are those of the Canal Company, expressed in cubic metres:

SECTIONS. CANAL. DEFLECTIONS.
Original
cube.
Cube
excavated.
Cube
remaining.
Original
cube.
Cube
excavated.
Cube
remaining.
Colon 2,500,000 1,900,000 600,000 600,000 420,000 180,000
Gatun 6,300,000 5,300,000 1,000,000 3,000,000 2,600,000 400,000
Bohio 5,500,000 2,100,000 3,400,000 1,100,000 450,000 650,000
Tavernilla 6,000,000 500,000 5,500,000 1,200,000 100,000 1,100,000
San Pablo 4,000,000 1,200,000 2,800,000 900,000 90,000 810,000
Gorgona 4,500,000 1,600,000 2,900,000 850,000 260,000 590,000
Matachin 3,250,000 1,200,000 2,050,000 400,000 150,000 250,000
Obispo 10,050,000 3,100,000 6,900,000 900,000 90,000 810,000
Emperador 19,000,000 4,300,000 14,700,000 500,000 . . . . . . . . . 500,000
Culebra 23,000,000 2,100,000 20,900,000 None. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Paraiso 7,000,000 1,800,000 5,200,000 240,000 180,000 60,000
Corozal 1,600,000 400,000 1,200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000
La Boca 2,500,000 1,900,000 600,000 100,000 80,000 20,000
Total 95,150,000 27,400,000 67,750,000 9,940,000 4,520,000 5,420,000

According to these statistics the total cube of canal and deflections was 105,090,000 cubic metres; the amount excavated is 31,920,000 cubic metres, leaving 73,170,000 to be removed. In other words, thirty per cent of the work is finished, and seventy per cent remains. The deflections are nearly half finished. The principal machine-shops are at Colon, Matachin, and Panama, These, with the hospitals and quarters for officials and laborers, if placed side by side, would cover an area of eighty-one acres. They are frame-buildings, picturesquely situated, with sills resting on masonry supports, and roofs of corrugated iron. They are clean, well-ventilated, and admirably suited to the climate of the Isthmus. The "cantines" are kept by Chinamen, who board the laborers at reasonable rates. The native huts are unhealthy; the vegetable matter of a thatched roof decays and becomes a harbor for insects. The present quarters are decidedly in the line of economy both as regards health and future expense and needs. I visited the Isthmus in 1881, when the country was a thickly-matted jungle, the only signs of habitation being a few huts at railway-stations. To-day thousands of acres are cleared, and such is the installation of the company that the canal seems to lie in a prosperous and populous district. In fact, the passenger from Matachin to Culebra is reminded rather of a single settlement than of several railway-stations.

At the time of my visit 10,640 workmen were employed by the contractors; with the 926 employés of the company, the total force was 11,566 men. The laborers are chiefly negroes from Jamaica or other islands, with a few from our Southern States, who have gone to Colon in coasting-vessels, and have been attracted by the wages of $1.50 per day in Colombian coin. About 300 Kroomen and as many