The New Student's Reference Work/Suez Canal
Suez (so͝o-ez′) Canal, a passage connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas, was begun in April, 1859, under the French engineer, Lesseps (q. v.). Half the money for the great work was raised by subscription in Europe, and the other half by the khedive of Egypt. The canal was finished in 1869. It cost about $100,000,000, and is 87 miles long and originally from 150 to 300 feet wide at the top and 26 feet deep. In 1886 it was widened and deepened. The highest point cut through is not more than 50 feet above the ocean. Sidings, side-basins to allow vessels to pass each other, are built every five or six miles. Since 1887 the canal has been lighted by electric light. It costs a vessel about $500 to make the passage, and takes a little over 24 hours. In 1910, 4,533 vessels, exceeding 23 million gross tons, passed through the canal, and the number of passengers, military and civilian, was 394,253. Population of Suez, Port Said and Canal Environs 75,149.