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The Panama Canal : Indepent study

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Tegan Gie

on 9 December 2013

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Transcript of The Panama Canal : Indepent study

The Panama Canal
By Tegan Gie
How Do The Locks On Panama Canal Function ?

Mechanical interlocks are built into the controls to make sure that no component can be moved while another is in an incorrect state; for example, opening the drain and fill valves of a lock chamber together.
All the equipment of the locks is operated electronically, so the whole process of locking a ship up or down can be controlled from a central control room, which is located on the centre wall of the upper flight of locks. The controls are designed from the outset to minimize the chances of an operator mistake, and include a complete model of the locks, with moving components which mirror the states of the real lock gates and valves. This allows the operator can see exactly what state the locks and water valves are in.
Commercial Importance :
The Panama Canal was built to shorten the distance that ships had to travel to pass between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The canal allows shippers of commercial goods,to save time and money by transporting cargo more quickly. This ranges from automobiles to grains. Before the completion of the canal, a ship sailing between ports in New York and San Francisco had to sail around Cape Horn, the southernmost point of South America. This 12,000-mile trip took 67 days. After the canal was completed, approximately 8,000 miles were eliminated from the trip. Nearly 14,000 ships and other watercraft, some as long as three football fields, carry 280 million tons of cargo through the canal every day, states Popular Mechanics magazine.
Military Importance :
Theodore Roosevelt was interested in building a canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans before the Spanish-American war in 1898. He became more interested in the canal after the U.S. won the war and acquired Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. He wanted a shorter route for naval ships needing to pass between the two oceans. Failed negotiations with Colombia, which owned Panama, led to the U.S. providing funds and a naval blockade in support of Panama's revolution. In 1903, the newly-independent Panama sold the rights to the canal to the U.S. for $10 million. The U.S. military had a strong presence in the Panama Canal Zone until 1999, when all U.S. military bases were closed. The canal is still used for the transportation of military water vessels.
What is the purpose of the Panama Canal ?
Interesting Facts
- The actual construction of the canal took more than 50 years to complete!
- Over twenty-five thousand people died in effort
-The Atlantic entrance to the Canal is 22-1/2 miles west of the Pacific entrance.

-More than four and half million cubic yards of concrete went in to the construction of the locks and dams.
-•Material originally excavated to build the Canal were put on to a train of flat cars, it would encircle the world four times.

-The locks of the Panama Canal are seven feet thick.
Introduction to # 3
Finally in 1880, the project to build the Panama Canal began. A French Engineer that went by the name Ferdinand de Lesseps decided to take on the challenge. It was going to be a hard journey, but because Ferdinand had already been successful to build the Suez Canal it seemed a piece of cake to him. Most of the workers were locals or people from the West Indies.
The Project begins
What is the value of the Panama Canal ?
A Deal between France And The United States
The only likely buyer was the United States who at the time was interested in building a canal across Nicaragua in order to give the U.S. Navy daily access to the Pacific Ocean. A deal was struck in 1902 between the U.S. and the French for only $40 Million. Also 1903, following her independence from Columbia, Panama granted the U.S. the right to complete the canal. If that wasn’t enough, delighted over the help the U.S. gave Panama during her fight for independence, Panama also gave the U.S. full control of the Panama Canal Area.
Even though the project was steady at first, the numbers of employees began to drop. These reasons were not only diseases' but also many quit and returned home, for they were afraid that they would too, get sick.
Eventually, France realized that the enormous risk they had took was a waste of time. It had been only 13 years and they had almost gone nowhere, it was time to give up.
Thank You
for watching the incredibly story of the Panama Canal
Full transcript