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Panama Canal Museum

Research and Learning

We produce and disseminate scientific knowledge about the collections and heritage related to the Panama Canal, applying all museological aspects. We produce for you different publications and research, among which stand out: museological scripts, selection and research of pieces for permanent and temporary exhibitions. We also create content for the development of multimedia experiences.

Our

Research assistance with other institutions

The Silver Man proposal to be part of UNESCO's World Memory Heritage. 2010.
Research and writing for the French Embassy: the French effort in the construction of the Canal. 2010.
In the exhibition Paul Gaugin: the Dream of Panama. 2011. (Revision of script texts).
Our

Books and Catalogues

Vision of a 21st Century Collector. Ricardo Gago Salinero/Canal Museum. Published in 2012.
Celebrating One Hundred Years of the Panama Canal. Ricardo Gago Salinero/Canal Museum. Published in 2014.

Read our publications online at:

Americanosfera Casa América
ICOM Education - página 272
Cooperación Española de Paraguay
Programmes of

MEMBERSHIPS

With your contribution you will receive free tickets, special invitations, tax-deductible payment certificates, discounts in the museum shop and more benefits.

When you support local culture, you contribute to the integral development of the community.

Find out about our membership programmes

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MUCI Logo

Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Ticket office closes at 5:30 p.m.

Residents:
Adults: $5.00 | Students: $2.50 | Retirees: $2.50 | Children (6 - 12 years): $2.50
Non-Residents:
Adults: $15.00 | Students: $7.50 | Retirees: $7.50 | Children (6 - 12 years): $5.00
Others:
SENADIS Certificate Holders:

Plaza Catedral, between 5th and 6th streets, Casco Antiguo, Panama City, Panama

We offer the following services

Educational Workshops

Pedagogical proposal to reinforce the learning acquired in the museum exhibitions and in the classroom.

Price per workshop: B/.5.00 (price applies for children)
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Quantity: maximum 10 participants*
Workshops include:

      • Participation in the activity, in a comfortable, spacious, clean space, with a personal table and chair at your level.
      • Materials and tools to use (as required for each workshop).
      • Support and animation by the facilitators in charge.
      • General admission to the museum exhibitions.

Offer
We also offer MUCI CAR, an interactive way to create your own story. It takes the form of a trolley that accompanies you on your route through the Museum's permanent exhibitions, combining observation and interpretation with games and invention to create your own story.
Didactic guidesreinforce your knowledge of the themes exhibited in the Museum.
Discover my New Adventures, a colouring book that teaches curious facts about pirates.
My Flag, learn about the history and use of our national symbol.

* Number of participants due to capacity control, cleanliness and biosecurity measures.

Reservations at pedagogia@museodelcanal.com or 211-1649

We offer the following services

Virtual Tours

Virtual tour with interesting content about the museum's exhibitions.

Schedule: Wednesday 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Price: B/. 2.00 (price applies to school and university groups),
Reservations at pedagogia@museodelcanal.com or 211-1649

We offer the following services

Guided Tours and Virtual Tours

Guided tour through the museum's exhibitions, where the history of Panama and the Canal is narrated.
The content is provided by specialized guides who develop a narrative adapted to different audiences and ages.

Languages: Spanish and English
Groups from the age of 3 years old (kindergarten).
Number of people per group: 15 people maximum.
Opening hours:
Guided tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (school and university groups),
Saturdays (special tours) from 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Price: regular museum entrance fees apply

We offer the following services

Audioguides

Modern audio guide system, with the use of pointer and laser, which allows a better understanding of the content of the museum's exhibitions.

Price: B/. 1.50
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Languages: Spanish, English, French and native Panamanian languages (Ngäbere, Guna and Emberá).
Available on the first level of exhibits, highlighting interesting aspects from the history of the Emergence of the Isthmus, Pre-Hispanic Era, Colonial, Gold Rush, Transisthmian Railroad, French Canal to the construction of the U.S. Canal.
You can request them at the museum's ticket office.

Space rentals

Auditorio MediaLab

Con un foyer como antesala, el Auditorio MediaLab cuenta con cómodas butacas color vino, puertas especiales para contrarrestar el ruido, rampa de acceso, cabina de control y un completo equipo audiovisual: retro proyector de filminas tipo scanner, proyector de diapositivas, un cañón para proyecciones de data show, VHS y DVD, computadora, filmadoras, micrófonos, cuatro bocinas y pantalla. El escenario cuenta con podio que lleva un micrófono cuello de ganso. La inclinación del piso permite la visibilidad de todos los asistentes. Perfecto para seminarios, conciertos, presentaciones culturales, actos protocolares y premiaciones. Capacidad para 110 personas sentadas.
Capacity subject to capacity stipulated by MINSA.

Space rentals

GRAND HÔTEL FOYER

The Grand Hôtel Foyer is a hall surrounded by elegant French doors, shiny marble floors in black and white, antique bronze locksmithery, tongue and groove ceilings, double height space inside, natural and artificial lighting. Its spaciousness can accommodate 230 people seated.
Capacity subject to capacity stipulated by MINSA.

Space rentals

Patio de Luz

Located in the center of the Museum, the Patio de Luz is an interior courtyard roofed under a large skylight over white marble floors and double height space inside. Green French windows line its high walls. Seating capacity for 35 people.
Capacity subject to capacity stipulated by MINSA.

Monolithic Barrel Sculpture
Pre-Columbian Period

Monolithic Barrel Sculpture

Monument of volcanic stone of the western region, discovered in Chiriqui in 1947, represents a personage carrying in his hands an axe and a small container. It belongs to the Barriles culture, which developed approximately 300 BC. - 300 A.D., identified as a ceremonial center that transcended a much wider territory than that of a single "lordship" or "chiefdom". Reina Torres de Araúz Anthropological Museum Collection/Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum Collection.

Monolito

Date: 500-800 A.D.

Material: Volcanic Stone

Dimensions: 150 cm x 66 cm x 25 cm

MUCI (760)

Goldsmiths
Pre-Columbian Period

Goldsmiths

Famous are the zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures in gold and tumbaga (gold and copper alloy), made using a variety of techniques (gilding, embossing, lost wax casting), of which a variety of jewelry has been found, ranging from diadems to earrings, testimony to the skill of pre-Columbian goldsmiths and the particularity of an artistic style. Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum Fund.

Goldsmiths

Material: Oro

Dimensions: 4 cm x 5 cm x 2 cm

MUCI (P.05.1.5)

Metate or Seat
Pre-Columbian Period

Metate or Seat

Made of volcanic stone with a slightly concave rectangular dish, supported by four legs. It is estimated that it comes from the central region where it could have been used as a table to grind corn or process food and also used as a ceremonial seat. Approximately 200-1500 A.D. Reina Torres de Araúz Anthropological Museum Collection/Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum Collection.

Metate or Seat

Date: 200-1500 A.D.

Material: Volcanic Stone

Dimensions: 23 cm x 50.5 cm x 34 cm

MUCI (08.26.1)

Satirical medal of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties
Identity Search

Satirical medal of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties

The negotiations for the approval of a new treaty between the United States and Panama, which would put an end to the causes of conflict that triggered the regrettable events of January 1964, were characterized by the constant insistence of the American negotiators on obtaining a new treaty that would be favorable to the United States, insofar as it would allow them to extend their presence on the Isthmus as much as possible, guarantee the possession of a new Canal, and ensure their defense and neutrality. This was evidenced by the draft Robles-Johnson treaties, which extended the presence of the United States until 2067, at which time, in the absence of another treaty between the two States, it would continue its presence indefinitely. This insistence on the part of the United States would continue into the early 1970s, following the rejection by the Panamanian Foreign Ministry of the draft Robles-Johnson treaties and the resumption of negotiations. The US proposals ranged from a revision of the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty to a treaty that would revert land and water to Panama and transfer the Canal, under the condition that it would be allowed to build a new canal. Panama's best option in the face of this stance was to seek international support for its cause, deploying diplomatic action to publicize the Panamanian issue in the main world forums, including the OAS Security Council. International pressure led US diplomacy to soften its position on a new treaty, its validity and the future defense of the Canal. This turnaround, and the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, would be one of the most scathing criticisms of President James Carter's administration and Democratic foreign policy. The satirical coin shown here evokes the dissatisfaction and sense of misunderstanding with which the Treaties were viewed in some sectors of the United States. The obverse of this medal reads: Speak softly and carry a big stick, while the center shows a portrait of Theodore Roosevelt. This alludes to the "big stick policy" of President Roosevelt, whose administration prided itself on having obtained the Panama Canal, while the reverse shows, in the center, a kneeling Uncle Sam handing the Panama Canal on a platter to a military figure with two faces: the face closest to Uncle Sam is that of Omar Torrijos, Panamanian Head of State at the time, and the distant face is that of Fidel Castro, ruler of communist Cuba. The upper edge of the reverse bears the phrase: The politics of appeasement, which in a diplomatic context means making concessions to a dictator in order to avoid possible conflict. The lower edge of the reverse reads: Panama Canal Treaties/ approved by the U.S. Senate 1978.

Satirical medal of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties

Date: 1978

Material: Bronze

Dimensions: 6.3 cm diameter

MUCI (13.2.83)

The Panama Canal Plate
Identity Search

The Panama Canal Plate

The plate is a container used to hold food. Their use is common in almost all cultures, but they are also objects of adornment and therefore highly prized souvenirs. Here are two Panama Canal souvenir plates. The first shows a locomotive safely guiding a ship through one of the locks, while the second depicts a two-way transit through the Culebra Cut.

The Panama Canal Plate

Date: 1977

Material: Porcelain

Dimensions: 18.6 cm diameter

MUCI (13.2.159)

The Torrijos - Carter Treaties, 1977
Identity Search

The Torrijos - Carter Treaties, 1977

These treaties were signed in Washington DC on 7 September 1977 between Omar Torrijos (Head of the Panamanian Government) and Jimmy Carter (President of the United States of America). With them, the sovereignty of the Panama Canal, which had been held by the United States since 1903, was progressively transferred from the United States to Panama. The signing ceremony was held at the offices of the OAS, with Latin American presidents in attendance as guests. The treaties committed both countries to agree amicably and cooperatively to provide for the proper management, operation and maintenance of such engineering work.

The Torrijos - Carter Treaties

Date: 1977

Material: Paper

Dimensions: 37 cm x 26 cm x 35.5 cm

MUCI (1080)

Canecas
The Gold Rush and the Transisthmian Railway

Canecas

The "caneca" is the white glazed container generally used for brandy, gin, beer and other liquors, mostly of English, Irish or German origin. This type of container was used from before 1870 until the early 1900s; they were made on kilns by potters who, when firing them, threw common salt into the flame of the kiln, raising the vapors of the salt so that, mixed with the clay, it produced a shiny tone to the surface, a technique called "salt glazing". These bottles ceased to be used in the mid-1920s, due to the low standards of hygiene they offered. By then, consumers of gin and beers were beginning to question the sediment left at the bottom of the bottles and preferred to have their drink served in glass cups, so that they could see it fresh and clean. The arrival of refrigeration systems and the manufacture of glass bottles ended up putting the glass bottle into disuse, since the virtue it had of preserving fresh drinks was no longer necessary. With the arrival of shipping companies and the arrival of European and American fortyniners, these bottles became very common in the Isthmus. Not to mention the arrival of Irish workers for the construction of the railroad. Ginger beer, commonly desired by travelers crossing the Isthmus, was brewed with golden raisins, fresh lemons, sugar, water and ground ginger.

Canecas

Date: 1855 - 1900

Material: Clay

Dimensions: 87 x 140 cm

MUCI (11.4.91)

Single Telegraph Manipulator
The Gold Rush and the Transisthmian Railway

Single Telegraph Manipulator

The single telegraph manipulator is a device used to transmit messages in Morse code. This apparatus works by means of a spring-loaded switch which, when pressed by the operator, closes its electrical contacts and transmits the dots and dashes of the telegraph alphabet, which are recorded at an opposite end. The system allowed a fluid and public communication. The electric telegraph was invented by Samuel Finley Breese Morse, who created in parallel the code of signs, made up of dots and dashes, used in the emission of messages. The first telegraph line was established in 1844 between Washington D.C., Baltimore and Maryland, in the United States. The first telegraphic message of that line would be "What a marvel God has created!", referring to the telegraph itself. Telegraphy can be of the Morse type, for short-distance communications; Multiplex, for the exchange of messages between several points; automatic, since the message, once prepared, is passed through a paper band and transmitted automatically; marine, through the use of flags and signals, with the arrangement of a key. The Panama Railroad Company inaugurated the first telegraph on August 12, 1855, barely six months after the completion of the railroad. The telegraph line ran along the same route. Panama, together with Cuba and Chile, would be one of the first countries with a telegraph in Latin America. The first telegraph message transmitted in Panama was: "Greetings from J.W. Johnson. We are ready to listen to you on the other side. Telegraph completed on Sunday, August 12, 1855".

“Cangrejas”

Date: s/f

Material: metal and wood

Dimensions: H. 19.7 x 8.5 cm

MUCI (08.8.34)

English Rail Section
The Gold Rush and the Transisthmian Railway

English Rail Section

Undoubtedly, the railroad project was the prelude to the construction of the waterway, and the railroads played a fundamental role in the logistics of the construction of the Canal, since on its rails were transported work material, machinery, excavated material and the lives of workers from 97 countries around the world. Cutting section of steel rail of 50 pounds per yard. It was manufactured in England and was the first steel rail used between 1876 and 1907 by the Panama Railroad.

English Rail Section

Date: 1876 - 1907

Material: metal

Dimensions: 9.5 x 10 x 15.5 cm (3.5 x 4 x 4.5 x 4.5 in.)

MUCI (10.29.9)

Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique de Panama French Bond
French Canal

Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique de Panama French Bond

In December 1879, Count Ferdinand de Lesseps left for the Isthmus of Panama, where he arrived on January 1, 1880, to inaugurate one of the most ambitious projects of the 19th century: the construction of the Panama Canal. This great undertaking would cost 210 million dollars and should be completed in 1889. De Lesseps did not hesitate to use his prestige as the successful director of the Suez Canal construction to raise the funds for this new enterprise, through stock and bond issues which, at first, obtained very good results; however, by 1889 the Universal Company had spent 258 million dollars and was far from completing the work. By then, the speeches of the "Great Frenchman" hardly raised the spirits of subscribers, and the rumors of bankruptcy and scandal would soon become a reality. The Provisional Negotiable Title Negotiable to Bearer, issued on June 26, 1888, with a value of 360 francs, is shown.

Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique de Panama French Bond

Date: July 15, 1889

Material: paper

Dimensions: 27 x 32.5 cm

MUCI (06.15.254)

Mosaic
French Canal

Mosaic

Industrially manufactured mosaic made of cement and paste, with inscription on the back Orsola Solá y Ca. Barcelona. These mosaics were installed in the Grand Hotel, which, during the construction of the canal by the French, was acquired to house the administrative offices of the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique de Panama. It is now the Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum. Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum Fund.

Mosaic

Material: Cement and paste

Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 2.3 cm

Lighthouse
French Canal

Lighthouse

Built in 1893, the steel structure is similar to the design of the Eiffel Tower. It was acquired by the Canal Commission on October 1, 1925. On June 7, 1972, the optics were replaced from an acetylene-activated to an automated battery-operated one. This lighthouse was located on Isla Grande, Colon in the Atlantic.

Faro

Date: 1893

Material: Bronze and Glass

Dimensions: 190 cm x 108 cm

MUCI (P.97.24.1)

Life magazine
Identity Search

Life magazine

The cover of Life magazine on 24 January 1964 went around the world showing that relations between Panama and the United States, regarding recognition of Panamanian sovereignty, were already reaching a tragic and regrettable point. Correspondent Tom Flaherty and photographer Stan Wayman include in this issue of the magazine the article Inside an ugly fight in Panama, which includes photographs of the events that took place on 9, 10 and 11 January of that year in the cities of Panama and Colón, in the areas bordering the Canal Zone. The content of the article maintains a pro-US view of the issue and relies on testimonies of Canal Zone inhabitants, so it is not surprising that it summarizes a sentiment that constantly alludes to communist and destabilizing hordes, and portrays Panamanians as mobs attacking the Americans, ignoring the roots of the conflict and the fatal results of the US army's armed aggression against an unarmed population.

Life magazine

Date: 1964

Material: paper

Dimensions: 35 x 26.5 cm

MUCI (13.2.143)

Historical Flag of 9 January 1964
Identity Search

Historical Flag of 9 January 1964

Panamanian flag of double face and in the center of one of the faces it contains an embroidered coat of arms, later hand sewn, composed of four quadrants of different colors (two in white, one in red and one in blue) on each white quadrant a star of red color and the other in blue color. All around the flag there is fringed trimming in the form of gold-coloured metallic threads. The year of manufacture is estimated to be Circa 41-49. It was used in the events of 9 January 1964 when students carried this flag in a peaceful march to be hoisted in the Canal Zone, but various obstacles arose with the Zone police which led to one of them tearing the flag and causing a confrontation between Panamanian students and the Zonians. This confrontation had major consequences, resulting in injuries and deaths.

Historical Flag of 9 January 1964

Date: Circa 1941- 1949

Material: Textile

Dimensions: 131 cm x 185 cm

MUCI (P.13.31.1)

Mug with Canal Zone government coat-of-arms
Identity Search

Mug with Canal Zone government coat-of-arms

A mug is a container with a single handle, used for drinking hot liquids. Regardless of their characteristics, mugs have become an essential object of use in society, and their usefulness has transcended mere practical use to become a symbol of work and socialization. A mug with the coat of arms of the Canal Zone government can be seen, which reads: THE LAND DIVIDED - THE WORLD UNITED. The government of the Canal Zone was established by Executive Order on 17 May 1904, and General George W. Davis, who was a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission, was appointed Governor. This coat of arms, which from 1905 onwards would accompany all official Canal Zone documents until 1979, was designed by Gaillard Hunt, a State Department official who also designed the coat of arms of Puerto Rico and the Philippines. The coat of arms, as defined in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson, is a design showing in the centre a small 15th century Spanish galleon under full sail between two benches, and below the coat of arms a blue ribbon with the motto indicated above. The central idea of the coat of arms was to show the continent divided for the benefit of mankind.

Mug with Canal Zone government coat-of-arms

Date: c. 1970

Material: Porcelain

Dimensions: 10 x 12 cm

MUCI (06.15.156)

Panama Railroad Glasses
Identity Search

Panama Railroad Glasses

Man began to use containers to drink his beverages since the beginning of civilization; at first they were made of clay and wood, then of porcelain and glass; however, glass has been one of the most used materials to make glasses. However, glass has been one of the most widely used materials for making glasses. Nowadays, its original use has been supplemented by the possibility of serving as an advertising medium for products and services of all kinds. The four-ounce "Roly Poly" type glasses are shown, illustrated with the railway in motion and its respective coat of arms. The name of this type of glass derives from its hemispherical shape, very similar to the toy of the same name. Man began to use drinking vessels from the beginning of civilization; at first they were made of clay and wood, then of porcelain and glass; however, glass has been one of the most widely used materials for making drinking vessels. However, glass has been one of the most widely used materials for making vessels. In our time, to its original use has been added the possibility of serving as an advertising medium for products and services of all kinds. The four-ounce "roly poly" type glasses are shown, illustrated with the railway in motion and its respective coat of arms. The name of this type of glass derives from its hemispherical shape, which is very similar to the toy of the same name.

Panama Railroad Glasses

Date: 1970

Material: Glass

Dimensions:
H. 7 x 8 cm

MUCI (05.15.184)

Du Pont detonator box
1903: Republic and U.S. Canal

Du Pont detonator box

When Goethals arrived at the Isthmus, he referred to the Canal project as a war he was facing, whose main enemy was the Culebra Cut. Goethals was not far from the truth; more than 61 million pounds of dynamite were used in the Culebra Cut, which exceeded the amount of explosives used by the United States in any of its previous war conflicts. In fact, and in keeping with Goethals, Culebra Cut would be the battlefield on which the most explosives had ever been detonated, and the only U.S. enemy that required so much effort to defeat. The Du Pont Company was founded in 1801, in Delaware, USA. Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, an industrial chemist and former supporter of the French monarchy, emigrated to the United States in 1799 and founded the most successful gunpowder factory in that country for two centuries. Du Pont's success was such that, in 1907, the U.S. government was forced to apply antitrust law to force the company to divest a considerable part of its business. Du Pont would be one of the largest suppliers of explosives and blasting accessories to the Isthmian Canal Commission. The explosives with which Du Pont supplied the Canal construction works were: explosives, dynamite with 45 and 60% nitroglycerin, electric fuses and detonators. This equipment constituted a great advantage for the realization of the works, since dynamite showed more resistance to water and humidity than gunpowder. Du Pont would bring dynamite to the Isthmus that could be submerged in water without spoiling its charge, which was necessary in view of the need to remain in the holes for periods of time ranging from hours to days, in humid conditions due to mud and rain. Three quarters of all the dynamite detonated on the site had to operate in these extreme conditions. Between 1905 and 1912 the company supplied the site with 33 million pounds of dynamite, 3.5 million electric fuses, 2.8 million detonators, and 230 explosives. Its main competitor was the Keystone National Powder Co. which supplied the works with 30 million pounds of dynamite over the course of five years. Other minority companies also participated in the supply of this item. Pictured here is a Du Pont box of electric detonators. This box contained 500 No. 6 size detonators, and eight feet of copper wire. Among the printed indications on the front of the box are the contents, the warning for careful handling, the suggestion not to deposit or transport it together with another explosive charge, to keep it in a dry place and away from fire, as well as the indication of who it was intended for (Isthmian Canal Commission) with its shipping series and the number of the box. The right side of the box shows the Du Pont patent logo, the contents of the box and its registration, while the left side shows the patent logo in red, the color chosen by Du Pont for the No. 6 detonators, a way of emphasizing that the lower numbered ones were not appropriate for blasting that required greater force. The detonators are small cylinders containing a high explosive mixture. These are connected to electric fuses and tied to the explosive charge that was to be detonated; by means of electric current, the charge was simultaneously detonated.

Du Pont detonator box

Date: 1913

Material: wood

Dimensions: 24 x 49 x 22 cm

MUCI (13.2.147)

Hanging medal souvenir, Canal visit
1903: Republic and U.S. Canal

Hanging medal souvenir, Canal visit

During 1913, tourist visits to the construction of the Canal were a phenomenon. It is estimated that some 20,000 people were interested in witnessing the progress of the work between January and June alone. The slope of Cucaracha Hill, in the Culebra Cut, was the ideal place to appreciate the magnitude of the effort deployed to divide the Central Mountain Range. Numerous books, pamphlets and tourist guides featured photographs and information about the work, the Canal Zone and the cities of Panama and Colon. With the visit of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt to Panama in November 1906, the promotion of tourist tours to the Isthmus began, with the particular objective of admiring the progress of the works. Roosevelt's interest in promoting this stage, and the guarantee of its completion, was quickly taken advantage of by New York businessmen who organized tours that included visits to Culebra Cut, the cities of Panama and Colon, Old Panama and Portobelo. The marked success of these tours led the Isthmian Canal Commission to provide trains to serve the tourists, especially during the dry season on the Isthmus (between January and April). The tours summoned famous guests, such as Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Lord Bryce, President William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan, Charles Francis Adams, and a young man who decades later would break records in world aviation: Charles Lindbergh. The hanging medal souvenir is very representative of the tourism generated by the construction of the Canal, even before its completion. The medal shows on its obverse side a sailor standing on a pier, with the U.S. flag in the background to his right and the prow of a warship to his left. The setting of the medal reads: Visit to Panama Canal 1913, and features a wreath of laurels and crossed rifles, while the pendant with the word souvenir is held by an eagle against a background of crossed rifles and sabers. The reverse of the medal is imprinted with the Lord's Prayer and the name of the manufacturer: Schwaabs & S / Co / Milwaukee.

Suvenir de medalla colgante, visita al Canal

Date: 1913

Material: bronze and pewter

Dimensions: 5.7 x 3.7 cm

MUCI (13.2.125)

Canal Zone high schools brooch
1903: Republic and U.S. Canal

Canal Zone high schools brooch

With the arrival of school-age children in the Canal Zone, it became necessary for the authorities to establish appropriate schools for this unique community. The first Superintendent of Schools in the Canal Zone was Donald C. O'Connor, who in 1906 opened an educational center in Corozal, a pioneer in its field. Educational needs were met for the benefit of both the Gold Roll and the Silver Roll, since the Zone Government was aware that only through a public educational system, with high quality standards, could it guarantee the future stability and governability of the Canal Zone. In this sense, the educational plans considered that the student could "grow up to be" a Canal employee, so subjects such as Applied Mathematics, Workshop Methodology, Elementary Mechanics and Commercial English were included in the curriculum. Spanish was also taught. In the case of secondary education, Algebra, Geometry, Spanish, Latin, Rhetoric, Botany, Biology, Geography and History were taught. The investment in the construction of schools for permanent communities, once the construction of the Canal was completed, amounted to $560,000 between 1916 and 1920. The brooch shown here was made by Bastian Bros. Co. of Rochester, New York, for the Canal Zone Superintendent of Schools, probably to be distributed to teachers and students. Its obverse shows the inscription "Isthmus of Panama" on the circular border, and in the center, divided by crossed lines, the initials "C.Z.H.S." for Canal Zone High Schools. The back of the brooch shows the initials "B.B.Co.", corresponding to the manufacturing house.

Canal Zone high schools brooch

Date: c. 1913

Material: metal

Dimensions: 1.6 cm diameter

MUCI (13.2.61)

Protest ashtray of the Chagres Society
Life in the Zone

Protest ashtray of the Chagres Society

The annual dinner of the Chagres Society in 1915 was to be commemorated with this ashtray, on the left-hand edge of which is inscribed "We do our work". This expression was inscribed on other ashtrays as a reminder of the dinner, adding: "And now we pay rent". Such a reminder was made by the foundry of the Mechanics Division, and the phrases reflect something of the mood of the workers in the face of the changes that the completion of the work implied. Some of them would return to the United States, while others decided to stay. The Panama Canal Company, which replaced the Isthmian Canal Commission, began charging rents to the latter for the use of housing and other utilities they required, which was ironic to many of those involved in the colossal inter-oceanic enterprise.

Protest ashtray of the Chagres Society

Date: 1915

Material: Bronze

Dimensions: 13.6 cm diameter

MUCI (13.2.12)

Masonic Lodge Token
1903: Republic and U.S. Canal

Masonic Lodge Token

The token shown has the particularity of referring to the Masonic groups of the Canal Zone. On its obverse is the mallet and chisel, tools of the apprentice to begin the work of converting his rough stone into cubic stone. At the center of the obverse is the cornerstone, whose circle contains the acronym HTWSSTKS Hiram The Widow's Son Sent To King Solomon, a reference to Hiram, King Solomon's architect who is considered the founder of Freemasonry. On its reverse it can be read from the border: CANAL ZONE CHAPTER NO. 1. (ROYAL ARCH MASON) ANCON, C. 2 ("Chapter No. 1 of the Canal Zone, R.A.M., Ancon, C. 2"); then: INSTITUTED JULY 23, 1910 ("Established July 23, 1910"), and in the center ONE PENNY ("One cent"). York Rite Masonry came to the Canal Zone in 1910, when Chapter No. 1 of the Royal Arch Mason was established on the Pacific side. York Masonry would be established on the Atlantic in 1916. Among the most recognized lodges that came to the Canal Zone were the Abu Sadd, better known as Shriners, who participated in works of assistance to sick children, especially burns, who were cared for in the hospital institutions of the lodge.

One Penny, Canal Zone Chapter No. 1 R.A.M. Ancon C. 2

Date: July 23, 1910

Material: metal

Dimensions: 3.3 cm diameter

MUCI (06.27.7)

Suvenir de Garra de Águila
Life in the Zone

Eagle Claw Souvenir

One of the official souvenirs of the Exhibition, consisting of a bronze eagle's claw, holding a quartz rock on a wooden base, on which is written: ROCK FROM BOTTOM OF CULEBRA CUT PANAMA CANAL. Underneath the base reads: 'The ROCK held in this Eagle claw was removed out of the depths of the world famous CULEBRA CUT, Panama Canal, during the excavation period'. In the middle of the page appears the certification OFFICIAL PANAMA SOUVENIR Panama-Pacific International Exposition SAN FRANCISCO, 1915 ("Official souvenir of Panama, Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915"). To conclude the letter, it includes the words of Colonel George W. Goethals, 25 April 1914: I have been informed that you have been gathering samples of the various kinds of the dirt, taken from the Cut, for the purpose.

Eagle Claw Souvenir

Date: 1915

Material: Wood, paper, stone and metal

Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 10 cm

MUCI (06.33.10)

Cenicero suvenir Exposición Internacional Panamá-Pacífico 1915
Life in the Zone

Cenicero souvenir Exposición Internacional Panamá - Pacífico 1915

Designed to collect cigarette butts and ashes, the ashtray was for decades a commonplace utensil in homes, workplaces and places of leisure. On more than a few occasions it has been used as a promotional item for companies, localities, institutions, commercial brands, etc. There are table-top ashtrays and ashtrays for communal areas. The former is for domestic use, while the latter is often used in receptions or waiting rooms. Ashtrays are made of metal or refractory glass. The image shows an ashtray alluding to the Exposition, which shows in high relief the crossing of ships from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It can be seen that these vessels have their point of departure on the east coast of the United States, specifically New York, although some of them apparently arrive at the Isthmus of Panama from Europe, heading for the east coast, straight to San Francisco. The border reads: SAN FRANCISCO 1915.

Cenicero San Francisco 1915 - Panama-Pacific International Exposition

Date: 1915

Material: metal

Size: 12.7 cm diameter

MUCI (10.23.26)

Zither guitar
Life in the Zone

Zither guitar

Guitar zither, special model, Panama 1915. Made by Federal Stock Food Co., Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania. Patented on 20 May 1894.
Stringed instruments work on the basis of the vibration of taut strings and the arrangement of a soundboard that enhances the sound. Depending on the way the strings vibrate, instruments can be plucked, plucked or plucked. This is the case with guitars, violins and pianos. The guitar zither was first patented in the United States by the musical instrument maker Friedrich Menzenhauer in May 1894. This instrument is characterized by the fact that it has no frets to achieve its notes. Menzenhauer's two-stringed zither guitars had the characteristic of presenting the notes directly on the corresponding string and their tuning pegs were arranged in pairs. The zither guitar Special Panama Model 1915, commemorating the inauguration of the Canal, is a very unique piece, as connoisseurs assume that it was made by Oscar Schmidt, a former partner of Menzenhauer, in the 1850s. The inauguration of the Canal was in 1914, which is why the year printed on the instrument does not correspond, but it is important to note that commemorative prints on musical instruments were a very effective selling point.

Cítara guitarra, modelo especial, Panamá 1915. Realizada por Federal Stock Food Co., Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania.

Patented on 20 May 1894.

Date: 1915

Material: wood

Dimensions: 50.2 x 33.5 cm

MUCI (06.15.255)

Work identification cards. Diamond
1903: Republic and U.S. Canal

Work identification cards. Diamond

When the Canal Zone was established, a civilian identification system was needed to determine the labor relationship with the construction of the Canal. Faced with this civilian need, the Isthmus Canal Commission, the government institution in charge of building the Canal, decided to issue labor identification cards, whose functions were to allow the recognition of employees in general, to determine with precision when their salaries were paid, and to control access to its facilities, such as hotels and commissaries. The diamond-shaped tokens were the first to be issued by the Isthmus Canal Commission, in August 1905, and were made of bronze. When the numbers of the tokens issued exceeded five digits, a new variety was issued with six smaller numbers. This type of identification token was valid in the Canal Zone from 1905 to the end of 1907.

Canal Worker Identification, Isthmian Canal Commission 79682

Date: 1905-1907

Material: metal

Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.8 cm

MUCI (11.4.124)

Oval-collar railroad track bolt
1903: Republic and U.S. Canal

Oval-collar railroad track bolt

Railroad bolts and nails have been collector's items with reference to the Panama Canal. Their function was to hold the rails together and to the sleepers to prevent the tendency of the sleepers to spread out. Among the best known are the oval-necked railroad bolts, used mainly to fasten rails that had at least one through hole; the railroad lag bolt was used to fasten the rails to the sleepers or wooden sleepers, and the railroad nails to fasten the rails and other elements of the railroad. The screws and nails that are observed belong to the period of construction of the Panama Canal by the Americans.

Oval-collar railroad track bolt

Date: 1904-1914

Material: metal

Dimensions: 15.5 x 4.5 cm

MUCI (10.29.20)

Admiral Vernon Medal
The Route Under Spanish Colonial Rule (1501-1821)

Admiral Vernon Medal

In 1739, the Spanish-British conflict better known as "The War of Jenkins' Ear" took place in the Caribbean Sea. The curious name of this conflict is due to the action of the merchant Robert Jenkins, who showed Parliament his mutilated ear after the Spanish coast guard boarded his ship. Edward Vernon was one of the leading admirals on the English front. Vernon, then a vice admiral, captured the city of Portobelo, on the Isthmus of Panama, on November 22, 1739, in an attempt to weaken a strategic point of the Spanish Empire's finances in the West Indies. Vernon, with only six ships, took the city in 24 hours and occupied it for three weeks; he then withdrew and destroyed the fortifications, ports and warehouses. Vernon's seizure of Portobelo was a hard blow to Spanish trade, since it prevented the holding of fairs, obstructing the flow of merchandise and silver to the Spanish metropolis. This attack caused the Spanish Crown to abandon the system of fairs, and the Isthmus lost the commercial prestige it had maintained until then. The capture of Portobelo brought Vernon the glory of his memory. In England he was received with honors, a street in London was named Portobelo, a district in Dublin and a town in Virginia. Commemorative medals were also minted. One of these medals can be seen, showing on its obverse Vernon standing with a baton in his hand, pointing towards the G for glory, having a cannon and a ship in the background, and the writing: THE BRITISH GLORY REVIVED BY ADMIRAL VERNON ("The British glory revived by Admiral Vernon"); while the reverse shows the six ships in Portobelo Bay and has the writing: HE TOOK PORTO BELLO WITH SIX SHIPS ONLY ("He took Portobelo with six ships only"). It was minted in 1739.

Admiral Vernon Medal

Date: 1739

Material: metal

Size: 4 cm diameter

MUCI (11.5.15)

Stirrups of Baul or Moriscos
The Route Under Spanish Colonial Rule (1501-1821)

Stirrups of Baul or Moriscos

The stirrup, a piece of metal placed on each side of the saddle for the rider to support his feet, was one of the most important inventions of antiquity, as it helped to develop horsemanship. The first pairs of stirrups were made in China, approximately in 322 B.C., during the reign of the Jin dynasty, as protection for the rider's feet. The stirrup made its arrival in Europe with the war raids from Central Asia and was assumed as a cutting-edge technique in mounted warfare, as it provided the rider with greater support to undertake an attack. The horse was the means of transportation par excellence, and of social distinction during the Colony, so all the clothing that accompanied it, together with its rider, played an important role in the forms of social ostentation. The stirrups played a part in this desire to show society that the rider was someone important. The stirrups of the colonial elites were made of metal, frequently silver, although there were also bronze, iron and copper stirrups; the poor were limited to using wooden stirrups, since all metals were imported from Spain, and therefore expensive. The stirrups could be very simple or embossed, but always large and wide, to support the foot and not just the toe. (A-B) Traditional stirrups from the 16th-17th century. (C-D-E-F) Trunk stirrups or Moorish stirrups from the end of the 17th century. Made in bronze they could be embossed, engraved or plain.

Stirrups of Baul or Moriscos

Date: late 17th century

Material: metal

Dimensions: 12.8 x 11 x 14.3 cm

MUCI (11.4.10)

Horseshoe
The Route Under Spanish Colonial Rule (1501-1821)

Horseshoe

During the colonial period, mules played a fundamental role in trans-isthmian transportation; without them, the transfer of treasures to and from the fairs would not have been possible. Their breeding and maintenance were extremely costly for the time, especially in shoeing. It is estimated that by 1678, shoeing a mule cost four pesos, the equivalent of one peso per hoof or shoe. All the horseshoeing material was imported from Spain at a high cost, since no iron mines were discovered in America during colonial times. The iron arrived in Panama City in the form of plates and grates, which were later sent to the blacksmith workshops, where the master and official blacksmiths turned them into articles for daily use, such as horseshoes and the studs or nails necessary for their placement. The demand for horseshoes was constant, due to the volume of horse transport at the time, particularly for the mule fleet, as the ironwork had to be replenished again and again, due to the intensity of the trips across the Isthmus.

Horseshoe

Date: 16th century-early 19th century

Material: metal

Dimensions: 15 x 14.5 cm

MUCI (11.4.7)

Cowbell
The Route Under Spanish Colonial Rule (1501-1821)

Cowbell

Cowbells are cylindrical metal bells, which are tied to cattle and other grazing animals to locate them easily. These were used, during the colonial period in America, in the mares madrinas or "punteadoras", those that guided the mule trains, generally formed by between twelve and fourteen beasts.

Cowbell

Date: s/f

Material: metal

Dimensions: 11.5 x 8.5 cm

MUCI (11.4.8)

Perulera
The Route Under Spanish Colonial Rule (1501-1821)

Perulera

During the Colonial period, the packaging of commercial goods varied according to their contents, especially foodstuffs.
Wooden boxes, cloth sacks, blankets to protect the cargo and bijao (bihao) sheets were some of the materials used for packing or packaging solid foodstuffs.
For liquid products, such as wine, brandy and vinegar, the most common were wooden barrels, casks and vats, as well as earthenware jars. Since Peru specialized in the production of grapes and wine during the colonial period, there was a need to manufacture vessels for export; such is the case of the botija called perulera, narrow in the floor, wide in the belly and narrow in the mouth, like the one shown in this book.
Other botijas were made in Spain to market products such as olives in brine, oil, chickpeas and others.

Date: 16th century-early 19th century

Material: Clay

Dimensions: 87 x 140 cm

MUCI (06.33.28)