Panama & Los Angeles: TheWaterworks That Made the American West By Jessica Jefferson History 141
Panama CanalCreating a passage through theIsthmus of Panama would greatlyincrease efficiency of trade andtravel between the Atlantic andPacific oceans. In 1881 the Frenchunsuccessfully tried to cut a canal,and in 1904 the U.S. took over atthe urging of Theodore Rooseveltwith Chief engineer John Stevensand civil engineer GeorgeWashington Goethals in charge.
Panama CanalTropical disease threatened the work force, but expert WilliamGorgas amazingly eradicated yellow fever, and helped to control mosquitos carrying malaria.
Panama Canal The Canal workers had every commodity made available to them due to the amount of time spend working and the difficulty of that work. Free housing, electricity, and good pay made the sacrifices worth while.
Panama CanalThe US spent $352 million, and 1915 the Panama Canal opened, running 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean south, and theneastward to the Pacific. The passage of the first ship through the canal took nine hours and forty minutes. George Washington Goethals was instrumental in achieving the canals completion two years ahead of schedule.
Los Angeles AqueductThe natural geography of the Los Angeles are did not provide enough water for the rapidly growing city.William Mulholland, after working with the City Water Company and becoming superintendent, set out to solve the problem.
Los Angeles Aqueduct The Owens Valley River seemed the best source, butacquisition of the land would prove troublesome. Many who sold there land were upset when they discovered that it would not be used forlocal industries, but would be for the city of Los Angeles. President Theodore Roosevelt finally made thedecision that the rights to theOwens River water should be to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles AqueductThe construction which began in 1908 brought workers from allover the world, breaking world records in construction and the project was finished 20 months ahead of schedule.
Los Angeles Aqueduct Mulholland with little-to-no education oversaw one of the greatest engineering feats of all time. The Aqueduct brought four times the amount of water necessary to Los Angeles, supporting the rapid growth that followed. The success of the project was not shared by all. Owens Valley residents tried to buy as much neighboring land as possible.