Photo of the Week
March 25, 2018
I am going to skip the old camps that I mentioned last week but will post them next week. While surfing through a bunch of photos this week, I came across this one above. Back in the uneasy days after WWI and leading up and during WWII, the locks had precautionary measures to hide the locks with smoke so that precise bombing of the critical parts of the locks .... like the gates couldn't happen. The solution was smudge pots that created lots of smoke. The photo above shows a locks worker with an igniter torch that was charged with the duty of firing these smudge pots up. When I came across this photo, I immediately thought of some aerial photos of Pedro Miguel Locks that I recently saw at the National Archives website. Below are two aerial photos showing the first lighting of smudge pots up to all of them. The effect is just right for what is intended to accomplish.
The photo above I captured from the UF - Panama Canal Museum Collection blog. Two Zonian comments from the blog are below:
"Have not seen that scene for many years. For sure the man is a “lighter” With his can to his right. Interesting though – he is not a military man – and when I was there during those times, this was a military unit that did this." John Schmidt
"I remember the military lighting off all the smudge pots during the air raid smoke screen alerts. The intent of these alerts was not only to make it difficult to bomb Canal Zone Locks, but also to hide certain naval vessels transiting the Canal.
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