Photo of the Week
September 23, 2018
Well another shocking reality to a famous old crane that faithfully served the Panama Canal for as long as the Canal has been open. CZ Images contributor Bill Fall took the photo above of the Hercules this past week next to the Mount Hope dry dock. The crane was taken out of service in 1996 when PCC obtained the Titan. According to notes that I have found on the Internet, the Hercules is supposedly in what they call "the reserve fleet". I looks like it will never be used again. It is in sorry shape and looks like it hasn't had any maintenance or paint for some time now. Windows have been smashed, vegetation is growing on the roof of the house and there is rust everywhere. I found a website called Heavy Lift News (click here). The article states that ACP stopped using the Hercules while it was still in working condition. What a real shame and shame on the ACP for once again letting a historic piece of equipment sit and rot. At first I wasn't going to post this photo, but what the heck. Let the world see what happened to the Hercules. Heck they even painted over her name on the back of the crane control house with gray paint.
The photo below shows the Hercules when it was brand new in 1915 doing a test lift. It appears that the photo was taken in almost the same area that the Hercules sits rotting today. She was built in Germany in 1914 along with her sister crane Ajax.
My brother was Chief Engineer on the Hercules for many years so this all hits home pretty hard seeing the Hercules in this condition. I went below deck once while she was steamed up and what a magnificent work of engineering and art to watch all the parts working so smoothly.
Thanks for taking this photo and sending it in Bill.
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