Photo of the Week
January 3, 2021


This week we are going to detour again as some very interesting and rare photos have popped up.  My brother Barry recently obtained a box of 35mm slides being sold on ebay.  He bought them pretty much sight unseen with all the contents.  Well it turned out to be a treasure trove of rare photos taken in November 1953 when the new Queen Elizabeth visited Panama and the Canal Zone.  I have posted many other photos in the past of this historic day all in black and white.  These slides are in color which is a real treat when it comes to seeing what color was what, example the CZ Police uniforms were gray as you can see.  Top photo show the police controlling traffic on the corner by the train station and locks entrance.  The queen will be coming up this road and entering Pedro Miguel Lock shortly.  As you can imagine, there was a crowd all wanting to see the queen.  More police standing by in the second photo.  Note the police cars only have small door insignias and no lights on the roof.  The one car in the center has a red light on it's hood/wheel well.  Next photo shows the Lock Security Guards guarding the entrance to the locks.  Lock guards in those days had side arms just like the police.

Now....back up the the top image.  As many times I have driven by the cement building on the left of the curve, I never knew that the large building across the street had been there.  When my brother first asked me if I knew of this building, I said no, but jump on the study to find out.  I looked at an old aerial and saw the building which had three railroad box cars parked next to it.  Immediately I thought it must be a type of supply building...maybe a commissary.  I found one of the old 1940 census maps that I have and sure enough, it was the Pedro Miguel Commissary.  A large concrete slab still sits there today that this building sat on.  We used to see the slab, but didn't think much about it.  The concrete building that we all knew on the corner looks in need of a pressure washing and paint job.  I always knew this building as being the Meteorological / Hydrological office for the Panama Canal for short we called it Met and Hyde.  I have read that it was a restaurant and post office as well.  In the above photo on the corner of the building is a sign with "SODA LUNCHEONETTE" written on it.

Really great photos and captures in time.  Thank you Barry for sharing this rare images. 



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