Photo of the Week
February 7, 2021

This week we continue with the Robert Bodle photo collection taken during the construction of the U.S. Canal in Panama.  Looking at this photo had me wondering why these guys are all sitting around in what appears to be under garments or pajamas.  I have seen other photos like this with the guys in this type of clothing.  I thought it an odd practice until I read a note that Robert Bodle wrote and is in the box of negatives.  These guys must all be bachelors as Bodle writing goes:

"Uncle Sam is good to his employees in the Canal Zone and one cannot den after an inspection of the accommodations provided.  The bachelor is usually quartered in a two story house, four rooms on each floor, equipped with modern plumbing and shower baths.  A wide veranda expending entirely around each floor, tightly screened to guard against mosquitoes and the myriads of other insects, is always the favorite lounging place for the occupants after the days work is over.  Rockers are drawn out and hammocks hung, pipes lighted, and sitting around it pajama and slippers they discuss he days yardage, wonder if the next boat will be on time and if they will get a letter."

So now we know the rest of the story why grown men sit around in their pajamas. 

I note that a few of these guys are co-workers with Robert as I have seen them in other photos within this collection.

More Bodle photos to come.


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