Photo of the Week
August 6, 2017

Leaving the Brown collection this week for an exciting couple of old photos from 1917 sent in by new CZ Images contributor Scott Thomas.  The photos show the 1917 Liberty Loan Parade in Balboa, Canal Zone  The parade was staged at the Balboa Train Station and proceeds up to the hill towards the Panama Canal Administration  Building for an address by the Governor of the Canal Zone.

Through research, I found an article from the February, 1917 Flying magazine which states:

Aviators Create Interest in Liberty Loan at Panama

Aviators were foremost in creating interest in the Liberty Loan in the Canal Zone.

All along the zone from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the aviators distributed bond literature as a part of the demonstration which culminated in a mass meeting at Balboa which was addressed by the Governor.

There were many articles in this magazine that showed aviators had a big part in promoting the sale of Liberty Loans throughout the United States and US lands like the Canal Zone.  I was pleased to find this article as it explained much about what was happening in these photos.

Another reference I found pertaining to the Liberty loans in the Canal Zone was from the Annual Report of the Governor of the Panama Canal for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30 1918 - Report from the Panama Canal Auditor's Office:

Liberty Loans

Through an arrangement with the local banks, subscriptions to the first, second, and third Liberty loans were accepted for pay roll deduction in five equal monthly installments.  In this manner collections were made on the pay rolls during the past fiscal year to the amount of $218,618.47 for the first Liberty loan, $339,960.35 for the second Liberty loan, and $260, 870.40 for the third Liberty loan.  War savings stamps were also sold for pay roll deduction  to the amount of $6,142.73.  Collection were made on the pay rolls to the amount of $34,276.80 for the Red Cross war relief fund.

Other references to Liberty loans on Wikipedia can be found at these two links. (Click) (Click)

Now for the BIG QUESTION.  What are those buildings in the lower photo?  This is the first time I have ever seen these buildings in a photograph.  I have searched around without luck.  The long building looks like some type of motor pool.  It is quite possible that this was the Canal Zone's first Motor Transportation complex as there wasn't much down the road towards Panama City in 1917.  Albrook field is still swamp and being filled in as you can see in the background..  The other building on the right is probably the original pump house for potable water which will be replaced with a cement building eventually.  The little white structure next to the building is more than likely a electrical power house which were common all over the Canal Zone.  Now the two story building could be the building which the Housing Division would be in later, but the building doesn't look like the Housing Division building that I remember. Questions .... Questions!!  Can anyone out there come up with some answers?

Thank you Scott for sending in these wonderful old photos with so much history attached.


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