Photo of the Week
September 2, 2017

We have quite a historical moment photograph set this week that I recently acquired in a collection of old photos that belonged to a Canal Zone Police Officer from 1910 - 1943.  Typed on the back of the above photo reads: "July 5, 1914 - Cap house in fore-ground watchman's house in rear on top of the hill.  This magazine did not explode but was wrecked by concussion as is shown by both door and roof going in and not out.  Notice the piece of wire fence in tree to right.  Between these two structures were 10 people when the explosion occurred none of them were killed and only one of them was slightly injured." Note, this is contrary to what the attached July 1914 Canal Record states that the day watchman, as West Indian named Gilbert Wint, was instantly killed, and his body was found shortly after the accident lying in the bush about 72 paces distance from the magazine.  There was quite a write up in the Canal Record as this was a very significant event.  The magazine that exploded was larger than the one pictured above and held 450,000 pounds of explosives.  You have to read the article. (Click here)  

The middle photo below has typed on the back: "July 5, 1914 - View looking north-east.  Hole in fore-ground was the original magazine site.  Black spots on hill is chunks of earth torn out by the explosion."

The bottom photo has typed on the back: "Effects of explosion on opposite side of hill from the magazine site."

As the article reads: The shock was strongly felt in Mount Hope, Colon, Gatun and contiguous territory; and some damage, consisting of broken window glass, etc. was caused.  The magazine was located 1 1/2 miles southwest of the Mindi spur.

I had to removed the sepia color on these old photographs and convert them to black and white in order to sharpen them up to see more detail.



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