Panama Canal Week 3 (Blog 2 of 8)

Volume 53, No.2, pages 234-51.  Joseph Bishop.

Scribner's Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 2. (February, 1913) (

This article really caught my eye. I knew the Panama Canal was dug at that time, and the problems associated with yellow fever, but not written in such a personal way before. With everything going on with our ongoing epidemic, comparing it to one from the past keeps making me think. How do we act now compared to back then? Trying to find a cure and immunity takes time and sometimes lives. Back then they made sure in the article to mention the names of the brave men that volunteered to be test subjects. How scary that must have been. These men had a very strong sense of honor. But maybe it is not seen as often now because science is so advanced. It really struck me that they didn’t want a reward for their services rendered, even though death was probable. And some of them did die. It’s very sad, that they had to sacrifice their lives. I did like the part where it was said that they had no country but the human race. 

   The Panama Canal was an amazing feat to dig and build, but this article shows the cost of live to create it. That should never be forgotten. Also of note is the mention of malaria, which is also a huge problem that some countries deal with even today. It’s interesting to see the small steps that were taken 100 years ago that led to where medical science and cures are today. So many discoveries, trials and failures, it really shows how humanity keeps trying and never wants to give up.