The Digging is the Least Thing Of All

Over 235 million tons of rock and dirt were excavated to create the Panama Canal. Yet John Stevens, its chief engineer, saw sanitation efforts and workers’ health as the project’s greatest challenge when he remarked, “the digging is the least thing of all.” This new exhibit examines the tremendous public health infrastructure necessary before and during construction, and traces its evolution into an equally monumental system designed to keep the people operating it safe from injury and disease.

This exhibit will be on display through Spring of 2023 in the Nahmad Gallery, on the first floor of Smathers Library (East), is open to the public during normal building hours.