19-48 Segment 1: The Panama Canal: An Engineering Mammoth & Its Implications On Workers


The Panama Canal was one of the most treacherous builds in modern history. In the late 1800’s, the French took on the project and failed. Then, the U.S. took over its construction with a new plan in 1904. The man-made waterway spanning 51 miles took more than a decade to complete and resulted in the deaths of thousands of workers. Why did so many thousands die? What challenges did engineers and laborers face? We answer these questions and more.

Guests:

  • Paul Sutter, professor of environmental history, University of Colorado-Boulder. 

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