Pay day, Panama Canal construction, c 1885.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of workers employed in the construction of the Panama Canal gathering to receive their wages, from an album entitled 'Canal Interoceanique de Panama.' The chief engineer, Brochard, with beard and pith helmet, can be seen with his wife on the verandah of the building on the right. It is thought that as many as 27,500 workers died during construction. Many succumbed to disease (particularly malaria and yellow fever), while others died in masive landslides. The project, which was started by the French and completed by the Americans, took from 1881 until 1914.