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Steam-powered excavator in 1906, during excavation of the Panama Canal. Initial work on the Panama Canal was started by the French in 1880, but this eventually failed. US construction work began in 1904, and the Canal was opened in 1914. Most of the 80-kilometre-length of the Canal is a lake, but several true canals many kilometres long had to be dug through the ground. Explosives and steam shovels were used by both the French and Americans to remove many tons of soil, though the American steam shovels were more powerful. This artwork is from a US postcard from around 1920.
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