On August 15, 1914, after ten years of U.S. construction, the S.S. Ancon made the inaugural transit across the Panama Canal,

officially changing the world’s shipping lanes forever.


One hundred years later,

the University of Florida celebrates this monumental achievement, reflecting on the Canal's history, analyzing its impact, and honoring those who made it possible.


Ernest Hallen, S.S. Ancon in Culebra Cut near Empire. August 15, 1914.

This online exhibition is based on the Panama Canal Centennial exhibitions that were organized by the George A. Smathers Libraries to celebrate the centennial of the opening of the Panama Canal. The exhibitions were presented across the University of Florida campus, including the Fisher School of Accounting, Florida Museum of Natural History, Legal Information Center, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, and Smathers Libraries. All items are part of the Panama Canal Museum Collection, Special & Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida unless otherwise noted.



View the complete object lists from the centennial exhibitions