GENERAL GEORGE W. GOETHALS
Large 10¾x13½ sepia-toned bust photo by Underwood and Underwood of
engineer George W. Goethals, signed in New York in 1923. Goethals was Chief
Engineer of the Panama Canal.
Photograph signed "New York/Jany17/23/Geo.W Goethals". Pencil
notations on verso in unknown hand. B/w sepia-toned, 10¾x13½
overall, 7x9 image, one surface, printed on cardstock. Also signed
"Underwood & Underwood/N.Y." in pencil. Underwood & Underwood was
founded by brothers ELMER UNDERWOOD (1859-1947) and BERT UNDERWOOD
(1862-1943) by 1882. They were a pioneer in news bureau photography and also
produced and distributed photographs, particularly stereographic photos. The
company folded in the 1940s. In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt
appointed Goethals (1858-1928) as Chief Engineer (1908-1914) and
Chairman of the Panama Canal Commission. Goethals took complete charge of
both in January of 1908. The Panama Canal, which was made possible by a pact
between the Republic of Panama and the U. S. in 1903, opened ocean travel
between the Atlantic and Pacific (prior to its opening, ships had to travel
around the southern tip of South America). Goethals, who carried the
canal construction through its completion in 1914, was promoted to
Major General in 1915, while serving as Governor of the Canal
Zone (1914-1917). He was appointed Governor by President Woodrow Wilson;
that position was appointed by the President of the U. S., while other officials
of the Canal Zone were appointed by the President and Congress. Goethals, who
had graduated from West Point in 1880, was a Second Lieutenant with the Corps of
Engineers and taught civil and military engineering at West Point. He was
construction supervisor of the Muscle Shoals Dam Project on the Tennessee
River and served in the Spanish-American War (1898) as Chief of
Engineers. Following duty in World War I, Goethals became chief
consultant for the Port of New York Authority through his own engineering
firm. A bridge connecting New York City with New Jersey is named in honor of
the Brooklyn-born engineer. Lightly toned, creased and rippled.
Photographer's signature touches Goethal's. Light tear in top left corner.
Otherwise in fine condition.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE W. GOETHALS
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