2: Try weekly
3: Try weakly
4. Try oysters
5: Try anything
6: Try to remember
Source: Bits & Pieces
Contrary to what many believe, the French know-how was the best the world had ever known for the construction of the Panama Canal. It was not French technology that brought the building project down; it was the stubbornness and myopia of its biggest promoter—Monsieur Ferdinand Marie Vicomte De Lesseps.
He insisting in building a sea level canal like the Suez Canal in an area totally different. Even though brilliant minds like Nicholas-Joseph-Adolphe Godin de Lépanay, Baron de Brusly, a small bearded aristocrat who was a chief engineer with the Corps des Ponts et Chaussés (the French Department of Bridges and Highways), told him otherwise; De Lesseps insisted in his own unscientific and absurd project.
Lépanay insisted the Panama Canal should include two artificial lakes, with flights of locks, like stairs, leading up to the lakes from the two oceans. Through engineering, he would create at Panama what already existed at Nicaragua. His project was the “Idea of the artificial Nicaragua.” De Lesseps and his followers were deaf to his words. Incredibly and tragically, the delegates at The Congrés International d’Etudes du Canal Interocéanique as it was cited, paid him no attention. Had the delegates reacted differently, had they taken Lépanay seriously, the story of the canal could have turned out quite differently.
This is how David McCullough in his book, “The Path Between the Seas”, described the French know-how of the XIXth Century:
“French civil engineers of the nineteenth century were an exceptional breed and justly proud of their heritage. It was the French who pioneered in the use of pneumatic caissons for bridge foundations and who perfected the use of wrought-iron I-beams for building constructions.
Les Halles, the famous Paris market building, the Menier Chocolate Works, the stunning Galérie des Machines at the recent Paris exhibition, were recognized as bold and innovative structures suggesting infinite possibilities for the future of architecture.
It was in France the reinforced concrete had first been tried and French engineers remained preeminent in its use. Over all, the French were preeminent in civil engineering in general, and French technical schools, like French schools of medicine, were the finest in the world.”
Ironically, the best prepared nation on the globe failed to construct the greatest building project of modern times, because they failed to depend on their own prodigious scientific skills. They said no to knowledge and paid the price for doing so. Take heed to lessons of History. Good Day.