- from Panama Canal
By 1903, the U.S. was ready to do what seemed impossible – to join the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. But a major decision still had to be made.
Should the canal be built at sea level, like the Suez Canal? Or should it follow the natural rise of the land? This would mean building locks to raise and lower ships as they pass through the canal. Locks are enclosed compartments, or slots, with gates at each end. The locks had to be big enough for warships and freighters to fit. This had never been done before.
The decision was made in favor of having locks. So, what exactly are locks? And how do they work?