Booklet and map issued concurrently (or nearly so), both by Baxter. Booklet: Printed in the Canal Zone by ICC Press, 1912. 36 pp, in original wrappers, which show moderate general wear. Name and remainder of bookplate on inside cover, contents clean; very good. Lithographed map: Printed by Rand Avery Supply Co., Boston. 13 x 34 inches, accordion folded into paper-covered boards (4.5 x 13 inches when folded). Printed in three colors. Edgewear to boards, map fine. Map is undated, but is advertised in a 1913 edition of the booklet.
William Mitchell Baxter started work as the official guide of the Isthmian Canal Commission in 1911. Fifteen thousand tourists visited the canal that year, most on ships from New York or New Orleans. Those who chose to ride the sightseeing train were treated to a lecture by Baxter, who was known to complain about how much misinformation about the canal filled the heads of his listeners. This booklet, which he probably hoped would counteract this problem, lays out the facts about the route of the canal, the history of French work on the project and the sale to the United States, the relocation of the Panama railroad, the construction and specifications of the Gatun Dam and the Culebra Cut, and the number, capacity, and operation of the locks. The map shows the route of the old French canal; the old and new routes of the railroad; and the location of locks, dam, diversion channels, and other features along the final route. Both items are scarce.