Hercules Floating Crane in Panama

The “Hercules” and “Ajax” were two 250-ton capacity floating cranes extensively used in the construction of the Panama Canal. These leviathans had the mightiest lift in the world at that time and were built in Duisburg, Germany during the pre WWI years specifically for handling the gates of the canal locks. Henry Schoellhorn was hired in 1912 to head the Electrical Department of the Mechanical Division on the Panama Canal. Between 1913-1915 Schoellhorn acted as a liaison between the Deutschen Maschinenfabrik Aktiengezellschaft of Duisburg, Germany which built the cranes and the US Government and played a major role in the acceptance testing and deployment of the cranes.



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