London: Saunders and Stanford, 1854. Hardcover. Duodecimo size, 238 pp. Good. Item #SB0435
Approximately 15,000 ships pass through the Panama Canal annually; for centuries before the Panama Canal was first envisioned, enterprising men explored the route to determine the best way to provide a waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. As the author of this volume states in the opening chapter, "This project has for many years occupied the attention of mercantile nations, the narrowness of the Isthmus generally known as that of Central America, and the importance of the western coast of this continent, having induced the Spanish Government, as far back as the 16th century, to make inquiries into the feasibility of such an undertaking."
He proceeds to discuss their exploration of possible routes, which included adventures with the native inhabitants, being lost in the wilderness, notations on the geology of the country, etc.
___DESCRIPTION: Full cloth, originally purple but faded on the front and spine to brown, blind-embossed decorative borders and decorative inset on both boards, spine with blind-embossed decorations and gilt lettering, light pink coated endpapers, vintage prior owner name on the front pastedown; duodecimo size ( 7 5/8" by 5 1/8"), pagination: [i-v] vi  2-238.
___CONDITION: Good overall, with a strong, square text block, solid hinges, the binding clean other than a few scattered spots of soiling, the text pages lightly toned with only scattered light foxing, and the only prior owner marking the name on the front pastedown as referred to above; some rubbing to the head and tail of the spine, the head slightly fraying, and some rubbing to the corners. Alas, of the four maps called for in the contents section, one is lacking; the three remaining maps are: "Map of Central America", this with unintended folds, some creasing, and some closed tears; "Darien Ship Navigation No. 2" (near fine, with only a short closed tear at the stub), and "Darien Ship Navigation No. 3" (also near fine, some creasing and short closed tears).
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