Engineering Wonders of the World. Vol. I


c. 1908


Webber Collection



London: Thomas Nelson and Sons


This article on the Suez Canal describes it as a ‘colossal piece of engineering work’; and so it was. The proposed cost of £8,000,000 ballooned out to over double that, with most of the money coming from France. In all, over 70 million cubic metres of sand, rock, and earth was removed by some tens of thousands of workers under forced labour. It was a painfully slow process, and when Egypt banned the use of forced labour in 1863, giant, steam-powered excavators took over. When it opened in 1869, the Suez Canal had ‘an immediate and dramatic effect on world trade’. It has continually needed improvements and upgrades to accommodate more and more maritime traffic.


Cab 15-0003.jpg


Edited by Archibald Williams, “Engineering Wonders of the World. Vol. I,” | OUR Heritage, accessed December 1, 2023,