One of four albumen silver photographs depicting the Suez Canal, circa 1880s.

The Suez Canal is a part natural and part man-made sea-level waterway through eastern Egypt connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas. While primitive channels in the region had been used by shipping from ancient times, the modern canal route was constructed over a 10 year period by the French-based Suez Canal Company (Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez), under the direction of the former diplomat and entrepreneur Ferdinand de Lesseps. Construction commenced at Port Said on 25th April 1859 and the canal was officially opened to shipping on 17th November 1869, although the construction was not finally completed until 1871. In its original form the Suez Canal was 102 miles (164 km) long and 26 ft (8 m) deep, but has subsequently been enlargement several times to measure 193.3 km (120.1 miles) long and 205 metres (673 ft) wide by 24 m (79 ft) deep as of 2010.

Ismailia was originally founded by de Lesseps as a base camp for construction workers in 1863 and lies on the west bank of Lake Timsah, situated about 3 km (1.9 miles) north of the half-way point on the Canal. Named after the ruling Egyptian khedive (viceroy) Isma?il Pasha, the elaborate Ismailia Palace was built to house international dignitaries invited to the gala opening of the canal in 1869, but later fell into disuse and ruin.

Description of Content

Ismailia Palace. A boat is shown on the canal from the main Suez Canal with three men standing on the shore.

Physical Description

Albumen silver photograph.

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