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The kiss of the oceans

Updated: May 24, 2020

This postcard shows the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as two women who are about to kiss. It was issued to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal in 1915.

The Panama canal was a tremendous achievement, allowing ships to travel between the Pacific and Atlantic ocean, without the need to make the dangerous and lengthy route past Cape Horn.

Anthropomorphic maps are not uncommon, but it is unusual that human forms are used to depict oceans.

Essential information on this impressive technical achievement is printed on the card, including the total costs of the canal (370 million USD)

The artist is identified in the lower right hand corner as C.A. de Liste Holland. Little is known on this artist, although several paintings can be found in the public domain. The postcard was issued by R.P.I.E. Novelty Co. in San Francisco, probably in relation to the Panama-Pacific Exhibition held in San Francisco to celebrate the opening of the canal. Different versions of this postcard exist, including examples marked as 'Exhibition Booster Postcards'.



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