Shipping cable on Great Eastern, 1865.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The third failed attempt to lay the Atlantic cable before final succes in 1866 was begun on 23 July 1965. The cable was carefully loaded into the hold of the 'Great Eastern', chartered by Sir Daniel Gooch (1816-1889) of the Great Western Railway, at Valentia and the steamship set out for Newfoundland, accompanied by two battleships. The cable was laid for around 1,200 miles before breaking, and had to be left where it was until its succesful recovery the following year. At Medway, the cable is loaded from a hulk from from Greenwich, with the asistance of smaller craft.