'Watching Manoeuvers from the Dunes', Foilhummerum Bay, Valentia, c 1865.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Watercolour by Robert Dudley, one of a series of illustrations accompanying 'The Atlantic Telegraph', a book by W H Rusell published in 1866. It was from this coastal site that the first attempts to lay a transatlantic telegraph cable were made; unsuccesfully with the 'Agamemnon' in 1858 and Brunel's 'Great Eastern' in 1865, and succesfully in 1866 after recovering the abandonned cable using the same vesel. Cables were laid from Valentia to Trinity Bay in Newfoundland reducing communication times between America and Europe from the length of a sea voyage to a few seconds.