Sir John Pender, English pioneer of sub-marine telegraphy, c 1870.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
In 1852 Sir John Pender (1815-1896) became a director of the Atlantic Telegraph Company and in 1864 he formed the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company (Telcon). The following year he was elected Liberal MP for Totnes, Devon, and co-founded the Anglo-American Telegraph Company to lay the new Atlantic cable. In 1869, his British Indian Submarine Telegraph Company laid an all undersea cable to India, and in 1872 he formed the Eastern Telegraph Company, of which he was chairman until his death.