Testing recovered cable aboard 'Great Eastern', 1866.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
In 1865, 'Great Eastern' set off from Valentia, Ireland, deployed to lay the Atlantic cable, but after about 1200 sea miles of cable had been paid out, the cable broke and was lost. The following year, 'Great Eastern' returned to the spot where the cable broke (marked by buoys) and succesfully recovered the lost cable's end. Continuity with Valentia was intact, and the cable was extended to Newfoundland.