HMS 'Agamemnon', 1858.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph after Robert Dudley from 'The Atlantic Telegraph', a book by W H Rusell with 26 illustrations by Dudley, published in 1866. This shows the 'Agamemnon' laying the first Atlantic telegraph cable. The 'Agamemnon' and the 'Niagara' worked from opposite sides of the Atlantic, and the two cables were joined at sea. The cable stretched between Trinity Bay and Valentia in Ireland, and was operable for three months before breaking. It was not until 1866 that a permanent transatlantic telegraph cable was established, reducing communication times from the length of a sea voyage to a few seconds.