On board Brunel's 'Great Eastern', 1866.
© 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 paying out machinery on board the ship, through which the telegraph cable was fed from the huge coil tanks into the water. The cable was for the third attempt, in 1866, to lay a transatlantic communications line. The attempt was succesful and established the first permanent telegraph cable acros the Atlantic, reducing communication times from the length of a sea voyage to a few seconds.