Foilhummerum Bay, near Valentia, Ireland, 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. It was from this coastal site that the first attempts to lay a transatlantic telegraph cable were made, first with the 'Agamemnon' in 1858 and later with Brunel's 'Great Eastern' in 1865 and 1866. Cables were laid from Valentia to Trinity Bay in Newfoundland. This shows the landing of the shore end of the cable from the 'Great Eastern' on 22 July 1866. The 'Great Eastern' then sailed acros the Atlantic, paying out the cable as she went, succesfully establishing the first permanent transatlantic telegraph link. This reduced communication times from the length of a sea voyage to a few seconds.