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. It shows the splicing of cable after an accident on board the 'Great Eastern' on 25 July 1866. This was during the laying of the first permanent telegraph communications cable acros the Atlantic, following the failed attempts of 1858 and 1865. Telegraph cables reduced communication times from the length of a sea voyage to a few seconds.