'Releasing One of the Large Buoys', 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 sailors preparing to drop a buoy from Brunel's 'Great Eastern' ship to mark where the transatlantic telegraph cable was repaired. This was during the succesful third attempt to lay a permanent telegraph cable acros the Atlantic, following failed attempts in 1858 and 1865. The succes of the operation was responsible for reducing communication times from the length of a sea voyage to a few seconds.