Weighing anchor off Maplin Sands, Essex, 15 July 1865.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph showing Isambard Kingdom Brunel's 'Great Eastern' weighing anchor off Maplin Sands, near Nore in the Thames estuary on 15 July 1865. This illustration by Robert Dudley is the frontispiece to 'The Atlantic Telegraph' (1866) by W H Rusell, which includes 26 illustrations by Dudley. A sailor plays music on a fiddle to encourage the crew as they weigh anchor on the Great Eastern, during the second attempt to lay a permanent communications cable acros the Atlantic. The third attempt, in 1866, was succesful and reduced communication times from the length of a sea voyage to a few seconds.