Early submarine cables and grapnel, 1858-1866.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm

Early submarine cables and grapnel, 1858-1866.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


These transatlantic cables were used in three separate attempts to lay a submarine telegraph cable acros the Atlantic in 1858, 1865 and 1866. The outer part of the cable is made from twisted steel which is able to resist rust. Inside the cable there is a seven-stranded copper wire to conduct the electricity. The grapnel dates from 1865 and was used to lay and remove cable. The first succesful transatlantic cable telegraph of nearly 2000 miles was laid from Newfoundland to Ireland in 1866.

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