Cable being loaded into the hold of HMS 'Agamemnon', 1857.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate from the 'Illustrated London News'. Laying the Atlantic cable was a remarkable example of international capitalistic enterprise involving constructive government cooperation. Here, the Greenwich end of the cable is being loaded into the hold of the 3,200-ton screw Royal Navy ship HMS 'Agamemnon'. America contributed the 5,200-ton Us 'Niagara', from which the cable began to be laid, beginning at Valentia, Ireland on 6 August, 1857. Two attempts were unsuccesful, however, as the cable parted after incorrect use of the brake mechanism. The cable was finally succesfully laid in 1866.