Cable laying at sea, Atlantic Ocean, 1865.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm

Cable laying at sea, Atlantic Ocean, 1865.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Engraving from the Illustrated London News showing sailors preparing for a final attempt to grapple a lost cable during the unsuccesful 1865 Atlantic Telegraph expedition. In 1865 Isambard Kingdom Brunel's 'Great Eastern' made the second attempt at laying a transatlantic telegraph cable, but had to abandon the attempt, and the cable, due to bad weather. The following year the 'Great Eastern' made another attempt, this time succesfully laying the first permanent transatlantic telegraph link, between Ireland and Newfoundland. The expedition also managed to repair the abandoned 1865 cable. The use of cable to relay telegraph mesages reduced transatlantic communication times from the length of a sea voyage to a few seconds.

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