Early submarine cables and grapnel, 1858-1866.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This glazed case contains transatlantic cables that were laid in the late 1850s and 1860s. The three pieces of 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 two specimens of grapnel rope were used to recover the transatlantic cable of 1865. The first succesful transatlantic cable telegraph of nearly 2000 miles was laid from Newfoundland to Ireland in 1866.