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CENTRE SECTION OF 1st TRANSATLANTIC CABLE, 1860's
The transatlantic telegraph cable was the first cable used for telegraph communications laid across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. It crossed from the Telegraph Field, Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island, in western Ireland to Heart's Content in eastern Newfoundland.
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The transatlantic cable bridged North America and Europe, and expedited communication between the two. Whereas it would normally take at least ten days to deliver a message by ship, it now took a matter of minutes by telegraph.
Five attempts to lay it were made over a nine-year period—in 1857, two in 1858, in 1865, and in 1866—before lasting connections were finally achieved by the SS Great Eastern captained by Sir James Anderson with the 1866 cable and the repaired 1865 cable. Additional cables were laid between Foilhommerum and Heart's Content in 1873, 1874, 1880 and 1894. By the end of the 19th century, British-, French-, German- and American-owned cables linked Europe and North America in a sophisticated web of telegraphic communications.
A card Attached Reads: "A scrap- the centre portion of the first Atlantic Cable ever thought to be laid and this was I believe ???in laying of common coatingsand coverings wre used - bringing the full cable up to a large size= but this shows the wires.C.E.N. has kept this from about the time of laying - but which year- cannot now say." C.E.N. refers to C.E.Neate who died in 1907 and was Mr H.G.W. Reilly's Grandfather. Donated by H.G.W.O'Reilly ITT Business Systems - Private Communications Division Maidstone Sidcup Kent.