Source: Ontario Hydro
Dimensions: l. w. h. Weight:
Function: A transatlantic telegraph cable is an undersea cable running under the Atlantic Ocean used for telegraph communications.
Period of use: Area of use:
Significance to Canada: The first Transatlantic Cable was laid across the floor of the Atlantic from Telegraph Field, Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island in western Ireland to Heart's Content in eastern Newfoundland in 1858.
Significance to technology: The first Transatlantic communications occurred August 16, 1858, reducing the communication time between North America and Europe from ten days – the time it took to deliver a message by ship – to a matter of minutes.
Comments: Cyrus West Field and the Atlantic Telegraph Company were behind the construction of the first transatlantic telegraph cable. The project began in 1854 and was completed in 1858. The cable functioned for only three weeks, but it was the first such project to yield practical results. The first official telegram to pass between two continents was a letter of congratulation from Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom to the President of the United States James Buchanan on August 16 1858. Signal quality declined rapidly, slowing transmission to an almost unusable speed. The cable was destroyed the following month when Wildman Whitehouse applied excessive voltage to it while trying to achieve faster operation.
Item comes with a tag (P187) and a letter of authentication from Cyprus W. Field (P191).