The history of the Transatlantic Cable

The foilhommerum  bay Valentia where Europe joined America

The history of the Transatlantic Cable

Before the Transatlantic Cable it took a ship 10 days to cross the Atlantic, this time frame of course was the best case scenario as communications would take much longer depending  on weather. Therefore the time of the year  had a significant impact on the efficiency on the delivery.

In the 1830s both Britain and the United States were carrying out various experiments on telegraphy. Samuel Morse was credited with the first practical use of telegraphy; when a message was sent from Baltimore to Washington. Hence Telegraph lines were appearing all over Europe and the United States.

This  prompted the question of the possibility of crossing the great Atlantic and joining Europe and the United States in 1845. Of course, there were many questions to answer before they could start implementing such lofty ambitions.

It was not until 1856 that the Atlantic Telegraph Company was registered. The driving force behind the company on the British side, were brothers Jacob and John Brett along with Charles Bright. On the American side was Cyrus W.Field


The first Atlantic submarine telegraph cable by pi_007

Three attempts

The First attempt in 1857 to land the transatlantic cabled failed and the location on the European side was that of Ballycarbery strand just east of Valentia on the mainland.

The Second attempt also ended failure and the chosen location on this occasion was that of Knightstown Valentia Island.

Third time lucky this attempt ended in success in 1865 and the site was Foilhommerum Bay Valentia. In 1866 the first viable commercial communications commenced and Europe and America were finally connected.

Rapid Growth

Following the success of 1865 undersea cables were laid rapidly. To underline this fact within the following 20 years 107,000 miles of cable had been laid connecting all parts of the world.

Transatlantic Telegraph cables operated from Valentia Island for one hundred years until the Western Union terminated its cable operations in 1966.

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