How It Works
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The transatlantic telegraph cable

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Between the U.S. and Europe, runs a submarine communications cable. It was first completed on this day in 1866. Here’s the top five facts on the great technological achievement.

1. It was based on Morse
The line was first thought up by Cyrus West Field who utilised Samuel Morse’s electric telegraph system.

2. It wasn’t the first cable
A previous cable was made in 1857 but it didn’t last long before it’s weak construction caused it to stop functioning and the experts went back to the drawing board. A line was also built between Britain and France in 1850.

The location of the line's origin on Valentia Island
The location of the line’s origin on Valentia Island off mainland Ireland.

3. The first chat was between a Queen and a President
The first communications using the old wire were between Queen Victoria and US President James Buchanan who had a brief chat.

4. The template for more cables
The cable was so well received, more lines were added in Asia and Australia afterward.

Cyrus West Field, the American businessman who helped finance and manage the project.
Cyrus West Field, the American businessman who helped finance and manage the project.

5. Attaching the cable
The telegraph was assembled by ships carrying the cable and laying it carefully across the atlantic route.

The line's route
The line’s route