Friday, August 05, 2016

1857, August 5: The Quest for a Transatlantic Cable Begins

150 years ago the Information Era was in its infancy.  Electronic communications has been born with the telegraph and entrepreneurs were attempting to take it to new and innovative places.  Undersea cables had been tested, crossing the English channel.  But crossing the Atlantic would be an audacious and rewarding venture for whoever succeeded. 

Cyrus Field believed the incredible was possible.  He founded the New York, New Foundland, and London Telegraph Company in 1954.  He than had constructed a transatlantic cable so large that no single boat could carry it.  Half of the cable was placed on the USS Niagara and the other half on the the HMS Agamemmon, which embarked on their journey on August 5th, 1957.  Their attempt was not successful.  After laying 355 miles of cable, it broke and fell to the oceans floor where it could not be recovered with the technology of the day. The attempt to lay a transatlantic cable would have to be put off until the next year.
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