The Atlantic Cable

The transatlantic connection was ‘an additional bond of union’, in the words of Queen Victoria to President Andrew Johnson, which strengthened the link between Britain and the United States.

Map of the 1858 trans-Atlantic cable routeVery early on July 28th, 1866, Reuter’s Telegram Company received news from Ireland that the shore end of the transatlantic cable had been spliced at 8.43 p.m. the previous evening in Newfoundland. Richard Glass, the managing director of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company, had heard this from Daniel Gooch, the chairman of the syndicate that owned the Great Eastern.

Gooch, who had accompanied the expedition, reported the cable to be ‘most perfect’, adding that ‘under God’s blessing’ telegraphic communication between England and the continent of America had been completed. The telegram mentioned the ‘untiring zeal and the earnest and cheerful manner’ in which ‘everyone on board the Great Eastern from the highest to the lowest’ had performed ‘the anxious and arduous duties... in their several departments’. It also included ‘hearty congratulations to our friends in England who have in various ways laboured in carrying out this great work’.

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