Atlantic telegraph cable laying, 1858

Atlantic telegraph cable laying, 1858

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Caption: Atlantic telegraph cable laying. Cable ship 'Agamemnon' on 2 August 1858, laying the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable. This ship and its sister ship 'Niagara' made the first attempt to connect North America with Europe in 1857, but the cable snapped and was lost. The next year Agamemnon brought the cable ashore on 5 August 1858. The cable consisted of a core of copper wires, surrounded by gutta-percha (latex), tarred hemp and an outer sheath of iron wires. It weighed 625 kilograms per kilometre. Artwork from 'Electricite' (1911) by Max de Nansouty, part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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