SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Negotiating with the local Arab sheiks during the establishment of the cable relay station on the Musandam Peninsula in the sultanate of Oman. In 1862 the British government decided a telegraphic link between the UK and India was strategically necessary to protect its economic and political interests. This would shorten the communications delay from 30 days to a few hours. The plan was to run a telegraph cable 1250 miles from the Turkish telegraph terminus at Fao, at the head of the Persian Gulf, eastwards to Karachi. Charles Tilston Bright, the noted cable engineer, started laying the underwater section of the cable in 1864, successfully completing it in 1865. The goodwill of the arabs was needed for the security of the signallers and electricians stationed in the cable repeating station. For safety reasons it was built on a small island to become known as Telegraph Island.
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