SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Josiah Latimer Clark (1822-98) a civil engineer closely associated with the evolution of the electric telegraph, and also the design and construction of submarine cables. Originally a chemist, in 1848 he was appointed assistant engineer in the construction of the Menai Straits railway bridge. His interest in telegraphic communications technology led him to introduce several improvements in cable construction, notably by coating the gutta-percha enclosing the underground wires with a protective solution. Amongst his many patents was an insulator to carry telegraph wires, and he also investigated the problems involved in the propagation of electric current in submarine telegraph cables. In 1861 he went into partnership with Charles Tilston Bright, and under Clark's supervision their firm laid some 50, 000 miles of cables across the world's oceans.
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