METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Atlantic telegraph cable laying. Cable ship 'Agamemnon' in 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. Here, a whale is seen crossing the line as it is laid. This artwork is by British artist Robert Charles Dudley, dating from the period 1865 to 1866.
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