Publisher Information: London: Bacon & Co., 1865.
[Atlantic Cable.] The Atlantic Telegraph. Printed broadside, with hand-colored wood-engraved illustrations. London: Bacon & Co., . 83.6 x 58 cm. Two horizontal folds reinforced on verso, a few tiny lacunae slightly affecting a few words, marginal tear repaired, minor soiling, but very good. Matted.
A superb and amazingly detailed broadside commemorating the second attempt to lay the Atlantic Cable, issued by the Atlantic Telegraph Company, one of the sponsors of the venture. The first Atlantic Cable, laid in 1858, had ceased transmitting shortly afterwards; a subsequent investigation by the British government uncovered the design flaws in the cable and transmitting system, and took steps to correct them based on the recommendations of physicist William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin). In 1865 the second Atlantic Cable voyage was launched, this time aboard Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s enormous steamship Great Eastern, which was the only vessel capable of transporting the extremely heavy cable and installation machinery. Unfortunately, the cable snapped and sank two-thirds of the way through, but the following year a third Atlantic Cable venture was successful: A new cable was laid and the cable lost the previous year was grappled for and recovered. Rapid and reliable communication between North America and Europe was finally possible.
The present broadside, issued around the time of the Great Eastern’s departure from Valentia, Ireland (the Atlantic Cable’s eastern anchor) in 1865, contains a wealth of detail about the Atlantic Cable’s history, development and technological features, as well as information on the history and theory of telegraphy, proposed submarine cable routes and the machinery used to lay the cable. At the center of the broadside is a large image of the Great Eastern with a smaller cutaway view below; a map showing the routes of the Atlantic Cable and other submarine cables is at the top, and framing the broadside are exact-size images of the 1858 and 1865 cables.Book Id: 43889