Section of the First Transatlantic Cable, 1858

Summary

Telegraphs could be sent wherever wires could be hung in the 1850s, but hardwiring signals between transoceanic continents required a feat of engineering. In 1858, a team laid underwater cable across the Atlantic and sent a successful telegram. Though the cable soon failed, pieces were sold as souvenirs in Charles Tiffany's renowned jewelry store as symbols of speed and progress.

Telegraphs could be sent wherever wires could be hung in the 1850s, but hardwiring signals between transoceanic continents required a feat of engineering. In 1858, a team laid underwater cable across the Atlantic and sent a successful telegram. Though the cable soon failed, pieces were sold as souvenirs in Charles Tiffany's renowned jewelry store as symbols of speed and progress.

Artifact

Transatlantic cable

Date Made

1858

Creators

Sheffield Works 

Place of Creation

United Kingdom, England, Sheffield 

Creator Notes

Possibly made by Sheffield Works of Sheffield, England.

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

74.89.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Copper (Metal)
Paper (Fiber product)
Wood (Plant material)

Inscriptions

Lid of box: ORIGINAL TRANSATLANTIC CABLE / 1858 / GUARANTEED BY / Tiffany & Co. Brass ferrule: ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLE / GUARANTEED BY / TIFFANY & CO. / BROADWAY - NEW YORK

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