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British Industrial History

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Anglo-American Telegraph Co

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1865 The first Atlantic telegraph cable was lost in the attempt to lay it between Ireland and Newfoundland. Plans were then made to raise capital for another try, and a new company, the Anglo-American Telegraph Co, was set up with a capital of £600,000. The majority of the funding was raised in England with the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Co (Telcon) supplying the cable in return for shares in the new company, which took over the assets of the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Co owner of the cables between Newfoundland and Canada and the landline from St. Johns to Cape Ray.

1866 Laying began on 13 July. On the 27th the Great Eastern arrived at Heart's Content. After completing the laying, CS Great Eastern, together with with CS's Albany and Medway left in order to find and complete the cable lost in 1865. The Atlantic Telegraph Co owned the original 1865 cable, and the two companies made an agreement until 1873

1868 the Atlantic Telegraph Co was taken over by the Anglo-American[1]

1869 CS Great Eastern, assisted by several other cable ships, laid a cable for La Société du Câble Transatlantique Française between Brest, in France, to St. Pierre and then on to Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the United States of America. CS's Hawk, Scanderia, William Cory and Chiltern assisted.

1873 Anglo-American took over La Société and the two systems were linked by cables being laid from St. Pierre to Placentia, Newfoundland. St. Pierre - Cape Verton and Cape Breton - Island Cove, Newfoundland. All were manufactured by Telcon.

1873-74 The Great Eastern laid two further cables for Anglo-American; Telcon manufacturerd both of them.

1894 A cable was laid from Hearts Content to Valentia

1910 A second cable was laid from Roberts Bay to Porthcurno. All were manufactured by Telcon. These were the last cables laid for the Anglo-American Telegraph Co before all its cables were leased to Western Union in 1912.

1963 When Western Union terminated its agreement with Anglo-American, the 1873, 1874, 1894 and 1910 cables were still operational.

1968 Following the termination of the lease, Anglo-American was wound up on 10 December.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Feb 17, 1868
  • [1] History of the Atlantic Cable and Submarine Telegraphy