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Connecting the World: How the First Transatlantic Cable was Laid

The first message sent was "Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and goodwill toward men".

In 1839, the idea of having a cable that stretched across the Atlantic was just the dream of a few engineers after the birth of the telegraph. In 1858, less than 2 decades later, the first message was sent across the Atlantic by telegraph cable reading "Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and goodwill toward men".

So how did an idea as world-changing as linking Europe to the Americas go from dream to reality in under 2 decades? Let's take a look.

Mid-1800s communication

After the invention of the telegraph by Wiliam Cooke and Charles Wheatstone, Samuel Morse believed that the concept of a transatlantic communications network was a possibility. Experts continued to debate the idea until, in 1850, a line was laid between Great Britain and France – the longest of the time.

Later on, in 1850, construction began on a line heading from the north-east coast of America to Nova Scotia to Newfoundland.,-

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