Section of the first Atlantic Cable

Contributed by Jacy Wall

Section of the first Atlantic Cable

Part of the first cable to be laid across the Atlantic ocean by the Great Eastern in 1866. Although acknowledged at the time as an extraordinary achievement in the advance in world communications, no one then could have predicted just how far-reaching that first step was to be. This object is of particular significance to me as it has been in my family since 1866; my great-grandfather, Henry Clifford, was Chief Engineer to the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Co.,and on board the Great Eastern during its abortive attempt to lay the cable in 1865 and the successful one in 1866.I have always loved the look of Henry,in photographs he has a full head of white hair and wonderful walrus moustaches.He was also a fine painter,3 of his paintings of the Great Eastern are in the National Maritime museum,and I have two small oils by him.My mother said he would rather have been an artist than an engineer, which is rather sad, but ironic given his important place in history. I am the last of his direct descendants, and certainly do not carry his engineering genes, but rather romantically hope it is of some comfort to him that his great grand-daughter is a professional artist.

Comments are closed for this object

Comments

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location
Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
7.5cm
W:
7cm
D:
7cm
Colour
Material

View more objects from people in Somerset.

Find out more

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.