Crossing the Atlantic With Cable

Transatlantic Cable ShipsJune 10, 1858

Two ships head out to begin work on what will become the first operational Transatlantic cable. Previous attempts at laying a Transatlantic cable had failed. Designed for telegraph operation, the cable run is completed on August 5th and the first test message is sent on August 12th. However, after being used to send a total of 400 messages, including between US President James Buchanan and England’s Queen Victoria, the cable fails on September 18th and repair was not possible at the time. While this short-lived experiment seemingly ended in failure, it proved that it was possible to manufacture, lay, and operate a Transatlantic cable, setting up the feasibility of future global communications.