Telegraph to Europe-Cryrus Field

By: Clifton Slagel and Hayden Vaughan

Cyrus Field

The father of the transatlantic cable, Cyrus Field was a savvy paper merchant who knew nothing about telegraphy but readily understood the commercial possibilities of connecting Europe and America. Driven to succeed yet patient in times of failure, Field kept the cable project going for twelve long years, crossing the Atlantic more than 30 times in an effort to raise money, solve problems, and make his cable a reality. His ultimate success ushered in a new era of international communications!

The Construction

In 1858, with the completion of an underwater Transatlantic Cable that allowed messages sent in Morse Code to be sent across the ocean. Work on a Transatlantic Cable began in 1856 with $1,400,000 by the Atlantic Telegraph Company. It took a while to develop and manufacture a cable strong enough for the job, so the cable was not actually laid until 1857. This was done by the American ship Niagra and the British ship Agamemnon. Several of their early attempts ended in failure when the cable snapped. Finally on August 5, 1858, the cable was completed. On August 16th, the first message was sent by Morse code under the Atlantic said," Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men."


By the summer of 1857, the first cable had been constructed and loaded on the U.S.S. Niagara and the H.M.S. Agamemnon. On Augus 5, Field spoke at a magnififcent send-off on the shores of Valentia Bay, Ireland. "I have no word," he said," to express the feelings which fill my heart tonight--it beats with love and affection for every man, woman, and child who hears me." In a sort of benediction for the transatlantic cable, Field turned to the Bible: "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder."

An Accomplishment Achieved!

Slogan: Your Word is Heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!