Treasure #58 Transatlantic cable

Transatlantic cable

Transatlantic cable

This is a piece of a transatlantic cable, the first which directly connected communications between Europe and the United States in 1874. While its eastern terminus was in Ballinskelligs Bay, Ireland, the other end came ashore at Straw’s Point in Rye Beach, NH. Its novel design allowed it to both send and receive transmissions simultaneously. A “cable house” was built in Rye and 16 telegraph operators from the UK manned it 24 hours a day. Busiest times were during the Russo-Japanese peace talks at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1905 and throughout World War I. The station closed in 1921, but a NH Historical Highway marker still denotes its spot along Route 1-A.

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