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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

Distant Writing
by Steven Roberts

Introduction: The Atlantic Cable website was the original host of this comprehensive history of British Telegraphy from 1838 to 1868, which includes considerable detail on the various submarine cable companies working in the period.

Author Steven Roberts now has his own website hosting an expanded and updated version; click here for a direct link to the main page.

You may also search Steve's site using the following form:

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Of his interest in the history of telegraphy, Steve Roberts writes:

I live in London, England, and am a consultant in organization effectiveness by profession. I have had an interest since childhood in mid-nineteenth century history, particularly railways, shipping and industry (anything with a steam engine inside it), as well as communications and military matters.

I started to write about the electric telegraph about ten years ago when I assembled a pile of notebooks with small pieces of information drawn from nineteenth century newspapers and magazines. This year (2006), inspired (and annoyed) by the complete lack of historical perspective on the importance of the public telegraph companies in Britain, I finally got round to putting that research into a single document. "Distant Writing" is the result.

--Bill Burns

Last revised: 17 January, 2012

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Research Material Needed

The Atlantic Cable website is non-commercial, and its mission is to make available on line as much information as possible.

You can help - if you have cable material, old or new, please contact me. Cable samples, instruments, documents, brochures, souvenir books, photographs, family stories, all are valuable to researchers and historians.

If you have any cable-related items that you could photograph, copy, scan, loan, or sell, please email me: billb@ftldesign.com

—Bill Burns, publisher and webmaster: Atlantic-Cable.com