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

Cableship Stamps - S to W

Thanks to Bill Glover for providing the stamp images and text for this page.

All material on this page is copyright © 2006 Bill Glover

Salernum Maldive Is 1r 1976.JPG (31416 bytes)

SALERNUM

Maldives    1976     1r

Built 1954, Navameccania Castellammare de Stabia, Naples

Length 339.6 ft Breadth 41.0 ft Depth 18.5 ft Gross tonnage 2789

Fitted out for oceanographic and hydrographic work as well as cable laying. Sold in 1984 to Transoceanic Cableship Co., a subsidiary of AT&T, and renamed CHARLES L. BROWN. Used for cable repair until 2003, when she was scuttled to form an artificial reef off the island of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean.

CABLE WORK

1957    Italy - Sardinia
1962    Sicily - Sardinia
1975    Germany - Sweden

The vessel in the background of the Maldives stamp is SALERNUM. The vessel in the foreground is MERCURY.

SCOTIA

Scotia Cocos Keeling 33c 1985.JPG (29270 bytes)

Scotia Cocos Keeling 40c 1976.JPG (21995 bytes)

Scotia Mauritius 40c 1993.JPG (30270 bytes)

Scotia Seychelles 1r 1993.JPG (29608 bytes)

Scotia Sierra Leone 70c 1984.JPG (39694 bytes)

SCOTIA

Cocos (Keeling) Islands    1976     40c
Cocos (Keeling) Islands    1985    33c
Mauritius            1993     40c
Seychelles            1993     1r
Sierra Leone            1984     70c
Sierra Leone            1986     50/70c

Built 1861, R. Napier & Co,. Glasgow

Length 379.0 ft Breadth 47.8 ft Depth 20.0 ft Gross tonnage 3871

Built originally for Samuel Cunard for the Atlantic service. Held the Blue Riband for five years. Purchased in 1879 by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company and converted for cable laying. Sold in 1903 to the Commercial Pacific Cable Co. Broke her back on a reef at Catalan Island, Guam in 1904.

CABLE WORK

1879    Penang - Malacca - Singapore - Banjoewangie
1880    Aden - Zanzibar
    Renewed major part of 1866 Trans Atlantic cable
1882    Greetsiel - Borkum - Valentia
1883    Vladivostock - Nagasaki - Shanghai
    Hong Kong - Foochow - Shanghai
1884    England - Spain
    Madeira - Cape St Vincent
    Cape St Vincent - Pernambuco
1885    Bathurst - Freetown - Accra - Lagos - Brass - Bonny
1887    Porthcurno - Carcavelos - Gibraltar - Malta - Zante
1889    Cape Town - Mossamedes
1890    Sydney - Wellington
    Aden - Suez
1896    Greetsiel - Borkum (Germany) - Vigo (Spain)
1891    Fano - Oye
1893    Zanzibar - Seychelles - Mauritius
1894    UK - Newfoundland
    Singapore - Labuan - Hong Kong
1898    Porthcurno - Gibraltar
    Jamaica - Turks Island - Bermuda
1899    Para - Pernambuco - Rio de Janeiro - Maldonado - Montevideo
1901    Cocos - Cottesloe - Glenelg
    North Sydney (Nova Scotia) - St Pierre et Miquelon - Bay Roberts

SEINE

Seine Ascension 15p 1979.JPG (37481 bytes)

Seine Ascension £1.50 1999.JPG (199125 bytes)

Seine St Helena 25p 1999.JPG (34717 bytes)

SEINE

Ascension    1979     15p
Ascension    1999    £1.50   
St Helena     1999    25p

Built 1859, Thames Ironworks, London

Length 338.3 ft Breadth 44.1 ft Depth 33.9 ft Gross tonnage 3553

Built as a paddle steamer for the Royal Mail Lines, converted to screw propulsion in 1872 and chartered by the Telcgraph Construction & Maintenance Company for cable work. Purchased by them in 1876 and permanently converted for cable work. Scrapped in 1905

CABLE WORK

1873    Carcevolos - Madeira
1874    St Vincent (Cape Verde Islands) - Pernambuco (Brazil)
1876    Suez - Bombay
1879    Banjoewangie - Darwin
1880    North Sydney (Nova Scotia) - St Pierre et Miquelon - Bay Roberts (USA)
    Zanzibar - Mozambique
1881    Carcevolos - Madeira
    Singapore - Batavia
1883    Aden - Suez
    Vladivostock - Nagasaki - Shanghai
1884    Singapore - Saigon
1885    Zanzibar - Mozambique
1888    Java - Macassar
1889    Banjoewangie - Broome (Australia)
1891    Madras - Penang
1893    Carcevalos - Sao Miguel - Fayal - Pico - Sao Jorge - Terceira
    Sao Jorge - Graciosa
1896    New York - Haiti

Sentinel Br Virgin Is 35c 1986.JPG (37919 bytes)

Sentinel Turks & Caicos $2 1983.JPG (34740 bytes)

SENTINEL (2)

Bermuda             1988     50c
British Virgin Islands        1986     35c, 40c
Turks & Caicos Islands    1983    $2
Turks & Caicos Islands    1988    $2

See HMTS MONARCH (4) for details

Purchased from the GPO by Cable & Wireless in 1970 and refitted to act as a repair ship on Atlantic cables. Based at Bermuda. Scrapped in 1977.

Sharp Bermuda $2 1990.JPG (11955 bytes)

Sharp Cayman Is 25c 1997.JPG (34290 bytes)

SIR ERIC SHARP

Bermuda    1990     $2
Caymans    1997    25-30c

Built 1989, Swan Hunter Shipbuilders

Length 115.6m Breadth 18.00m Depth 10.10m Gross tonnage 6141

Owned by Cable & Wireless and named after a company chairman. Primarily a repair ship but capable of carrying out laying operations. Based in Bermuda.

CABLE WORK

1989    PTAT I shore ends
1989    UK - Holland 12
1997    Cayman Islands

Stephan Ivory Coast 125f 1986.JPG (47117 bytes)

STEPHAN

Ivory Coast    1986     125f

Built 1901, Stettiner Vulkan, Germany

Length 391.8 ft Breadth 48.3 ft Depth 29.8 ft Gross tonnage 4630

Built for Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke as their main cable layer. Handed over to the Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Company at the end of WW I as war reparations. Scrapped in l926

CABLE WORK

1903    Germany - Azores - USA
1904    Menado - Yap - Guam - Shanghai
1906    Germany - Norway
1907    Denmark - Russia
1908    Trieste - Pola - Sebenike
1910    Trieste - Pola - Split
    French Guinea - Liberia - Ivory Coast
1913    UK - Holland
    Balboa - Santa Elena
    Balikpapan - Soerabaja - Kema - Ternato
1919    Porthcurno - Gibraltar
1920    USA - Barbados
    Aden - Bombay
    Malta - Alexandria 5
1921    USA - Cuba Three separate cables were laid on this route
1922    Aden - Seychelles
    Aden - Suez
    Malta - Alexandria 6
1923    Fiji - New Zealand
    Australia - New Zealand
    UK - Ireland

Thevenin Djibouti 250f 1984.JPG (258388 bytes)

LEON THEVENIN

Djibouti    1984     250f

Built 1983, Societe Nouvelle des Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre

Length 107.8m Breadth 17.8m Depth 9.0m Gross tonnage 3200

Owned by the French PTT. Based at Toulon on Atlantic maintenance duties. Helped recover wreckage including the cockpit voice recorder of the AIR INDIA Boeing 747 crash in 1985.

CABLE WORK

1991    UK - France 4

Vercors Ascension 25p 1993.JPG (31109 bytes)

Vercors Ascension 70p 1993.JPG (28933 bytes)

Vercors Singapore 10c 1986.JPG (36662 bytes)

VERCORS

Ascension    1993     25-70p
Singapore    1986    10-75c

Built 1975, Societe Nouvelle des Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre.

Length 433.0 ft Breadth 59.4 ft Depth 24.0 ft Gross tonnage 5886

Owned by the French PTT as their main cable laying ship based at La Seyne sur Mer.

CABLE WORK

1975    St Raphael - La Foux
    ANNIBAL France - Tunisia
1976    UK - France Two separate cables laid on this route
    TAT 6 French & American shore ends
    MARPAL France Italy
1977    AMITIE France Tetuan
    ANTINEA Morocco - Senegal - Ivory Coast
    Corsiica - Marseilles
1978    England - France
    Morocco - France
1980    Greece - Syria
1981    ARTEMIS France - Greece No 2
    ATLANTIS Portugal - Senegal
1982    TAT 7 USA - UK
    Portugal - Morocco
1983    Denmark - Holland
    MERIDIEN Belgium - Spain
    DIDON France - Tunisia
1984    Surveyed route for SEA ME WE, Suez - Colombo
    MESING Indonesia - Singapore
    France - Morocco
    SEA ME WE
1986    France - Corsica No 3
1988    TAT 8 USA - UK - France
1989    HAW 4 Hawaii - USA
    PENCAN 4 Spain - Canary Islands
    Italy coastal cables
1990    Spain - Mellila
1991    EMOS 1 Italy - Turkey - Israel
    Italy - Spain
1992    TASMAN 2 Australia - New Zealand
    TAT 9 USA - Canada - UK - France - Spain
    EURAFRICA France - Portugal - Morocco - Madeira
1993    PACRIMEAST Hawaii - New Zealand
1994    SEA ME WE 2
    COLUMBUS 2 Italy - Madeira - Canary Islands - USA - Mexico
1994    Spain - Morocco
1995    TAT 12 USA - UK
    TAT 13 USA - UK - France
    SEA ME WE 3
    ARIANE 2 France - Greece
    ITUR Italy - Turkey - Ukraine
1996    KAFOS Turkey - Bulgaria

Ward Monaco 10c 1977.JPG (56620 bytes)

Ward Monaco 1f 1966.JPG (68921 bytes)

GEORGE WARD

Monaco    1960     50c
Monaco    1966    1f
Monaco    1977    10c
Monaco    1977    1f25
Monaco    1977    3f
Monaco    1982    1f60
Monaco    1994    2f80
Monaco    1994    S/S

Built 1898, Laird Brothers, Birkenhead

Length 251.0 ft Breadth 34.8 ft Depth 18.7 ft Gross tonnage 1608

Built originally for Prince Albert of Monaco and named PRINCESS ALICE II. Used for oceanographic research. Sold to Lord Inverclyde who renamed her BERYL. Sold to the Commercial Cable Company in 1921 and renamed GEORGE WARD after an early Vice President and General Manager of the company. Used for repair work on the Atlantic cables owned by the company. Scrapped in 1923.

Westmeath Bermuda 55c 1990.JPG (35005 bytes)

WESTMEATH

Bermuda    1990     55c
Bermuda    1991    55c

Built 1882, Sunderland Shipbuilding Co.

Length 320.0 ft Breadth 42.4 ft Depth 19.0 ft Gross tonnage 3342

Owned by W.T. Henley Telegraph Works. Chartered in 1887 to La Societe des Telegraphes Sous-Marin to lay cables in the Antilles. Sold in 1892 to La Societe Industrielle des Telephones and renamed FRANCOIS ARAGO. Sold out of the cable world in 1914 to La Compagnie Francaise de Marine et Commerce and then renamed PERONNE

CABLE WORK

1887    Dominican Republic - Haiti
    Cap Haitien - St Nicholas Mole
    St Nicholas Mole - Port au Prince
    St Nicholas Mole - Cuba
1888    Brazil - French Guiana - Dutch Guiana - Martinique - St Thomas - Dominican     Republic
    Martinique - Guadelope - Marie Galante
    Guadelope - The Saints Island
1890    Halifax (Nova Scotia) - Bermuda

Ascension 2s 6d Cable Buoy.JPG (34157 bytes)

 

Ascension 10s Cable Buoy.JPG (32239 bytes)

Great Eastern Canada 36c 1987.JPG (29171 bytes)

 

Alsace Senegal 60f  1965.jpg (34395 bytes)

CABLE BUOYS

Ascension    1934     1d, 2d, 8d, 2/6 (Common design)
Ascension    1956    10/-
Canada    1987    36c
Senegal    1965    60f (See ALSACE)

An essential piece of equipment especially for a repair ship. After grappling a cable requiring repair, a buoy would be attached and the cable cut. The faulty piece would be removed and a new piece spliced in. The two ends would be spliced and the cable released. Canada 1987 36c (See GREAT EASTERN) shows cable buoys being used to support the lost 1865 Atlantic cable during recovery before splicing on a new piece of cable.

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Last revised: 12 March, 2013

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