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

Henry Clifford: Patents

A.D. 1859, January 12.—No. 96.
(Provisional protection only.)

Improvements in machinery for paying-out and for recovering or picking up submarine telegraph ropes, cables, or chains.

This machinery consists of one or more grooved pulleys or rollers each having a jockey pulley or roller with levers working into it; these levers are raised or lowered for the purpose of regulating the speed in paying out or picking up cables, ropes, or chains. Each grooved pulley has a brake wheel, or a friction roller may be fixed on the shaft of each grooved pulley. When a friction roller is used, an intermediate roller, capable of being raised or lowered, is arranged so as to press down on the other friction rollers, acting both as brake or friction rollers. In this apparatus the cable passes through the machine in a straight line, and by releasing the pressure of the jockey pulleys the cable is free from all friction of the machinery. The last pulley or stern wheel is carried on a movable spring frame; any extra strain that comes upon the cable raises the jockey pulleys by means of levers connected with the movable frame.

The machinery for picking-up cables consists of the ordinary winding drum and spur gear; in addition to this the grooved roller and jockey pulley is applied to draw off the cable from the drum as it is picked up. The grooved pulleys or rollers with jockey pulleys (without the drum) may be used as in paying-out cables, but in this instance they are geared together.

A.D. 1861, January 14.—No. 103.
(Partly a communication from Samuel Canning.)—(Provisional protection only.)

Improvements in apparatus to be employed in coiling and paying-out electric telegraph cables.

1st. The employment of a series or of two series of frames, the object of which is to assist in keeping the successive coils of cable in their places during the process of coiling and especially for preventing the cable from falling into the eye, and for supporting it while being coiled on board ship. Each of the said frames is of a knee form, and has both vertical and horizontal limbs. Either an internal series only or both an internal and an external series, may be employed. The horizontal arms of the frames are introduced under the first flake of the cable. When the cable is coiled as high as the top of the first set of knee frames, another set is introduced, as before, and so on until the entire cable is coiled.

2nd. The employment of a frame to facilitate the paying out of the cable. The said frame consists of radial arms and diagonal cross pieces, the radial arms being furnished at their extremities with prongs or guides, which partially embrace and slide up and down against the standards which confine the coil. When these standards are inclined, the arms are formed so that they may contract and expand, in order that they may always reach and be guided by the standards, a telescopic arrangement of the arms being preferred for this purpose. The frame may be made of any suitable material, and is simply laid upon the coil, the cable being withdrawn from under it.

A.D. 1868, December 24.—N° 3938.

"Improvements in the manufacture of submarine telegraph cables."

The core of submarine cables is covered with powdered silica to preserve it from insects. The silica is preferably made to adhere to yarn previously steeped in pitch or other material, which is afterwards wound upon the core.

Last revised: 8 July, 2010

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