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

Edward Orange Wildman Whitehouse Obituary

Introduction: Edward O.W. Whitehouse, “Wildman Whitehouse” as he generally styled himself, was a surgeon by profession and an electrical experimenter by avocation. In 1856 he was appointed Electrician to the Atlantic Telegraph Company and was responsible for the testing of the 1857/58 cables, and for the design and operation of the equipment which would transmit the telegraph signals between Ireland and Newfoundland.

This obituary is from The Electrician, January 31st, 1890.

--Bill Burns




We regret to announce the decease of Edward Orange Wildman Whitehouse, F.R.C.S., F.R.A.S., aged 73, which occurred at 19, Salisbury-road, Brighton, on Sunday last, the 26th January.

For many years Mr. Whitehouse took a great interest in all electrical matters. In conjunction with Mr. John Brett, who was the first concessionaire of the submarine cable between England and France, he was engaged in bringing out a telegraph instrument for printing in Roman characters. From early in 1854 he was almost exclusively occupied in experimenting, with a view to devising apparatus for working the Atlantic cable; and in 1856 he gave up a very large surgical practice at Brighton to devote the whole of his time to this object, being appointed electrician to the Atlantic Telegraph Company, his connection with which ceased on the failure of that company, and he again devoted considerable attention to many electrical devices, amongst others to electrical checks in connection with passenger fares in tramways and omnibuses. The last time he was professionally engaged in telegraphy was in 1861, when he was consulting electrician for Messrs. Glass, Elliott, and Co. during the laying of the Malta-Alexandria cable.

Mr. J.C. Laws, Mr. Frank Lambert, Mr. Joseph May, and Mr. H.A.C. Saunders, of whom only the latter survives, assisted him in his electrical work from early in 1854 until his connection with telegraphy ceased, and he was also the cause of many others now well known in submarine telegraphy adopt ing that profession.

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Last revised: 26 January, 2012

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