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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 M. Ash and CS Faraday (1)
1894 Mackay Bennett Cable Expedition Souvenir

On December 10th 1894 Henry Ash registered at Stationers’ Hall in London the copyright on a small book (8.25" x 4.25") titled “Souvenir of the 1894 Mackay Bennett Atlantic Cable, Laid by Messrs. Siemens Brothers Co. for the Commercial Cable Company”. The registration certificate (dated 14 December 1894) and a cover for this book are in the collection of the Library and Archives Canada. The book is a collection of 29 of Ash’s sketches recording the events and scenes of the cable expedition, the originals of which are shown on this page.

As of August 2018, a copy of the book is also in the Atlantic Cable website collection.

Library and Archives Canada
Henry Ash Fonds: e0441208
Image reproduced by permission of, and
copyright © 2006, Library and Archives Canada

The registration certificate notes that: “One copy of each publication should be forwarded forthwith to the British Museum; and four copies delivered here for the Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Dublin Libraries.” However, the book is not listed in the catalogues of any of those institutions.

Library and Archives Canada
Henry Ash Fonds: e0441210
Image reproduced by permission of, and
copyright © 2006, Library and Archives Canada

The detailed copyright deposit record from the books of Stationers’ Hall, now held by the UK National Archives at Kew, shows that the book was published by Ede, Dearberg & Co., 40 Queen Street, Cheapside, London E.C. Henry Morris Ash’s address was given as 12 Queen Anne’s Gate, Westminster. The record number is 13892, dated Dec 14 1894.

These images show the cover of the copy of the book in the Atlantic Cable website archive and the inscription on the inside of the cover.

Handwritten on the inside front cover is “Commercial Cable Cos. 3d. Cable”
Below that is list of names identified as “Staff on board C.S. Faraday Representing Commercial Cable Co. June - 1894”
The names are: John Gott, Fred Ward, Mr. Tracey, Mr Harrington, Mr Chevalier, Sidney F Ward.

John Gott was Chief Electrician to the Commercial Cable Company (CCC) from 1884 until his death in 1914.
Fred Ward was manager of the CCC in England.
Mr Tracey may be H J Tracey, later Superintendent of the CCC office in Glasgow.
Mr Harrington may be Henry F Harrington, who was later Superintendent of the Commercial Pacific Cable Company.
Mr Chevalier may be F Chevalier, later Superintendent of the CCC station at Horta in the Azores.
Sidney F Ward was a director of the CCC in New York.

The book includes 27 of the 28 sketches shown on the 1894 page as well as one sketch from a repair expedition in 1893, and the sketch below, for which the location of the original is not known. Titled “Prawl Point Signal Station, South Devon” and dated 13.4.94, this is the first print in the book, and chronologically it would also be the first in the 1894 series of sketches.

Image reproduced by permission of, and
copyright © 2010, Tom Hayes

Another copy of the book is reported to have 30 images, as compared with the 29 in the Atlantic Cable copy. Of the 28 sketches from 1894 one is not reproduced in this copy, so that image may be missing.

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Last revised: 21 May, 2020

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