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

Leo Parrish and CS Long Lines

Introduction: Leo Parrish was the AT&T Long Lines transmission engineer on the Florida-US Virgin Islands SF cable project and the US Virgin Islands<-Dominican Republic SD cable project, both in 1968, and the Rhode Island-Spain (TAT-5) SF cable lay in 1969-70. Both cable projects were laid by AT&T's cableship Long Lines, which had been launched in 1961.

Here Leo shares some of his photographs from those lays. If anyone who knew Leo through those Long Lines projects would like to contact him, please send an email via the Atlantic Cable website.

--Bill Burns


First section: Jacksonville Beach, Florida - St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. System 1302 nautical miles, SF type cable. Withdrawn from service in 1993.

Second section: Magens Bay, US Virgin Is - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. System 386 nautical miles, SD type cable. Withdrawn from service in 1993.

Pulling the end of the SD Cable from the US Virgin Islands to the Dominican Republic to shore in Santo Domingo.

The interesting story here is that the locally provided winch truck was burned out in short order. The large caterpillar tractor hurriedly called into service and attached to the tow cable succeeded in getting the cable end through the opening in the seawall. More importantly, none of the large number of spectators and heavily armed police were injured!

The bigger picture of the preceding photo, showing more of the spectators. In the background are the CS Long Lines and the SD cable suspended on floats.


Green Hill, Rhode Island - Conil, Spain.

Suppliers: Standard Telephones & Cables Ltd 1220 nm.; Câbles de Lyon 630 nm.; Western Electric 1620 nm. System 3461 nm. Withdrawn from service in 1993.

The captain of the CS Long Lines, project manager Jim Barrett, and an unidentified crew member signing the repeater housing of the first SF repeater laid by the CS Long Lines during the first lay of TAT-5 in September 1969.

Detail of the TAT-5 repeater housing, signed by
staff and crew using the pen shown below.

Rhode Island, U.S.A. - Spain
This Pen Signed the
First Deep Sea Repeater
September 29, 1969
Cable Ship Long Lines

Pen images courtesy of George Craig, who worked for 32 years with AT&T and Ocean Cables, and rescued the pen when it was about to be disposed of.

The Canadian Cableship/ice breaker John Cabot with the seaplow on the stern after burying the Rhode Island shore end of TAT-5 in 1969.

Leo Parrish, Gaston Goetz, and Peewee Pierce going ashore in Rhode Island after completing burial of the Rhode Island shore end of TAT-5 in 1969.

Bob Easton in the test room of the CS Long Lines during laying of TAT-5 in 1969-70. Notice the trusty PDP 8 computer to Bob's left.

Bell Labs personnel Ted Brewer, Bob Easton, and Bill Hirt
aboard the CS Long Lines during laying of TAT-5 1969-70.

Leo Parrish's colleague Robert L. (Bob) Easton joined Bell Laboratories in 1954, and spent most of his time there in the design and installation of successive generations of submarine cable systems. In particular, he was involved in the area of system design, data processing, and computer aids for submarine cable systems.

Bob Easton died some years ago, but left for us an amusing and informative article on Undersea Cable Systems, originally published in the early 1970s in the IEEE Communications Society Newsletter. Bob's article also has technical details on the SD and SF cables described above.

CS Long Lines

All images on this page (except for George Craig's pen
photographs and the CS Long Lines photograph above)
are courtesy of and copyright © 2006 Leo Parrish.

See also Leo Parrish's page on SF Repeaters

Last revised: 24 February, 2010

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