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

Cable Work at Greenwich: Telcon, STC, & Alcatel
Cyril Malyon

Introduction: These pages present personal aspects of cable-making at Greenwich, by some of the craftsmen who worked there.

Cyril Malyon was a bricklayer on the maintenance section at Greenwich, first with Telcon and then with STC, from the late 1950s till the 1990s. These images of the Great Eastern were found and saved by Cyril when the shipping stores were pulled down at Greenwich in the 1960s. Much material from the Great Eastern was thrown out at that time.

Thanks to Jim Jones for scanning Cyril's images.

--Bill Burns

The Great Eastern off Weymouth on Her Trial Trip

The "Great Eastern" Steamship
in a Gale in the Atlantic
12th Sept 1861
Detail of label

Landing the shore-end at Foilhummerum Bay, Valentia, July 21 1865
Compare this scene with Dudley's view; both show
the same building, which would be the cable hut

Interior of cable hut, Valentia, 1865

Photograph of a painting by Robert Dudley
of the Great Eastern on the 1866 expedition.
This painting now hangs in the President's office
at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London

The top label:
Presented to Lady Canning
By a Few Friends and Coadjutors of
Sir Samuel Canning
Feb. 1868

The bottom label:
On Board the S.S. "Great Eastern", Sunrise Sep.2, 1866.
Lat. 51° 52' Long 36° 5'
After the Recovery of the Lost Atlantic Telegraph Cable of 1865

Compare the detail of the 1866 painting above with
Dudley's view below of a similar scene in 1865,
reproduced in William Russell's book

The Departure From Sheerness, June 13, 1869
This was the French Atlantic Cable expedition

At the Stern of the "Great Eastern"
Shipping a Heavy Sea
About to Cut and Buoy the Cable

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Last revised: 1 December, 2015

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Research Material Needed

The Atlantic Cable website is non-commercial, and its mission is to make available on line as much information as possible.

You can help - if you have cable material, old or new, please contact me. Cable samples, instruments, documents, brochures, souvenir books, photographs, family stories, all are valuable to researchers and historians.

If you have any cable-related items that you could photograph, copy, scan, loan, or sell, please email me: [email protected]

—Bill Burns, publisher and webmaster: