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

1873 South Africa Cable (proposed)

In 1871-73, Hooper’s Telegraph Works proposed to lay a cable down the east coast of South Africa from Aden to Mauritius and Natal, but were unable to raise sufficient private capital; nor could they obtain subsidies from the British or French governments.

The cable sample shown below was presumably made to promote this never-initiated project; the cable is the same at that made by Hooper’s for their abandoned Atlantic project and used instead in 1873 between Para and Rio de Janeiro, South America.

Submarine Cable
to South Africa
Compare with the Para-Rio cable below

Images courtesy of Nigel Searle.

Hooper’s had been attracted to the Atlantic route by the profits being made by the Anglo American Telegraph Company, but the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company, which had a substantial holding of shares in Anglo American, offered them its South American concessions on the condition that Hooper’s dropped the transatlantic plan, which they did. The cable already manufactured for the Atlantic was used on the east coast of South America between Para and Rio de Janeiro.

Hooper’s Atlantic cable for the Great Western Telegraph Company, used instead on the Para-Rio de Janeiro route.

Last revised: 26 January, 2013

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