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

CS Lady Carmichael / HMTS Alert (1)
by Bill Glover


Built in 1871 by A.M. McMillan and Son, Dumbarton

Length 167.8 ft Breadth 25.3 ft Depth 12.1 ft Gross tonnage

Purchased by the Submarine Telegraph Company in 1880 and named after the Chairman's wife. Fitted out for cable repairs with the cable stored in a single hold and one sheave fitted on a boom mounted over the bows. A combined paying out-picking up machine manufactured by the Thames Ironworks was placed on the upper deck. Taken over by the GPO, along with the cables owned by the Submarine Telegraph Co., in 1890. Used to maintain the Channel cables until 1915 when sold for scrap.

Recent research indicates that CS Alert (1) was involved in cutting the German cables off Britain in August 1914, shortly after the beginning of the First World War.


1902 St. Margaret’s Bay, England - La Panne, Belgium 2
1912 Abbotscliffe, England - Cap Gris Nez , France 4

Cableships Index Page

Last revised: 21 November, 2016

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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.

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