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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 Electra (1)
by Bill Glover


CS Electra (1) passing through the Suez Canal

Built in 1884 by Napier & Sons, Glasgow. Sister ship to CS Recorder (1).

Length 237.4 ft. Breadth 32.1 ft Depth 16.6 ft. Gross tonnage 1236

CS Electra (1)
grappling for a cable
[The Graphic, 28 July 1894]

Built as a repair ship for the Eastern Telegraph Company and based at Gibraltar for the whole of her career.

Fitted with four tanks, capable of holding 250 nm of deep sea cable. No 1; 14 ft x 8 ft., No 2; 25 ft. x 12 ft., these were forward of the engine room. No 3; 8 ft. 6 in x 7 ft., No 4; 8 ft. x 7 ft., these were aft of the engine room. A hold forward of the No 1 tank was used for storing grapnels, ropes etc. Three bow sheaves and one stern sheave all 3 ft. 6 in. in diameter were fitted. Johnson and Phillips supplied a double combined paying out-picking up machine.

Sold on 28th November 1923 to Mr. Attilio Ardito of Genoa for scrap.


Capt. Scott-Smith:

1894 Pola - Zara

Lemnos - Salonika No. 2

1920 Malta - Alexandria No. 5
1922 Malta - Alexandria No. 6

This Christmas card showing CS Electra (1) was sent from Malta in November 1894 by Godfrey Charles Mills, believed to be an engineer on the ship.

S.S. "Electra"
R. Ellis, Photographer, Malta
Detail of ship
Image courtesy of Graham Dowsett

This postcard was sent in November 1910, presumably to family in London, from “George” on board CS Electra at Suez, Aden.

It's not clear why the message is written upside down, but it reads:
“Wishing you all a Happy Christmas & a prosperous New Year”

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Last revised: 21 September, 2022

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