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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 Minia
by Bill Glover


Built in 1866 by London and Glasgow Company, Glasgow.

Length 328.5 ft. Breadth 35.8 ft. Depth 25.1 ft. Gross tonnage 2,061.

Painting of CS Minia dated 1869, almost identical to the photograph above
Courtesy: Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Chartered for three years by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company in 1871 and converted for cable work. Sold by her owners in 1874 to the Anglo-American Telegraph Company and used for cable repair duties. Leased to Western Union in 1912, remaining in service until 1922 when sold for scrap.

Cable Steamer Minia 1898
Cooks and Stewards

Image courtesy of Peter Douglass

With CS Mackay Bennett, Minia was one of the ships which recovered bodies after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. In 2012 the History Detectives, a well-regarded program on public television in the USA, investigated an oak portrait frame which the family believed was made from wood from the Titanic recovered by their great-grandfather, CS Minia’s Second Engineer, Francis Tierney.

The Atlantic Cable website is pleased to have been able to help with the research on this project. The link above has further information, including a video of the investigation and its conclusions, and images of a moving letter from Minia written during the recovery voyage by radio operator Francis Dyke.


Captain J.H. Martin:
1871 Saigon, China - Hong Kong with CS's Agnes, Kangaroo and Belgian, for the China Telegraph Co.
1873 Porthcurno - Vigo, Spain - Lisbon, Portugal with CS Africa, for Eastern Telegraph Co.
Carcavelos, Portugal - Madeira, assisted CS Seine, for Brazilian Submarine Telegraph Co
1874 Holland Bay, Jamaica - Ponce, Puerto Rica - St Croix with CS Kangaroo, for the West India and Panama Telegraph Co.
1874 Newfoundland shore end of the 1874 Atlantic cable.

CS Minia on repair duty for Western Union, 1910

1896 Christmas card from CS Minia

Christmas and New Year card from CS Minia.
Undated, but note the dog in the upper left
photo, which appears very similar to the dog
at the lower right of the 1896 card above.

Image courtesy of Mary Carter, whose grandfather William Wardrop
is believed to be in the photo at the upper left of this card.

See also the following articles on CS Minia:

With A Cable Expedition (1883)

How Cables are Laid and Repaired (1895 talk by Captain Samuel Trott)

On Board a Cable Hospital by A. Wallis Myers (1902)

The Bottom of the Ocean Is "Main Street" to Him (1925)

Last revised: 20 December, 2020

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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: