Escher.gif (426 bytes)

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

CS Mirror (1) & Norseman (3)
by Bill Glover


CS Mirror (1) at Alcabre beach in Vigo Bay, Spain
Copyright © 2016 Roberto Hernández

This watercolour of CS Mirror (1) was painted in 2016 by Roberto Hernández, and is reproduced here by his kind permission. More ship paintings may be seen at his website.

Roberto’s painting below shows (from left to right) CS Mirror (1), CS Chiltern, and CS Great Northern, berthed in Vigo for supplying, coaling, and other services.

Built in 1886 by Napier & Sons, Glasgow

Length 255.7 ft Breadth 34.1 ft Depth 17.6 ft Gross tonnage 1545

Built for the Eastern Telegraph Company and named Mirror (1). Fitted with four cable tanks with a capacity of 16,677 cubic feet of cable. Cable machinery supplied by Johnson & Phillips.

Based in the UK until sold to the Western Telegraph Company in 1904 and renamed Norseman (3). Used by Western on cable repair work until 1924 when she became a cable hulk moored in Pernambuco Harbour and renamed Norna (2). Finally scrapped in 1933.

CS Norseman (3)


1897 Vigo, Spain - Gibraltar

The ship's clock shown below is marked on the dial:



There is a repair label attached to the back, dated 1925:

“Blumenthal Michel, expert chronometer, watch and clockmaker late of Messrs Marks & Co., Bombay & Poonah, port and lights administration Suez.”

It seems likely that the clock was removed from CS Mirror after she left the cable service in 1924.

Binnacle clock marked

Photograph courtesy of and copyright © 2007 Anthony Spender

Last revised: 16 December, 2023

Return to Atlantic Cable main page

Search all pages on the Atlantic Cable site:

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: