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

Memorabilia & Ephemera

1858 Paper Knife

This paper knife has an ivory blade with a section of the 1858 Atlantic cable as its handle. The ferrules have cable-twist edges and are engraved with decorations suggestive of ocean waves.

19th century desk tools such as this were used for opening the pages of untrimmed books and newspapers.

Their use in the Victorian era for turning newspaper pages to avoid getting ink on one’s hands is considered by some to be a myth.

Detail of ferrule decoration

Detail of cable end

Images courtesy of Doug Palmer

Return to Memorabilia main page

Last revised: 14 March, 2021

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: Atlantic-Cable.com