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

Cable Stamps - Australia-Tasmania, CJFS, ECFS,
Malaysia-Sabah, Netherlands Antilles

Thanks to Bill Glover for providing the stamp images and text for this page.

All material on this page is copyright © 2005 Bill Glover

Australia Tasmania 1936 2d 1936.JPG (32321 bytes)

Australia Tasmania 3d 1936.JPG (32386 bytes)


The first submarine telephone cable between Australia and Tasmania. Laid by CS Faraday (2) in 1935, from Apollo Bay, Victoria to Stanley, Tasmania.

The cable was manufactured by Siemens Brothers and was the first telephone cable insulated with paragutta.

Paragutta was first developed by the Bell Laboratories, USA and is a mixture of protein free rubber and resin free balata, combined with a plasticiser.

CaymanIs10c1997.JPG (30865 bytes) CaymanIs25c1997.JPG (34290 bytes)
CaymanIs30c1997.JPG (31834 bytes) CaymanIs60c1997.JPG (29417 bytes)


CAYMAN ISLANDS - JAMAICA FIBRE SYSTEM. A repeaterless fibre optic system linking Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. It was intended to use CS Mercury to lay this cable, but a serious engine room fire put paid to that idea and CS Sir Eric Sharp undertook the laying.

Alcatel manufactured the 868 km of cable at their Calais factory and Cable & Wireless (Marine) Ltd undertook the main lay:- Georgetown, Grand Cayman - Stake Bay, Cayman Brac - Buccaneer Beach, Montego Bay, Jamaica. Shaw Park Beach, Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Port Antonio, Jamaica were linked into the system via a branching unit. The final landing point was Harbourview Beach, Kingston, Jamaica.

Information supplied by Roger Langton, Global Marine Ltd.


ECFS St Kitts 10c 1995.JPG (29047 bytes)


St Kitts    1995    10c

EAST CARIBBEAN FIBRE SYSTEM links fourteen islands from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad and is the longest repeaterless fibre optic system in use. CS Mercury undertook the laying of the 1729 km main cable as well as most of the shore ends. MV Bahama Sky, an offshore supply vessel, was chartered to lay shore ends at Tortola, Guadeloupe, St Lucia and Trinidad. As CS Mercury could not carry all the cable a freighter, MV Christina I, was chartered to carry the balance. Islands in the system are British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Kitts, Antigua, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent and Grenada.


EMOS 1 Turkey FDC.JPG (61540 bytes)

EMOS1Turkey 500l .JPG (29193 bytes)


Turkey         1991    500l

A fibre optic cable linking Palermo, Italy with Lechaina, Greece; Marmaris, Turkey and Tel Aviv, Israel. Consisting of three pairs which are split en route through branching units. CS Vercors laid the whole of the cable. Each pair of fibres are capable of transmitting 1920 telephone calls in each direction.

The device shown on the stamp is a repeater, not a branching unit. It's not possible to split a cable using a repeater.


IOCOM India 1r.JPG (32765 bytes)

Itur.jpg (23591 bytes)


India    1981     1r

CS Cable Venture laid this link between India and Malaysia. The cable was 1349 nm long. CS Recorder (3) laid the Penang shore ends and CS Cable Venture those at Madras.


Italy    1996     Special cancellation

The 3527 km fibre optic cable links Palermo, Italy with Istanbul, Turkey; Odessa, Ukraine and Novorossijsk, Russia. CS Vercors laid 2840 km of cable and 21 repeaters including the sections from Istanbul to Odessa and Novorossijsk using a branching unit in the Black Sea, plus part of the Palermo - Istanbul section including the shore ends. The identity of the cable ship used to lay the rest of the cable is unknown to me.

The section from Istanbul to Odessa and Novorossijsk was opened for service in August 1995 and that from Palermo to Istanbul in 1996.
Cable was supplied by Alcatel Submarine Networks, AT&T Submarine Systems Inc., and Pirelli.


MALAYSIA SABAH Malaysia 10c 1980.JPG (30207 bytes)

MALAYSIA SABAH Malaysia 15c 1980.JPG (28152 bytes)

MALAYSIA SABAH Malaysia 50c 1980.JPG (24172 bytes)

Malaysia.jpg (59425 bytes)


Malaysia    1980     10-50c

Laid by KDD Maru in 1979 from Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia to Kuching, Sabah (Sarawak).



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Neth AntillesAmericaCable&Radio .jpg (92576 bytes)

Netherlands Antilles     1973    15-45c
Netherlands Antilles    1973    Souvenir sheet

The 700 nm cable with 34 repeaters was laid between Curacao - St Maarten - St Thomas.
Both cable and repeaters were supplied by Standard Telephone and Cables Ltd. CS John W. Mackay undertook the laying. The cable is jointly owned by America Cables & Radio, ITT Communications Inc., and the Netherlands Antilles Government. Wireless links were also provided by Tropospheric Scatter Stations and Microwave links.

Inauguration Submarine Cable Curacao - St Maarten - St Thomas
Cover image courtesy of David Watson

Many additional stamps are shown on the pages linked from the Stamps Index page

Last revised: 18 May, 2010

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