Talk:Transatlantic telegraph cable

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48000 km * 0.98 tons/km = 1600 tons ?[edit]

"The weight of the new cable was 35.75 long hundredweight (4000 lb) per nautical mile (980 kg/km), or nearly twice the weight of the old. The Haymills site successfully manufactured 30,000 miles (48,000 km) of wire (1,600 tons), made by 250 workers over eleven months."

So how can 48000 km of wire weigh 1600 tons? Is there something wrong or am I missing something here?

  • I don't know for sure, but I'm fairly certain that the 48,000 km is referring to the individual wires that make up the cable together. I'm not so sure whether it means the seven copper communication wires (7×73 kg/km, 510 kg/km total), or the eighteen protective high-tensile steel wires; the former would be more relevant, but the latter are specified as being made at Hay Mills/Haymills (I'm assuming the two are equivalent). Also, 48,000 km would only give almost 2,700 km length when eighteen strands are used, ignoring the shortening by the twist; the distance covered is about 3,000 km, but they might have been manufacturing for just one half of the cable. --J. Randall Owens (talk)
  • Why the hell does it suddenly, without explanation, and in only one place, use "long hundredweight" as a measurement?????? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.197.161.162 (talk) 16:05, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Dubious 'first' message[edit]

The page currently makes a pretty blanket statement that the 'first message' sent over the cable was:

“Europe and America are united by telegraphy. Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”. (On 13 August 1858)

However it appears possible this was only the first 'official' message, not the first message sent over the cable. The cited source is what looks like a decent, but self-published, website atlantic-cable.com here, and which is actually quoting "in 1974, a double-page full-color advertisement appeared in the July 23rd issue of the Antique Trader". Other on-line sources like Wired (magazine) [1], The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) [2] and history-magazine.com [3] support this, or variations of it, but may be sourced back to Wikipedia.

According to a Salford University web page by Professor [Nigel Linge], here:

"The first complete message sent along the cable from Newfoundland to Valentia was on 12th August 1858 at 5:35pm. It read, “Laws, Whitehouse received five minutes signal. Coil signals too weak to relay. Try drive slow and regular. I have put intermediate pulley. Reply by coils” "

So it seems we need to specify it was the first official message not the first.

I note that this issue also gets a slight mention earlier on this talk page.

Comments, especially better sources, please? --220 of Borg 04:37, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

I've removed the dubious tag and added another source. Engineers transmissions of the "testing, testing, one two three" type clearly don't count as actual messages, nobody cares about them. Besides the source I added, there is also Historical Encyclopedia of Natural and Mathematical Sciences which describes it as the first cablegram. Test messages hardly rise to the status of being a cablegram. Nobody cares about them. SpinningSpark 20:21, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

I know this is only the Talk page but I find the use - twice - of "Nobody cares about them" very offensive! I certainly do and am much less interested in pompous messages sent by people who probably didn't even understand what was being achieved. It's just another example of the belittling that politicians and many others indulge of the people who actually take society forward. Having said that the text on the main page is currently about right on this section! Johnrcrellin (talk) 15:10, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Didn't realise I said it twice! Interesting that you think I am a politician, I've worked as an electrical engineer all my life and I doubt that anyone could be persuaded to vote for me. SpinningSpark 15:38, 29 October 2015 (UTC)