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International Telegram Celebrates the 150th Anniversary
of the first Trans Atlantic Telegraph Cable





August 16, 2008 marks the sesquicentennial of the first transoceanic telegram.

The completion of the 2,500 mile cable changed our world forever. Step back in time 150 years ago as we reprint the text of the inaugural telegram sent by Queen Victoria to U.S. President James Buchanan:

"The Queen desires to congratulate the President upon the successful completion of this great international work, in which the Queen has taken the deepest interest. The Queen is convinced that the President will join with her in fervently hoping that the electric cable, which now connects Great Britain with the United States, will prove an additional link between the two places whose friendship is founded upon their common interests and reciprocal esteem. The Queen has much pleasure in thus directly communicating with the President, and in renewing to him her best wishes for the prosperity of the United States."

The message took over 16 hours to send by Morse code. The cable failed after just a few weeks, but it was replaced shortly thereafter. Today, thousands of high-speed fibre-optic and copper cables criss-cross the globe under every ocean.

International Telegram commemorates the contributions of those who made this great work possible, and our colleagues and customers around the world who continue to make the telegram service the preeminent way to send a message across the ocean.


For further reading, please visit:
Smithsonian Institution: The Underwater Web - Cabling the Seas
History of the Atlantic Cable and Submarine Telegraphy
 
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