Henley needle galvanometer used in receiving the first telegraphic message transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean, made by W T Henley, British, around 1858. Letter certifying this fact is in Science Museum Group Archive collection, Inventory number 1987-215.
This galvanometer was installed at the Valentia (Ireland) end of the 1858 transatlantic cable, and in August received the first message transmitted from Newfoundland: 'Europe and America are united by telegraphy. Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and good will toward men'. However, as its design was based on ordinary telegraph practices, it was not sensitive enough to make a satisfactory receiver for long distances.
The plaque on the front reads: 'This Galvanometer, by means of which the first words transmitted from Newfoundland across the Atlantic Ocean by Electric Telegraph, were received and read at Valentia in Ireland, through the Cable of The Atlantic Telegraph Company in August 1858 was presented to George Saward Esquire, the Secretary of that Company, as mark of their esteem and regard by the Directors, December 14th 1858'