Specimens of Pacific cable laid between Vancouver Island and Fanning Island, cables made by Telephone Construction and Maintenance Company, Greenwich, London, England, 1902. In glazed presentation case, unknown maker, British, 1902-1923.
The Pacific cable of 1902 connected the West Coast of North America to Australasia and Japan and at the time was the longest continuous stretch of cable in the world. Previous to this, messages would have to be sent across the Atlantic, travelling either via Cape Town or via London and Russia. The Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Company had the Cable Ship 'Colonia' built specially for laying the cable, as no ship had previously existed that was large enough to carry in one trip the amount of cable needed to lay between Bamfield and Fanning Island, a distance of 3458 nautical miles.