Specimen of the first transatlantic telephone cable, 1956

1956 in Erith
Submarine Cables Limited

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Specimen of the first trans-Atlantic telephone cable, intermediate type or shore portion, Erith, 1956. Also known as
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Specimen of the first transatlantic telephone cable, intermediate type or shore portion, made by Submarine Cables Limited, Erith, London, England, 1956.

Also known as TAT-1, the first transatlantic telephone cable was laid between Oban, Scotland, and Clarenville, Newfoundland. The project was announced by the Postmaster General on December 1953, and was a joint venture between the General Post Office of the UK, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, and the Canadian Overseas Telecommunications Corporation. Between 1955 and 1956, two cables were laid - one for each direction of speech. The intermediate or shore portion of the cable had a heavier mild steel armouring, compared to the deep sea lengths. TAT-1 remained in use without failure until 1978, being withdrawn from service because of the installation of much higher capacity cables across the Atlantic.

On display

Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Exchange

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Object Number:
copper (alloy), plastic (unidentified) and steel (metal)
Donated by Submarine Cable Limited

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