Glass dome for the decorative cable 'tree' souvenir, 1858-1865

1858-1865 in England

Glass dome from cable 'tree', decorative souvenir of the 1858 Transatlantic submarine telegraph cable, made by George Rapson, England, 1858-1865.

Cable souvenirs were very popular. The first advertisement for souvenirs in Britain appeared in the 'Illustrated London News' on 14 August 1858, two days before the first message was sent, and was listed as 'a slice of the cable, set as a Charm in gold or silver' and was sold by Edwards and Jones of Regent Street. This souvenir, a decorative model made out of slices of cable, also features three flags on top: a red ensign or 'red duster' (a flag flown by the Royal Navy and later the British Merchant Navy), the English flag and the United States flag. It is mounted on velvet covered circular wooden plinth with domed glass cover, and has an engraved brass plate records that the '1st message sent was Peace on Earth, and good will toward men'.

On display

Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Cable

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Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), glass, mahogany (wood), paint, paper, steel (metal) and textile

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