Morse tapes sent to the 'Great Eastern', 1865.
Original Morse tapes received by SS 'Great Eastern' while laying the 1865 transatlantic cable, unknown maker, British, 1865.
Until the advent of wireless telegraphy, only ships laying or repairing cable could make contact with the shore while at sea. These Morse tapes are a relic of the failed 1865 expedition to lay a telegraph cable across the Atlantic ocean. The cable snapped after 1200 miles had been laid, and sank 2.5 miles into the ocean. These paper tapes contain messages received aboard the SS 'Great Eastern', the ship laying the cable, from the shore, recorded in Morse code on a Morse inker.