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FIELD, Cyrus West [1819-1892] -- American promoter of the first Atlantic cable

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FIELD family Outline Descent Tree(s) ODT
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The birthplace of Cyrus West Field is Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where lie was educated. Entering a counting house in New York, he became in a few years the proprietor of a large mercantile establishment. Retiring from business in 1853, he traveled for a while in South America, and on his return in 1854 he gave his attention to the subject of ocean telegraphs, and was instrumental inprocuring a charter from the legislature of Newfoundland to establish a telegraph from the continent of America to that colony, and thence to Europe.

For the next thirteen years he devoted himself exclusively to the execution of this undertaking. He was actively engaged in the construction of the land line of telegraph in Newfoundland, and in the two attempts to lay the snbmarine cable between Cape Ray and Gape Breton. He crossed the ocean more than fifty times with the expeditions for laying the cable under the Atlantic, the success of which was mainly due to his exertions. He received the unanimous thanks of congress, with a gold medal, in commemoration of the succeEsful enterprise; and at the Fans exposition he received the grand medal. Since 1877 he has been prominently connected with the elevated railways in New York city, and has been president of one of the companies. [Herrinshaw: Prominent Men and Women of the Day, 1888]

The first telegram sent was one of congratulation from Queen Victoria to President Buchanan. However, after a month of deteriorating quality, the cable was destroyed when Wildman Whitehouse applied excessive voltage to the cable while trying to achieve faster telegraph operation.  -30-
 

Chronology

1857
Failed attempt to lay cable
1858/08/05
First trans-Atlantic cable
1858/08/16
First trans-Atlantic telegram
1858/09
First cable fails
1865/07/31
First replacement attempt fails (Great Eastern)
1866/07/28
Great Eastern completes replacement cable
1866/09/07
Great Eastern repairs broken 1865 cable for 2 working trans-Atlantic cable

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Bookmarks:2002-04-14 10:20:58

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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CYRUS W. FIELD
1819-1892

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