Transatlantic Cable Collection
Scope and Contents
The Transatlantic Cable Collection consists of four items: a framed segment of cable used in the first transatlantic telegraph connection, 1858; a document certifying the cable’s authenticity; a photograph of the USCG ship Marmer, 1959; and an undated photograph of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ship, Discoverer.
- 1858, 1959, undated
- Other: Date acquired: 02/18/2005
1.00 Linear Feet
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to researchers without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.
Biographical or Historical Information
Transatlantic Telegraph Connection Since the development of the first telegraph line in the United States in 1844 by Samuel F.B. Morse, telegraphic communication was gaining a stronghold around the world. In 1854 the idea to lay insulated telegraph cable across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean was concieved by American businessman and entrepreneur Cyrus West Field. After four unsuccessful attempts, the first transatlantic cable was laid on August 5, 1858 with American and British financing. The cable itself stretched "nearly 2,000 miles across the Atlantic at a depth often more than two miles." Eleven days later, U.S. President James Buchanan and England's Queen Victoria exchanged messages. Sadly the cable broke down three weeks later due to structrual weakness and poor current. The cable was not replaced till 1866. USCG Ship: The Marmer The Marmer was a coast and geodetic survey ship that studied ocean currents. The ship was originally named the Walter Wyman, but in 1957 it was renamed the Marmer in honor of Harry S. Marmer, who was Assistant Chief of the Division of Tides and Currents of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. The Marmer was in service from 1957-1968, until it was replaced by the NOAA ship Ferrel. NOAA Ship: The Discoverer The Discoverer was an ocean research vessel built by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which commissioned in October 1964 and delivered to the United States Government in December 1966. Over the years, Discoverer's missions included oceangraphic, meterological, and seismic research, as well as marine mammal observations. The Discoverer also proved cadet training for the California Maritime Academy and United States Naval Academy. The Discoverer was decommissioned on August 16, 1996 and is in reserve in the NOAA Pacific Fleet at Seattle. Sources: "Coast and Geodetic Survey Ships: Marmer." http://www.history.noaa.gov "Cyrus West Field." Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_West_Field "First transatlantic cable completed." This Day in History, August 5. History.com. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-transatlantic-telegraph-cable-completed "NOAA Ship Discoverer: A Brief History."
Language of Materials
Small collection of items related to the Atlantic Ocean: A framed segment of cable used in the first transatlantic telegraph connection, 1858; a document certifying the cable’s authenticity; a photograph of the USCG ship Marmer, 1959 and an undated photograph of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ship Discoverer.
The items in the Transatlantic Cable Collection are arranged chronologically.
Source of Acquisition
Method of Acquisition
Gift. Accession #A2005-02
- A Guide to the Transatlantic Cable Collection
- Kathleen Smith
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.