Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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British-Indian Submarine Telegraph Co

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  • This company was formed to provide the final link in the Indo-European submarine telegraph cable by linking Bombay to Aden and then to Suez.
  • Telcon was awarded the contract. Five cable ships were used, CS's Great Eastern, Chiltern, Hawk and Hibernia were involved in laying with CS William Cory carrying additional cable.
  • 1869 The Great Eastern left Portland Harbour, accompanied by CS Hawk and CS Hibernia, on the 6th November.
  • 1870 The ships arrived in Bombay on the 28th January. Paying out commenced on the 4th February, with Great Eastern laying almost 2000 nautical miles of cable to complete the leg to Aden, where the cable was buoyed off ready for Chiltern to attach and lay the shore ends. When Chiltern arrived the cable was missing and had to be grappled for.
  • From Aden Great, a further 325 nm were laid, plus another 260 nm of cable from Suez. There were problems at Suez when the paying out gear of one of the ships jammed, and the shore end of the cable was pulled out of the cable hut.
  • From Suez to Alexandria telegrams passed over the landlines of the Egyptian State Telegraph system. To maintain these cables the company purchased CS Chiltern from Telcon and the vessel was transferred to the Eastern Telegraph Co on its formation.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] History of the Atlantic Cable and Submarine Telegraphy