Modern Marvels

Transatlantic Cable: 2500 Miles of Copper

Season 1, Ep 6, Aired
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  • Episode Description
  • An examination of how one man's vision and the cooperation between the US and England resulted in an instant, reliable transcontinental mode of communication in the mid-1800s. See how wealthy 33-year-old Cyrus West Field endured many failures and lost millions in his attempt to close the communication gap between the Old and New Worlds

  • Cast & Crew
  • Harlan Saperstein

    Narrator

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Notes (1)

    • Dr. Bernard S. Finn Curator, Electrical Collection, Smithsonian Institution Hayden Moore Consultant/Advisor, Submarine Cable Systems Cyrus W. Field IV Great great Grandson Dr. Roger McGrath Professor of History, UCLA Dr. Sheldon Hochheiser Corporate Historian, AT&T Frank Denniston Bell Atlantic Chief Engineer, FLAG

    Trivia (4)

    • The price of a telegram to Europe in 1866 was $1.25 per word. Today, allowing for inflation, it is 60 times cheaper.

    • After the failure of the cable Field was villified by the public. Many believed he was a charlatan, aquaintances crossed the street to avoid him.

    • A portion of Field's original cable was recently pulled from the ocean. Though over 100 years old it could still conduct electricity.

    • From the time he had the idea for the Transatlantic Cable, it took Cyrus Field just three months to organize a company and raise the money.

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