"Maybe it is a crazy idea!"
The year was 1854 and the speaker was an engineer named Frederick N. Gisborne. He was telling Cyrus W. Field how he had almost given up the fight to carry out his idea of running a cable under the Gulf of St. Lawrence to connect Nova Scotia with Newfoundland.
Mr. Field didn't think the idea was crazy at all. He went even further. He began to dream of a transatlantic cable. But could it be done? Could anybody even make a waterproof cable line two thousand miles long? How could it be laid on the ocean floor, if the ocean had a floor? And could the "lightning" travel for such a distance—between two continents? It would be the greatest gamble ever attempted.
In The First Transatlantic Cable, Adele Gutman Nathan tells the fascinating story of how some of the most brilliant scientists, businessmen, statesmen, inventors and soldiers of fortune joined with Mr. Field in playing for the great stakes and making the dream come true.
Personalities like Samuel F.B. Morse, the genius of the telegraph, Matthew Fontaine Maury, the "Father of Oceanography", and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the Little Giant of engineering, come to life in these pages. Here is the adventure story of one of the most thrilling chapters in history.
From the book
Adele Gutman Nathan first became interested in the Atlantic Telegraph Cable when she was planning the Communications Room at the Museum of the City of New York. In the old files of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, the Western Union Telegraph Company and the Bell Laboratories, she found accounts of the Great Gamble. She was fascinated by the unusual characters involved and the desperate chances they took in spite of the limited scientific knowledge of the day and the lack of exact data on which to proceed.
Author info taken from the dust jacket
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