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The Atlantic Telegraph

The Illustrated London News, vol. 47, no. 1328, p. 127.

August 12, 1865


We are in the same state of anxious doubt regarding the condition of the Atlantic telegraph cable as we were left on Thursday week, when, as announced in our last Publication, "No communication with the Great Eastern" was the saddening tidings received from Valencia, rendered the more painful by following close upon the heels of oft repeated telegrams, "All going on well." At the time of our going to press with our early Edition, on Thursday night, the Great Eastern had not arrived, as it was thought she might, off Valencia, nor had any communication from or news of her been received.

It seems that a "magnetic storm" came on about the time the signals ceased; and the Astronomer Royal, observing its violence, was of opinion that it might account for the cessation of electric communication. Yesterday week, however, at 1.40 p.m. test was made from the shore end--a process prohibited to the officials there without special instruction, and the result was thus telegraphed:--"Test taken for conductivity. Result shows accident to cable; total loss of insulation or dead earth, 1250 miles from Valencia." The following telegram has subsequently been received from Mr. Glass, managing director of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company (Limited):--

Valencia, August 7.--May's tests to-day make the distance of the fault 1175 miles, taking the temperature of the water at 31. I think the last distance telegraphed is right.

The logbooks of the Persia and the North American, between whose courses the Great Eastern probably was, show that on the day the fault or breakage took place she could have experienced no storm.

The shareholders in the Atlantic Telegraph Company held a special meeting on Wednesday, when resolutions were passed converting the shares into stock, and issuing £800,000 of shares, at a preferential dividend of 8 per cent, for completing the existing cable, and for constructing a second to be worked along with it.

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