By John Steele Gordon
Today, in an international within which information flashes world wide instantly, time lags are unimaginable. within the mid-nineteenth century, conversation among the us and Europe -- the guts of worldwide affairs -- was once in basic terms as speedy because the quickest send might go the Atlantic, making the us remoted and vulnerable.
But in 1866, the previous and New Worlds have been united by way of the profitable laying of a cable around the Atlantic. John Steele Gordon's ebook chronicles this remarkable success -- the brainchild of yank businessman Cyrus box and one of many maximum engineering feats of the 19th century. An epic fight, it required a decade of attempt, quite a few failed makes an attempt, thousands of greenbacks in capital, a close to catastrophe at sea, the overcoming of probably insurmountable technological difficulties, and unusual actual, monetary, and highbrow braveness. Bringing to lifestyles an neglected tale within the annals of know-how, John Steele Gordon sheds attention-grabbing new mild in this American saga that actually replaced the world.
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Extra resources for A Thread Across the Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable
Not the least of these reforms was in politics. Where wealth, and thus power, had once been concentrated among the owners of land and the great merchants, now a new class of factory owners rose who were often richer—and more liquid—by far than the older moneyed class. In the 1830s the franchise was widened in both Britain and the United States, and in 1832 Parliament was reformed and the seats redistributed for the first time since the time of Henry VIII. This recognition of the new economic reality via a peaceful, constitutional transfer of power from the landed aristocracy to the bourgeoisie is one of the most remarkable events of the nineteenth century or, indeed, of any age.
He bought a pew, number 101, in St. Michael's Church, then under construction in Charleston. With the great wealth at the congregation's disposal, little expense had been spared in the building of St. Michael's, a masterpiece of American colonial architecture. Much of the woodwork, for instance, would be supplied by Thomas Elfe, the city's leading cabinetmaker and himself a pew holder. A pew in such a church did not come cheaply. But for fifty pounds—more than a workman's annual wage in the middle of the eighteenth century—Thomas Nightingale received a deed to the pew, signed and sealed by the church commissioners.
He farmed in Quebec for a couple of years before becoming the chief operator for the Montreal Telegraph Company just as the new technology began to sweep the world. He was soon working for the Nova Scotia Telegraph Company, building telegraph lines connecting Montreal with the Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, becoming a largely self-taught engineer in the process. To the north and east of these British colonies, as they then were, across the Gulf of St. * Although fishermen had been settled in Newfoundland for centuries, the island's population was only a few tens of thousands in the mid-nineteenth century and was largely restricted to isolated fishing villages along its deeply indented eastern and southern coastline.
A Thread Across the Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable by John Steele Gordon