Port Cities
Wilhelm von Siemens (from 1883 Sir William Siemens) was one of five brothers. In 1858, with his brother Werner, he set up a factory on the site where the Thames Barrier building is now. The factory made cables for the undersea telegraph links between Britain, Europe, North America and the other continents. Before the telegraph, it took over a week to send a message from London to New York — the time it took for a ship to cross the Atlantic and deliver the message. The electric telegraph let people send messages thousands of miles around the world in a few minutes.