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The Great Eastern as a cable laying ship

Introduction
Preparing the cable and ship
Laying the Atlantic telegraph cable
Impact of the trans-Atlantic telegraph cable
Demise of the Great Eastern
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Introduction
 

Great Eastern as a cable ship.
View full size imageThe Great Eastern cable ship in 1869. © NMM
The Great Eastern was a giant steam ship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-59) At the time of its launch in 1858 it was the largest ship in the world. Although the design of the Great Eastern was groundbreaking, Brunel’s mighty vessel was considered a commercial failure as a passenger liner. After being laid up in 1864, the Great Eastern was sold for £25,000 (the equivalent of about £1.3 million today), a fraction of its original cost, to a Greenwich-based cable-laying company. This next stage of her career was by far the most successful. From 1865-72 she laid four telegraph cables under the Atlantic, and others to link Bombay and Aden.

 



Introduction
Preparing the cable and ship
Laying the Atlantic telegraph cable
Impact of the trans-Atlantic telegraph cable
Demise of the Great Eastern
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View this story in pictures View this story in pictures

 
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Did you know...? The Great Eastern fact files
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