The general eBthnsiasm of the people of this country and, we doubt, not of Great Britain also, which has been developed by the success attending the labors of the great enterprise, renders every piece of intelligence, no matter how meager, acceptable and of interest, and therefore we surrender a great amount of space to the aU-absorbing topic. The daily and other newspapers have literally been crowded with Atlantic Cable news, and it is our intention to give our readers, as far as possible, the pith of these lengthy accounts and statements. During the whole voyage Mr. Field kept a diary, which he has kindly laid open for the use of the press, and from it we shall make some extracts :— "Saturday, July l7.—This morning the telegraph fleet sailed from Queenstown, Ireland, as follows : The Valorous and Gorgon at 11 A. M., the Niagara at 7 30 P. M., and . the Agamemnon a few hours later. All the steamers are to use coal as little as possible in getting to the rendezvous. Up to 5 P. M. clear weather and blue sky ; from 5 to 9 P. M. overcast, threatening weather, and drizzling rain; from 9 to 12 P. M., overcast, hazy and squally. Thukday, July 29.—Lat. 52 59' N., Lon. 32 27' W. Telegraph fleet all in sight; sea smooth; light wind from S. E. to S. S. E.; cloudy. Splice made in the cable at 1 P. M.; signals through the whole lenkth of the cable on board both ships perfectly; depth of water, 1,550 fathoms. Distance to the entrance of Valentia harbor, 813 nautical miles, and from there to the telegraph house the shore end of the cable is laid. Distance from the entrance of Trinity Bay", N. F., 822 nautical miles, and from there to the telegraph house at the head of the Bay of Bull's Arm, 60 miles, making in all 882 nautical miles. The Niagara has 69 miles further to run than the Agamemnon. The Niagara and Agamemnon have each 1,100 nautical miles of cable on board ; about the same quantity as last year. At 7 45 P. M. ship's time, or 10 5 P. M. Greenwich time, signals from the Agamemnon ceased, and the tests applied by the electri-' cians showed that there was a want of continuity on the cable, but that the insulation was perfect. Kept on paying out from the Niagara very slowly, and was constantly applying all kinds of electrical tests until 6 P. M., ship's time, and 11 30 P. M., Greenwich time, when we again commenced receiving perfect signals from the Agamemnon. Thursday, Aug. 5.—At 1 45 A. M., the Niagara anchored. Distance run since noon yesterday, 64 miles. Amount of cable payed out 66 miles 353 fathoms, being a loss of less than 4 per cent. Total amount of cable payed out since the splice was made, 1,016 miles 600 fathoms. Total amount of distance run, 882 miles. Total amoont of cable payed out over the distance ran, 134 miles and 600 fathoms, being a surplus of about 15 per cent. At 2 A. M. went ashore in a small boat and informed the persons in charge of the telegraph house—half a mile from the landing—that the telegraph fleet had arrived, and were ready to land the end of the cable. At 2 45 A. M. received a signal from the Agamemnon that she had payed out 1,010 miles of the cable. At 5 15 A. M. the telegraph cable was landed. At 6 A. M. the shore end of the cable was carried into the telegraph house, and a strong current of electricity received through the whole cable from the other side of the Atlantic. Captain Hudson then read prayers, and made some remarks. At 1 P. M. the steamer Gorgon fired a royal salnte of twenty-one guns, and all the day L was discharging the cargo belonging to the i Telegraph Company. a Friday, Avg. 6.—Have been receiving all day strong electric signals from the telegraph house in Valentia. NOTE. — We landed here in the woods. Until the telegraphic instruments are all ready and peoectly adjusted, communications cannot pass between the two continents, but electric currents are received freely. You shall have the earliest intimation when all is ready, but it may be some days fore everything is perfected. The first telegraphic message from Europe to America will be from the Queen of England to the President of the United States, and the second the reply. C. W. FIELD." This is a singularly interesting paper, and should be preserved as an important international document, for it is the record of a union of the two countries, and as we trust, more powerful and lasting than any treaty ever devised by statesmen. The enterprise has eall-ed forth many gems of thoughtf rom great men, the best of which is the allusion to it by the Hon. Edward Everett in bis oration at the opening of the Dudley Observatory, where, with an eloquence that epitomized the wonder of this modern miracle, he said:— " I hold in my hand a portion of the identical electrical cable, given me by my friend, Mr. Peabddy, which is now (April 22, 1857) in progress of manufacture, to connect America and Europe. I read upon it the following words: ' A part of the submarine electric telegraph cable, manufactured by Messrs. Glass & Co., of London, for the Atlantic Telegraph Company, to connect St. John's Newfoundland, with Valentia, Ireland, a distance of sixteen hundred and forty nautical, or nineteen "hundred statute miles.' Does it not seem all but incredible to you that intelligence should travel for two thousand miles, along those elender copper wires, far down in the all but fathomless Atlantic never before penetrated by aught pertaining to humanity, save when some foundering vessel has plunged with her hapless company to the eternal silence and darkness of the abyss ? Does it not seem, I say, all but a miracle of art, that the thoughts of living men—the thonghts that we think up here on the earth's surface in the cheerful light of day—about the markets, and the exchanges, aud the seasons, and the elections, and the treaties, and the wars, and all the fond nothings of daily life, should clothe themselves with elemental sparks, and shoot with fiery speed in a moment, in the twinkling of aD eye, from hemisphere to hemisphere, far down among the uncouth monsters that wallow in the nether seas, along the wreck-paved floor, through the oozy dungeons of the ray-less deep i—that the last intelligence of the crops, whose dancing tassels will in a few months be coquetting with the west wind on these boundless prairies, should go Hashing along the slimy decks of old sunken galleons, which have been rotting for ages i—that messages of friendship and love, from warm lhing bosoms, should bum over the cold green bone. of men and women whose hearts, once as warm as ours, burst as the eternal gulfs closed and roared over them, centuries ago." This brings us now to the history of the enterprise. The commercial men were' astonished one morning by the appearance in the newspapers of the annexed card, which was the first issued by what is now the Atlantic Telegraph Company:— NEW YORK, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LONDON TELEGRAPH COMPANY. DIEEOIOEB IK MBW TOEf. Peter Cooper. Cyrus W. Field. Moecs Taylor. Marshall 0. Roberts. Chandler White. Peter Cooper, .... President. S. F. B. Morse, --__President. Vice President. Moaes Taylor --__ Treasurer. Chandler WhIte, - - . - Secretary. David Dudley Field, Eeq., Counsel. E. N. Glsborne, .... 'ngineer. In 1856 Cyrus W. Field visited England, and obtained a capital of $1,750,000, with which they at once set to work; and after due consultation as to the route, construction of the cable, &c., they ordered its manufacture. Both governments promised assistance, and Lieut. Maury announced in a report the existence of a platean across the Atlantic, on which it could be laid. This was subsequently confirmed by Lieut. Berryman, who sounded the whole distance in the Arctic. The Boston Journal gives a perfect condensation of the failures that have'thus far attended this enterprise, which we give in extenso :— " In August, 1857, an attempt wal made to lay down the atlantic Submarine Cable, resulting in a disastrous failure. The cable was 2,500 miles in length, weighing nearly one tun per mile, capable of bearing a direct strain of over five tuns without fracture. The center of the cable was formed by seven fine copper wires, twisted into 9 cord one-sixth of an inch thick. This strand was coated with gutta percha, forming a small rope of of an inch thickj then cO,ated with hempen twine twice soaked in pitch and tar; lastly, an external 5heathing of 18 iron wires, each wire being a strand of seven finer wires, making in all 126 wires. The submersion was commenced on the 5th of August, 1857. There were present the six steamers, Niagara, Agamemnon, Leopold, Susquehanna, Willing, and Mind, intended to assist in various parts of the operation. The cable came up from the hold of the ship, around a central block, so to the open spaoe abpve decks.; it was there wound round grooved sheaths, geared together by cogs and firmly planted on girders. Thence 1t passed over a fifth shea:h, out over the stern into the sea, sinking by its own weight. A trifling accident happened on the 6th; this was repaired, and on the 11th, 380 miles (statute) had been submerged. The engineer here concluded that there was too much " slack" in the cable's course, and some modification in the machinery was consequently made. This appears to have been badly attended to by a subordinate. The cable snapped, and thus ended the attempt of 1857. It having been concluded from some good observations that the average state of the weather was much better on the Atlantic in the early part of summer, it was decided this year to attempt laying the cable in June, It was also thought best to begin tho submersion in mid-ocean, and. pay out toward either shore. Accordingly the telegraph fleet, consisting of the United States steam frigate Niagara and Her Majesty's steamers Agamemnon, Valorous ana Gorgon, left Plymouth on Thursday, June 10, 1858. The Niagara had 850 tuns, and the Agamemnon 450-tuns coal, and each about 1,100 nautical, ( or somewhere about 1,500 statute miles of I oable on board. The weather at first favor- , CONCLUDED ON PAGE .400. able, became unusually boisterous, so that the fleet were not ready to commence operations until late on the 25th of June. The first splice was made between the Niagara and Agamemnon on the morning of Saturday, the 26th of June; and after each ship had payed out about three miles, thQ cable broke on board the Niagara, owing to its over-riding and getting off the pulley lead-i.g on to the machine. Both vessels put about and returned, a fresh splice was made, and again lowered over at half-past seven o'clock. The paying out proceeded beautifully until early on Snnday morning, when the signals suddenly ceased. The cable was cut, and the Niagara repaired to the rendezvous. The canse of the ruptnre was equally mysterious to those on board the Agamemnon, and no satisfactory conjecture has since been made. The cable was again spliced on the 28th, and the steamers parted. Everything worked beautifully during that night, and the next day. But at nine o'clock P. M. on the 29tb, the announcement of " No signals" was made on board the Niagara. At the time H2miles of cable had been payed out. It was subsequently ascertained that the cable parted, for some reason unknown. about six fathoms from the stern of the Agamemnon. About 400 miles of cable were-lost during these trials, the effect of which upon the public confidence in the final success of the undertaking was most depressing. Bnt the managers continued indefatigable. The fleet sailed a second time from Queens-town on the 17th of July, joined tie cable on the 29th, and on the 5th of August the world had news of success." \ The cost of the telegraph cable has been put down as follows :— Price deep sea wire per mile, - - $2M Price spun yarn and iron wire per mile, aba Price outside tar per mile, - - -_____20 Total per mil., - $ 4 - 8 For 2,600 miles, ---;? t'W10 For 10 miles deep sea cable, at $1,450 per mile...... 14,o00 For 25 miles shore ends, at $1,250 per mile 32,250 ToUl cost,......$1,259,250 As soon as it was known that the cable was laid some amusing incidents occurred. One poor lady, whose husband had been detained I in jail on account of his inability to pay a fine imposed upon him for " indulgin' in his wakeness," (as she termed it,) begged a telegraph operator "to tell her aunt in Derehig-riey, Ireland, to sind her the loan of tin dollars." When informed that a New York merchant had just paid fifty-seven dollars for a despatch of as many words to London, and that it would cost her about ten dollars to get a message to Ireland, she exclaimed:— "Musha, what's the good ov a blissin' that's so dear ?" Mr. Field telegraphed Lieut. Maury the moment the success was certain, and the gallant lieutenant forwarded this communication to the National Intelligencer, of Washington, with some remarks, in which he shows that his prediction of the proper time to lay the cable proved to be correct. He says the fol-. lowing extracts, italics and all, are taken from a letter written at the Observatory on the 28th March, 1857, to the Company, upon the best time for laying the cable, and which have happily proved to be correct:— "Nevertheless, the enterprise upon which you are engaged is an important one. Good weather for it is very desirable, nay, almost indispensable; and these barometric anomalies are suggestive. Perhaps it would be wise for the steamers not to join cables until after the 20th of July. I think between that time and the 10th of August the state of both sea and air is usually in the most favorable condition possible; and that it is the time which my investigations indicate as the most favora-. ble for laying down the wire. I recommend it, and wish you good luck." The landing place of the eastern end of the cable, Valentia, or Valencia, is a town or village at the southest extremity of the island of Valentia, Ireland, and is beautifully enclosed among brown mountain slopes. The harbor -, is deep, capacious, and deeply land-locked, ( and being the most western port of Europe, te has lately attracted considerable attention, in consequence of a proposal to make it the western terminus of railway communication, and a principal station for Atlantic steamers. Trinity Bay and Bull's Arm Bay, the western landing place, as our readers are doubtless aware, are on the eastern coast of the island of Newfoundland, about Latitude 47 N., and Longitude 52 W. The leading spirit of this great undertaking has unquestionably been Cyrus W. Field, of this city, and consequently he is receiving compliments and praise on all hands in paragraphs like the following:— " So much the more, therefore, do we honor the courage and coolness which impelled Mr. Field and his backers to persevere in the attempt to lay the cable this season, in the face of discouragements more formidable than attended the sailing and voyage of Columbus in his memQrable quest of a New World." The country rings with the praises of Mr. Field; shall their echoes die away and leave no mark of their existence ? Richard Cob-den received from the British people a free gift of $500,000 for his agency in effecting the repeal of the Corn Laws ; shall no. effort be made to attest,.in some substantial man. ner, the pride and gratitude with which the American people regard Mr. Field's herote achievement ? We present a view of the stern of our beautiful steamship, the Niagara, with the projecting machinery by which she laid the Atlantic Cable. It differs from that first used in many particulars, and more especially in the addition of the gallery or platform along the sides, for the purpose of affording the engineers entire control of the cable as it " run out." The iron network w-as to prevent the cable getting foul of the propelJer and rudder. On examination of the engraving it will be seen that the telegraphic wire, as it was payed out, passed over the poop and through the grooved wheel, the outer edge of which is covered by a shell, which kept the cable from slipping out of the groove. The value of such a quick means of communication across the Atlantic may be better estimated when we recollect that the Battle of New Orleans was fought on the 8th of January, 1815, and the treaty of peace had been signed at Ghent, after six months negotiation, on the 24th of December, 1814. Had the telegraph then existed, how many valuable lives would have been saved to adorn their country and be an honor to their age, for brave men are always the strength of a community. In the construction of a submarine telegraph, there are certain conditions to be observed and certain points to be attained. The first is that the conducting wire shall be perfect, and of the best conducting power, so that it may be made thin and light. Then this wire must be protected and perfectly insulated by some non-conducting material, such as india-rubber and gutta percha. This must be protected from the action of the waves, and the abrasion of the pebbles and rocks on the bed of the ocean or sea, and iron wire best serves this purpose. Many cables have been constructed on these principles, and the following are at present laid :— SUBMARINE CABLES. Date, Mile8. Dover and Calais..... 1830 24 Dover and Ostend, - - - 1852 78 Holyhead and Howth, - - . 1852 65 England and Holland, - - 1853 115 Portpatrick and Donaghadee (2 cables) 1853 26 Italy and Corsica., - - - - 18S4 65 Corsica and Sardinia, - 1854 10 Denmark—Great Belt, - - - 1864 16 Denmark—Little Belt, - - 1854 6 Denmark—Sound..... 1855 12 Scotland—Fritk of Forth, - - 1865 4 Black Sea....... 1855 400 Solent, Isle of Wight, - - 1865 3 Straits of Messina, - 1856 6 Gulf of St. Lawrence, - - 185S 74 Straits of Northumberland, - - 1856 iov Bosphorus,..... 1856 l GufcofCanso,NovaScotia, - - 1856 a St. Petersburg to Cronstadt, - 1866 10 Atlantic Cable—Valentia Bay to Trinity Bay..... 1858 1960 Total, - - ... 2.872X It has also been found necessary to diminish the weight per mile with the length, and the weight of the Atlantic cable is little over a tun a mile. There is some curiosity felt about the species of electrical instruments to be used in the transmission of messages across the ocean. The apparatus first employed will be that of Messrs. Whitehouse & Bright, the English electricians in the service of the Company. By their recording machines a powerful current of electricity is demanded of such power, perhaps, as to make it necessary that some more delicate instrumentality should be put in requisition. Hughes' telegraph ean be set in motion by the smallset amount of the electric fluid. It discards altogether atmospheric air as an agent in propelling the machinery, and wastes no time in going over the whole range of the alphabet, as is the case with some other printing telegraphs. One wave of electricity suffices for a letter, and sometimes for a whole word; whereas, by Morse'S system, it takes five waves to perform the snme labor, and by House's, ten. ?Still, the friends of the last named telegraphs con-ten d that their favorite method of telegraphing has some advantagss not possessed by the Ilug4es plan. Many find it difficult to realize the eventa of the last few days, and even yet some can scarcely believe that thc cable is laid, and that Europe is joined to America. But there is no room for doubt. That which thousands said was impossible has been accomplished, and eneh one should feel a spirit of devout thanksgiving within them, a hearty wish that Cyms W. Field and his coadjutors may be properly IM warded for their great energy and perleveranuo, and a hope that the Flag of .tbe Atlantic Telegraph Company—on which the "stars It"d stripes" and "union jack" rre combineo.—mayever float as an angel of pcace between the two nations.
This article was originally published with the title "The Atlantic Cable" in Scientific American 13, 50, 398 (August 1858)