Samples from Red Sea to India submarine telegraph cable of 1858/59.
In 1858 the Red Sea and India Telegraph Company was formed to connect India to London, a concession having been obtained from the Turkish Government to lay a cable across the Suez isthmus and down the Red Sea. The cable was made by R.S. Newall & Company, using core supplied by the Gutta Percha Company. The cable was laid in two expeditions. Suez - Kossier - Suakin - Aden was completed between 5 May and 28 May 1859 and Aden - Hallani - Muscat - Karachi between 17 January and 12 February 1860. Total cable length was 3041nautical miles.
The cable was lightly armoured, and the contract allowed Newall's to keep all surplus cable; consequently the cable was laid with very little slack and soon failed. The 1859 section had already broken down by the time the route was completed in 1860. Messages were passed over individual sections, but the entire cable never worked as a unit.
All sections were abandoned by 1861, and communication to India was not established until the 1864 Persian Gulf cable was laid.
Two objects including a length of the deep-sea cable and a short section of additional insulation which appears to fit over the deep-sea cable.The deep-sea cable sample is fitted with a circumferential metal band at each end.
Donation from Dr James A. Matheson, 09/05/1973
The band at one end of the cable sample carries the inscription: 'RED SEA & INDIA 1858'. The other band carries the inscription: 'R. S. Newall & Co. Manufacturers'
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