The First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable Was a Bold, Short-Lived Success

On August 16, 1858, Great Britain sent an inaugural message to the United States via a transatlantic telegraph cable. In it, Queen Victoria congratulated President James Buchanan on their countries’ mutual success in building the very cable she was using to speak to him. Newspapers covered the event as a significant and exciting technological achievement with enormous potential. The news would spread faster. Nations would communicate and coordinate more quickly around changing world events. Business and commerce would accelerate.

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