The little Newfoundland community of Heart’s Content changed the world forever! We visited the old cable station in Heart’s Content, now a museum that tells the story of how electronic communication between Europe and North America was first established in a tiny Newfoundland fishing village. In 1866 a huge ship called the Great Eastern left Valentia Ireland with 2730 nautical miles of cable in her hold.
Dave checks out a model of the Great Eastern
In just fourteen days the Great Eastern and its crew laid that cable at the bottom of the ocean and reached Heart’s Content in Newfoundland establishing the first permanent telegraphic communication across the Atlantic.
You can still see parts of the cables sticking out on the shore in Heart’s Content just across from the cable station
Subsequently five more cables were laid and the station in Heart’s Content kept them all operational.
The machinery of the cable station and the station itself was preserved after the station finally closed in 1965
Those cables changed the world and the little fishing village of Heart’s Content forever providing trans Atlantic communication and a vital link between the continents, something that impacted commerce, trade, finance, personal life, culture and was especially important militarily during the two World Wars.
The cable station provided jobs to 300 people- good steady jobs very different from depending on fishing for an income. During the World Wars it also employed 60 Newfoundland women which was an amazing career opportunity for them in the early half of the 1900s.
Our guide shows us the way they made the cables that were laid under the ocean.
Dave reads a plaque that explains how the Heart’s Content cable changed Trans Atlantic communication from a time of weeks via letters sent on ships to a matter of minutes via telegraph
Dave stands on a map that shows just how linked by communication cables the world was already by 1901
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