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Messages under the Sea

7 December, 2020 @ 7:30 pm 9:00 pm

A story of British entrepreneurialism in the Victorian era, the first transatlantic telegraph cable, and the connecting of the world.

Awaiting the Reply by Robert Charles Dudley, ca. 1866
Awaiting the Reply by Robert Charles Dudley, ca. 1866


This is the first of our two “informal lectures”, which we are trialling this season. These lectures are given by members of the Society and will also test the use of the online format.

Aeneas, in the 4th century BC, may have been the first to use a telegraph to send a message. Claude Chappe may have developed semaphore signalling stations criss-crossing France at the end of the 18th century. But in the mid-19th century, cable telegraphy took off and connected Queen Victoria to the President of the USA, and England to the far reaches of the British Empire. From gutta percha at the Society of the Arts to the development of the internet, Prof. John Fothergill, a past president of the Society, tells the story.

The event is free to members. It is suggested that non-members give a donation of £5.00p (students £2.50p).

If you would like to attend this event, please register by clicking the button below.